I make work to address the stasis we’ve come to accept in which we distance ourselves from the natural world while pining for the real. My dance and video work reveal this juxtaposition with risk, humor and my own approaches to time-based practices. In the most general sense I hold tension between ritualized embodiment and choreographic structures to both embody and decolonize the imagination. I approach aesthetic practice as political action towards liberation for more people (and other species), more of the time in the realization of bounty.
Rather than representing life with the use of technology I prefer to apply it as a tool for creating world in which the power of the imagination is balanced with with phenomena perceived through the senses and potentials therein. My video art is an intersection between visual art, dance for the camera, body-based media, theater and experimental video. I layer subjects of varying color, intensity and texture with painterly new media techniques against dynamic spaces to illuminate and contrast two worlds- “everyday” linear time and one in which we experience multiplicity or the blurring of boundaries between time, space, self and other. In the process, political insight emerges in conjunction with a questioning mode, as non-linear story fragments integrate with the physical image to cogently connect the body, imagination and concepts within habitats that reflect states of being.
I continue to make work in 2017 because it’s important to me to be an author of a body of work in which I draw from the decades I’ve invested in the integration of visual, kinesthetic and auditory aesthetic experiencing. I’m interested in appealing to the senses in nuanced ways with my videos. I often use repetition rather than sensationalism to encourage deeper focus and the space for the viewer to think new thoughts.
Leralee Whittle makes video art, choreographs and performs as a relational dance artist.
Her work’s been presented internationally in festivals: Dinamiche Scomposte/Teatro di Limonae, Italy, Twin Cities Film Festival, Minneapolis, and Twin Cities/Montreal Choreographer Exchange, Minneapolis, MN and venues: PWNW, Portland, La Esquina Gallery, Kansas City, Southern Theater, Minneapolis, Starlight Theatre, Terlingua, TX, Urban Culture Project, KC, MO, The 418 Project, Santa Cruz, Ca and Aria, Barcelona. Leralee Whittle is a recipient of Project Space Residency, Counterpulse, SF (2017) and a grant from PLRAC, MN (2017), Theatre Bay Area, San Francisco, CA, Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO and Puffin Foundation, New Jersey.
2017-18 Whittle’s creating videos and performances of various iterations of J ((())) Y Sessions, as well as performing instant composition with collaborator of 12 years, musician/composer Paul Sprawl.
She teaches Instant Composition, J ((( ))) Y Embodiment and Contact Improvisation. She’s taught at FLOCK, Portland, OR, Sudstern Jam, Berlin, 418 Project, Santa Cruz, CA, The Cowel’s Center, Minneapolis and other venues.
Whittle and Sprawl reside in MN and spend time touring and making work at their an off-grid artist residency space in the Chihuahuan desert (land pictured below). So far, they’ve both built studios and have mined stone with their own hands.