In April 2020, I was invited to create an Instagram Live performance as part of a group exhibition called “As Far As The eye Can See,” at Jonathan Weiskopf’s VSOP Projects in Greenport, NY. The Covid pandemic was just taking hold and no visitors were allowed to see the exhibition in person. While planning my online performance, called “VOICE OVER PAINT,” about my approach to painting, I unearthed a long-forgotten experience of professional and personal harassment and subsequently was able to draw the two events together in my video made the following summer, “UN-CRUSHING YOUR SOUL” to illustrate a lifetime of persistence in the face of institutional indifference.
This video takes the form of a story within a story. I revisit my artworld hazing from 1978. It’s retelling imprints the encompassing narrative of my Instagram Life performance created 40 years later. Two live-action montages bookend the film. To begin, I edit digitized vintage super-8 footage of my original response to the experience years ago from a film called “PINK SHOES,” in this section, I describe by escape from the rigid judgments of an art professor by taking a semester abroad in Paris. On my return, I recommit to my own aesthetic direction.
The film’s closing montage presents an abridged version of my performance in May 2020. Edited from an archived recording, it features a split screen of video streaming and video projection over life action. During the performance, I take my time moving throughout the squares of cut canvas arrayed on the studio floor. I pour gold or indigo liquid paint onto some of the pieces, on others, I trace arcs in colored pencil, or hand-paint spheres. As with my long-ago solo trip to Paris, I am looking for my own answers to the question of what is important to me. My actions in the studio are paired below images of a wild meadow alternating with cross-dissolving blocks of pure color. Seen together, the two tracks evoke the process of self-reflection.
Linking the film’s live action sequences is a countdown succession of still photographs, journal pages, script notes, and texts, which document the evolution of “VOICE OVER PAINT.” Reinforcing the film’s overall structure of interlocking segments, the live and still elements are visually united by a progression of geometric diagrams in solid, bold colors. A piano solo by Claudia Eisen-Flack of Haydn’s Sonata No. 33 in C Minor plays throughout the film, with voice over narration interspersed between meadow bird songs.
Created by Anne Sherwood Pundyk with Phoebe Pundyk, Evan Pundyk, Jeff Pundyk and Jonathan Weiskopf
Music: Claudia Eisen-Flack
In the spring of 2021, "UN-CRUSHING YOUR SOUL" was published in The Loculus Journal, The Sideways Door.