Friday April 7, 7:30pm
Jacky Connolly
Life Simulations
Artist in person!

Still from “Anhedonia” by Jacky Connolly (2017) – Image courtesy of the artist

Microscope welcomes New York-based artist and filmmaker Jacky Connolly to the gallery for Life Simulations, a screening of new and recent videos including her latest six-part machinima work Anhedonia, commissioned by Daata Editions and presented at NADA New York last month.

Connolly’s video works, designed within the life simulation computer game “The Sims”, convey the alienation of suburban living as well as that found in the designed, programmed existence of a 3D animated environment. Her avatars and other characters, who live in an Antonioni-like absence of dialogue and are only heard through their sporadical music practice sessions, seem to suffer from a melancholy caused by their confinement to the virtual, while representing existences and circumstances deeply rooted in reality.

The screening also includes Connolly’s 2016 partly autobiographical Hudson Valley Ruins, a 30-minute “hyperlink cinema” work set in the valley region where the artist was born, as well as an earlier two-channel video Fawn’s Leap, NY, a famous cliff and waterfall in the area and one of the most depicted scenes in works by Hudson Valley artists.

Connolly will be in attendance and for a Q&A after the screening.

general admission $8
students w/ ID $6


Anhedonia, 2017, single-channel video, color, sound, 18 minutes
In Anhedonia (2017), a machinima film with six chapters, Jacky Connolly turns her filmmaking practice towards a mysterious group home in the virtual American South. Several avatars live in three small buildings near the town’s railroad yard, where their lives are punctuated by hours spent in front of a screen. Images from elsewhere begin to intrude with mounting intensity, as the boundaries of the film are fractured by the characters’ visual and auditory hallucinations. These moments of psychosis give insight into the characters’ shared histories, as well as the dissociative atmosphere of their cultural landscape.

Hudson Valley Ruins, 2016, single-channel video, color, sound, 30 minutes
Hudson Valley Ruins (2016) is a machinima exploration of a virtual suburban-rural world, based on various locations around New York‘s Hudson Valley region. In this lm, two young avatars are seen in a series of parallel vignettes that depict their loneliness, alienation, and eventual flight into fantasy, culminating in a natural disaster. Production took place entirely in The Sims 3, a life simulation computer game. The film was inspired by works of Hollywood hyperlink cinema and the 19th century Bildungsroman. 

Fawn’s Leap, NY, 2015, two-channel digital video, color, sound, 12 minutes
In Fawn’s Leap, NY (2015),  a woman and a younger girl living in an upstate farmhouse. No one speaks, and the two characters co-exist among calzones, seasonal holiday decorations, and a backyard ice skating rink in a “rustique mise-en-scène of lonely utopia”. A constant wind blows throughout the two-channel film, with the two works alternately providing musical accompaniment in the form of acoustic guitar practice sessions, the haunting theme of a music box, and the sound of a distant train making its way up the Hudson.

Jacky Connolly (b. 1990, Lower Hudson Valley, NY) lives and works in New York. Connolly’s film works are indebted to cinematic and literary genre influences, as well as an innovative use of machinima technique for imaginative world-making and storytelling. In 2016, she completed ‘Hudson Valley Ruins’, a 30-minute film created in a life simulation computer game, which was acquired by and screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016.’ Her most recent film, Anhedonia (2017) is an 18-minute machinima film in six chapters, commissioned by Daata Editions. Recent solo exhibition include ‘Shadows on the Hudson,’ Kimberly-Klark, Queens, NY (2016) and ‘Hudson Valley Ruins’, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA (2016). Recent screening programs in 2017 include Post-Apocalyptic Realism at Museum Brandhorst in Munich, DE, and the film program of Art Cologne in Cologne, DE.


Still from “Fawn’s Leap, NY” by Jacky Connolly (2015) – Image courtesy of the artist

With the underwriting support of the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation

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