Jacky Connolly: Descent Into Hell

15.04.23 – 21.05.23

A post-capitalist, dystopian US America is the setting for Jacky Connolly's video work Descent into Hell, shown first at the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 2022. The artist combines scenes from the popular video game Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) with her own animations. Using an add-on downloaded from the internet, Connolly was able to evade the game's main quest – property theft – and focused instead on the bleak everyday lives of several protagonists. Homelessness, illness, loss, patriarchal dominance, and the powerlessness that comes with it are all represented by the glistening neon signs scattered around the busy streets of LA like remnants of a bygone era. Background noises and hypnotic electronic sounds create an immersive pull, allowing the viewer to fully immerse themselves in the digital world Connolly has created.

In her video work, the artist deals with traumatic experiences from the year 2020, such as police violence, protests, personal loss due to mental illness, and the lockdown that resulted from the pandemic. During the latter, Connolly escaped into the virtual world of the video game GTA V, but digital reality offered her – as many others – no real substitute for direct human interaction.

At the Kebbel Villa, Jacky Connolly presents an updated version of Descent Into Hell.

Jacky Connolly (*1990 in Lower Hudson Valley, NY, US, lebt in Amsterdam, NL, und Bearsville, NY, US) ist seit 2021 Stipendiatin im Residenzprogramm der Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, NL. 2011 erhielt sie ihren Bachelor of Arts in Fotografie, Kunstgeschichte und Critical Studies vom Bard College at Simon’s Rock, MA, US, und 2016 ihre MAs in Freier Kunst sowie Bibliotheks- und Informationswissenschaften vom Pratt Institute, NY, US. Ihre immersiven Videoarbeiten wurden in internationalen Einzelausstellungen gezeigt, u.a. bei Downs & Ross, New York, NY, US (2019), Peach, Rotterdam, NL (2017) und bei Bus Projects, Melbourne, AU. Außerdem nahm sie an zahlreichen Gruppenausstellungen, u.a. im Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts / Perth, AU (2020), im New Yorker Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, US (2018) und im Museum Brandhorst, München, DE (2017)

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