Aleesa Cohene

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Template:Use Canadian English Template:Infobox artist

Aleesa Cohene is a Vancouver-born Canadian artist known for her video works that utilize found footage from Hollywood films and TV shows.[1]

Education[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]

Cohene completed a fellowship at the Kunsthochschule für Medien (KHM) in Cologne, Germany in 2010 and graduated from the Masters of Visual Studies studio program at the University of Toronto in 2013. She has also participated in artist residencies in Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Artistic career[edit | hide | edit source]

Cohene has been making videos since 2001. While her earliest works took the form of single-channel videos, recent years have seen her practice expand to encompass multiple channels, painted environments, scents, sculpture, sound and dance. Her audiovisual collages are expertly edited, telling oblique, strongly atmospheric stories.[2] The artist’s found footage tends to come from Hollywood films and TV shows popular during her childhood in the 1980s and early 1990s.[3] Cohene calls the characters in her work composites, referencing the combination of numerous on-screen women.[4] For example, Yes, Angel (2011) consists of video clips laboriously edited from her personal archive of hundreds of Hollywood films. Cohene constructed composite characters that interact in a series of scenes across separate screens within the projection. Together the videos tell a story of great loss, shame and hope within a narrative of the traumatic traces left by the AIDS epidemic.[5] Yes, Angel was shown at the Power Plant Gallery in 2012 as a part of the group exhibition Coming After, which focused on the period of queer radicalism witnessed in North America from the 1980s through the ’90s and feeling of having arrived too late to directly participate in this traumatic but galvanizing political moment.[6]

Cohene's videos have been screened throughout North America and abroad in Germany, Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Finland, Greece, Spain, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia and Brazil. Recent exhibitions include: Campbell House in Toronto, Canada, Oakville Galleries in Canada, Sequences in Reykjaík, Iceland, Hart House at the University of Toronto and Galerie Suvi Lehtinen in Berlin, Germany. In 2011, Platform Gallery and MAWA in Winnipeg presented a multi-venue retrospective of Cohene’s work.[7]

References[edit | hide | edit source]

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