Valerie Sullivan Fuchs (valeriefuchs.com) is an artist who works with film, video, video installation, sound, and sculpture to encounter the industrial and electric forms, which mediate our direct relationship with nature, the land and each other. Her work has been shown at “Transparencies and Trans-formations in Contemporary American Art,” U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden (2010-11); New Albany Public Art Project: Bicentennial Series, New Albany, Indiana (2010-11); Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, California (2007); Non Grata Film and Video Festival, Pärnu, Estonia (2006); Galerie Eugene Lendl, Graz, Austria (2005); BELEF Art Festival, Belgrade, Serbia; and “Presence,” Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (2005). She has received grants from the Sony Corporation, the Kentucky Arts Council (Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship), and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Sullivan Fuchs’ work has been reviewed in Art Papers, Dialogue, American Theatre, the Louisville Courier-Journal, the Louisville Eccentric Observer, and MIT’s electronic journal Leonardo. Beauty Unlimited, 2012 an anthology published in 2012, included a review by Fuchs. She has published articles in Pitch Magazine and the Louisville Eccentric Observer. Fuchs is a full-time Lecturer with the Fine Art College’s School of Art & Visual Studies, at the University of Kentucky.
boys don’t cry, 2008, 3:23; is a collaboration between artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, choreographer David Ingram, and musician Ben Sollee. David Ingram who has collaborated with Valerie Sullivan Fuchs on several projects including work with the Ft. Wayne Ballet in Ft. Wayne, IN and the Louisville Ballet dancers in Empujon. Ben Sollee and Valerie Sullivan Fuchs have collaborated on other works, ‘Western|Western’, 2008, and ‘I Need’ which premiered at the Speed Art Museum in 2009. Special thanks to William Morrow, director of the 21c Museum, for introducing David Ingram, Ben Sollee and myself and for encouraging our collaboration. Collection Laura Lee Brown & Steve Wilson.
Western|Western, 2008,8:06; is collaboration with Ben Sollee where I asked him to play his cello with a rifle.
This piece was inspired while I was thinking about Western culture, and this question, ‘How can it be that such beautiful cultural artifacts like the cello, violin, and such destructive ones like guns, exist in the same culture?”
So I invited Ben Sollee, whom I had met through William Morrow, the then the director of the 21c Museum, to meet me at a recording studio and play his cello, with my husband’s 22 rifle. Luckily he agreed, and even though the rifle Ben bowed was 5.5lbs, he managed to play for over an hour creating amazing improvised sounds despite the weight and awkwardness of the rifle.
Collection of Brook Smith.
a horizontal line makes a stable image, 66 seconds, 2007
After my grandfather died, I inherited 70 years of family 8mm films. While viewing them, I realized I developed new memories of my mother’s childhood without my being there, or her being present to contextualize them. I began to work with these films, in part, to understand the passing of time but also to visualize the energy or the shape of it within my family’s recorded history.
In a horizontal line makes a stable image, I digitized and edited these family 8 mm films into clips of my mother, then I layered these clips into 42 overlapping layers so I could visualize the arc and energy of her life in 66 seconds. This memorial to my mother includes the sound of the last 66 seconds of a piano piece she played often at my request. Each note is edited into an arc where the first note would play forward and then would repeat in reverse. The destabilization and destruction of the shape of a family after the death of a loved one happens over time and continually reforms like the memories of them.
This was a part of “Finding Family”; curated by Karen Gillenwater, 21c Museum, Louisville, KY & Mount Sterling, KY’s Gateway Regional Art Center