Archive for the ‘Fans’ Category

Staring at Vampires

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

I’ve been working on a new video, Hunger – a series of three staring contests with TV and film vampires. I inserted myself digitally into scenes from Twilight (New Moon), True Blood, and Being Human. As the (replaced) ingénue hopeful of shared immortality, I am locked in endless staring contests with Edward, Bill, and Mitchell – the leading male vampires from these series who share brooding good looks, apparent youth, advanced vampire years, immortality’s curse, abstinence from blood and in some cases sex, and an ability to pass as mortal. These are the new breed vampires of our dreams – insatiable, beautiful, charming, yet dangerous. Separate hungers unite them with their mortal prey. Time is suspended in the staring contests which no one wins and no one loses. In installation three larger than life projections play simultaneously, forcing the viewer to either shift their gaze between screens constantly in order to catch a blink; or to simply indulge in an infinite loop.

Hunger is a commission of Revised Projects and the New Forms Media Society for the Electric Speed project series, curated by Kate Armstrong and Malcolm Levy. We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts which last year invested $11.8 million in media arts throughout Canada.

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

Hunger Jillian Mcdonald

Zombies Have More Fun

Monday, November 2nd, 2009


Prom zombie Tara Logsdon leads the zombies in a move from Thriller, after filming Zombies vs Vampires in Tempe, Arizona.


How can you not love them?
-Jillian

Vampires vs Zombies shaping up!

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I’ve lost track but I think there are only a few more days until the taping for Zombies vs Vampires, and we are inching towards being ready! We even found location #2 today!

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Paul and Tara help bloody up some zombie wear.

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OMG apparently that is me on the left, terrifying poor Andrea our makeup artist extraordinaire. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

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We dragged a museum preparator in to be a practice model – someone forgot to tell him to play dead ;) Another wonderful make-up creation by Wendy!

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Zombies (above) and Vampires (below) rehearse on an ASU plaza.
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Great vampire makeup by Trevor.

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Fabulous zombie looks by Angie (above) and Angelica (below).
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ok it’s 3:30am which is 6:30am in New York and in any case it is way past my bedtime, so I’m signing off.
–Jillian

Wanted: Desert Zombies, Vampires, Make-up Artists. No Experience Necessary.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

I’m in residence at ASU Art Museum in Tempe, AZ. I’ll be working on a few different projects, the first of which starts next week. Details on how you can participate, below:

vampire huntingzombie loop

“Jillian Mcdonald, artist-in-residence at ASU Art Museum seeks participants in a video installation for her November exhibit at ASU.”

Interested parties will attend an information session and audition on October 15th at 11 a.m.; attend a rehearsal on Oct 22nd starting at 11 a.m.; and be videotaped together on the afternoon of Oct 31st in the desert. The information session, audition and rehearsal will be held in the project’s gallery at ASU Art Museum. No acting experience or knowledge of vampires and zombies necessary, however feel free to do some research online.

zombies vampires

Zombies may also, if interested, participate in a further performance on the Light in early November. Contact Jillian Mcdonald, info below, to receive notifications.

Also seeking enthusiastic makeup artists – with or without experience. Make-up artists will come to an information meeting on Oct 15th at 2p.m., and a workshop Oct 16th or 23rd at 11a.m.. These meetings will also be held in the project’s gallery in ASU Art Museum. Make-up for the video will be done at the museum on the late morning of Oct 31st. There is no cost to participate, make-up will be provided.

Please sign up with me directly if you are interested in participating in the project (phone 917.443.8107, email jmcdonald[at]jillianmcdonald[dot]net). Feel free to send questions or concerns. Interested parties who cannot make the scheduled dates, please inquire about alternative times.

*images from Vampire Hunting, Zombie Loop, and Undead in the Night

Math tries to catch up with pop-culture

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

math

Oh those Canadian mathematicians are such smarty-pants; anything for publicity.

This item from several alert friends this morning…

Recently a group of Canadian mathematicians used the epidemiology of a zombie breakout to predict the outcome of “similar” viruses. Defining a zombie as

a reanimated human corpse that feeds on living human flesh,

they conclude that

if zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.

In a scientific paper discussing their findings, the authors assert that humanity’s only hope against such zombies is to

hit them hard and hit them often.

Perhaps they should have simply hired (insert the name of your favourite zombie fan here) who could tell them all of that and so much more. I suspect they needed an official excuse to watch piles of zombie flicks.

Read about it on Canada.com or BBC News.

Covergirl

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

amanda apocalypse

Yesterday I mentioned Amanda Apocalypse: a self-professed “zombie nerd” who stars as one of the zombies in Undead in the Night.

Today, after her stellar performance for the media conference, she is the Malmö Lund City Paper cover girl! Judging from the published photos which entirely ignore the stunning vampires who lurked around the press, “zombies” are the sexier creature these days, at least for the author who erroneously conflated my definitions of vampire and zombie – a difficult mistake to make.

Download the pdf file – 2 pages including cover.

Full of love for my Swedish zombie and vampire friends

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Undead in the Night Jillian Mcdonald Malmo

In case you thought this performance wouldn’t be scary…here are just two photos featuring vampire Emma and victims Mathias and Mikael, all non-professional and amazing actors. (Photos by Petter Pettersson…press quality available at Lilith’s website).

Undead in the Night Jillian Mcdonald Malmo

…we’ll see you in the forest after dark…
Jillian

Love among the Ruins (the Zombies and the Vampires)

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

forest malmo

Last week I had a planning session with the fabulous Lilith Performance Studio for an upcoming forest performance in Malmö, Sweden. After 3 days and nights amidst the dark blueish pines, swamps, and mossy hills I am having trouble adjusting to New York’s nakedness. Thinking of doing some guerrilla planting, if the spring ever comes: it snowed yesterday, briefly.

On the plane I was unable to resist viewing the almost unwatchable and aforementioned Twilight. No doubt the tiny airplane screen did not do the sweeping Pacific Northwest forest scenes justice, and I confess I am no screaming teenage fan, but for the life of me this story of forbidden love among the vampires screams of cliché.

The “nice” vampires including our perpetually pouting hero happily inhabit, for the moment, a posh glass house sans coffins in rural Washington State, where avoiding full sunlight is unnecessary (since most days are grey and since the sunlight doesn’t kill them anyway), vampire dad dons the guise of preppy local doctor, and everyone is terribly attractive if well beyond the pale…

According to IMDB, “A teenage girl risks everything when she falls in love with a vampire” not the least of which is any hope of being independent. She goes willingly into the role of princess in utter distress and the movie ends with Bella, our damsel, doomed to be protected by her “hero” forever. Only he, and his extended family, can save her from the vampire bad guy and his own monstrous desires. Now that’s progress.

On the plus side, for the first time ever I enjoyed watching baseball played on screen, since vampiric forces make anything more exciting.

sarah jane

I Love Sarah Jane, on the other hand, is an Australian micro film about lust in the time of zombies. As you may know, zombies are at the other side of the class scale. We find Zombie dad in this case tied up in a wrecked suburban backyard, snarling at a skinny shirtless teenage boy who taunts him.

Sarah Jane herself is no ingénue. She emerges from a dark and claustrophobic living room to put the lusting teenage Jimbo – the subject of the film’s title, a mess of bullies, and her eventually (spoiler alert!) chain-sawed dad out of their misery by the end of the film … some with a heavy shovel, sealing her position as no-nonsense heroine and the far from innocent love interest extraordinaire, with a sense of very dark humour.

Living Dead overkill? Never!

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

night of living dead

You can never have too much of a good thing. That applies to one of my favourite horror films, Night of the Living Dead.

I just finished reading “Night of the Living Dead” by Ben Hervey, a great little book rife with anecdotes and trivia which contextualizes the cult classic firmly in its historical moment. This is a film that has never gone out of video print since being released, according to Hervey.

That this film relies on non-actors, a low budget, and the resourcefulness of an ambitious crew makes it all the more worthy of story-telling.

When my friend Jenni Quilter friend invited me for a screening last night I jumped. Accidentally she rented Tom Savini’s 1990 colour remake which I’d never seen. Suffice to say it is almost the same film, based on the screenplay by Romero and Russo, but there are some significant character changes, mostly in the female roles. Barbara is heroic, not catatonic; Judy wants to help, not just “stand by her man”; and little Karen is neither little, endearing, nor as angry at dad. The ending is different too but I won’t spoil that – any fan of the original will surely enjoy the updates and the references to other later zombie films (eg. the hunting posse bullying the zombie in the ring à la 28 Days Later). Oddly, the ghoul’s barbeque feast and the dead farmhouse owner upstairs are toned down gore-wise, where everything else is ramped up.

SCREAM in Saskatoon

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

scream billboard

In Saskatoon at the moment it is minus twenty-seven degrees Celcius, a temperature that deserves more than a tiny number in order that you can savour it, contemplate it, or at least try to fathom it. Luckily we humans have very little capacity for recalling pain which is why, in the words of my undergraduate art school professor Sharon Alward, people can live in extremely cold places like Winnipeg or Saskatoon year after year without going insane*. While minus twenty-seven degrees Celcius is reason enough to evoke screams in many people, it scares neither me nor Jo-Anne Balcaen – my billboard project collaborator and friend from Montréal. Jo-Anne and I were actually born within hours of one another and grew up separately in Winnipeg**, but that aside is another story of which I will spare you the details. The daunting temperature also doesn’t scare David LaRiviere, director of Paved Arts who facilitated and helped tremendously to oversee our two-person show.

Scream opens January 16th – come see it if you dare. There will be screaming. You have been warned. The billboard is silent but it requires 3-D glasses – available at the gallery.

scream billboard

From the press release, “Scream is a two-person video installation and collaborative billboard presentation. While Jo-Anne Balcaen studies the scream from the perspective of ecstasy, Jillian Mcdonald approaches the same subject as a device in horror films. The exhibition project arises from the affinity that the artists recognize in each other’s work, and is thus culminated from an ongoing, long-distance creative dialog.

Jillian Mcdonald’s video work entitled The Screaming challenges the horror movie genre’s damsel in distress by inverting the power dynamics and charging the scream with a potency that overcomes any would-be menace…. Jo-Anne Balcaen’s Screaming Girls appropriates famous film images of teen-aged girls enraptured by rock ‘n’ roll performance. Stripped of sound, Balcaen’s subtle manipulation of this familiar pop adulation becomes a study of mass hysteria, oddly foreign to any kind of rationale that Beatlemania may have once produced.”

*Keep in mind these are select few people, you may not want to attempt this yourself.

**According to Wikipedia, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Winnipeg was −47.8 °C (−54.0 °F), on December 24, 1879. The coldest wind chill reading ever recorded was −57.1 °C (−70.8 °F), on February 1, 1996. I was not alive in 1879, but I’ll point out that the last winter I lived in Winnipeg was 1996.