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Jasmine Johnson is primarily a video artist however she involves sculpture and drawing in her pieces. She recently finished her MFA at Goldsmiths. She chose to show us three pieces that are narrative videos involving real peoples aspirations, philosophies and beliefs.

The first piece she showed was of a character called L. L is a property developer in Victoria Park London and Jasmine came across her in a coffee shop. In the video we see L in her house making pesto, her son is also there colouring at the table. Jasmine says she conducted her interview in the style Pierre Bourdieu in his book Distinction. This interview is shown in the video by a voice over male narrator telling the story of L whilst quoting sections from the interview.

Along with this video Jasmine creates a series of drawings and sculptures that aim to highlight class distinction by taking the image out of its context.

The next video is called Thieves and Swindlers are not allowed in Paradise. This video focuses on an transhuman art collector in Moscow. The first section of the video is a video created on blender which showed the office of the collector, then the second part of the video was real footage showing the paintings. The voiceover was the same as L and talked about immortality, utopian vision and the fact imitation has a lack of heart.

The last video was shot in New Delhi and looked at a man called P who was an individualist. The video is called Third Party. The video looked at him and his life in New Delhi as an expat looking at his lifestyle, his workplace and his politics. This video did not have a voice over and was the first of the three videos when the person himself spoke. The video was shown as an installation with a sculpture piece squatting on a wooden platform, mirroring the exercises done by P in his gym class.

Overall I really liked the style of Jasmine’s videos. I thought they had a humorous element to them as well making them interesting for the viewer. Her themes also caught my attention being a narrative and looking at how three different people live and work. They all have an intriguing quality about them and I feel that is why she took interest in these particular people. I thought the voice over was a clever and innovative way to show an interview without having a back and forth conversation that could become boring. Overall I found her work in depth and well researched. However just as Vicki’s talk I thought she read a lot off her paper rather than talk from memory which made it quite hard to follow.

Videos

L making Pesto: http://art.gold.ac.uk/exhibitions2014/mfa/pages/jasmine_johnson/02.php

Thieves and Swindlers are not allowed in Paradise : http://art.gold.ac.uk/exhibitions2014/mfa/pages/jasmine_johnson/01.php

Third party: https://vimeo.com/134147125

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