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"I was exhausted from a night of not sleeping to avoid my fear of flying. I awoke in the middle of a flight to San Francisco, druggish, in the middle of the in-flight feature film, Bandits. In the middle of a slow-motion kiss between Cate Blanchett and Billy Bob Thornton, I knew immediately and irreversibly that I should be kissing him instead of her. I was in love."

a video / a web site by Jillian Mcdonald

contact. meandbilly at meandbillybob.com

 

Misplaced Intimacy is a symptom of our heavily mediated culture. Via fantasy and extensive popular media, the general public imagines secret affairs with favourite celebrities. The crush is a familiar experience – In Me and Billy Bob, I have inserted myself into existing film clips as the recurring object of actor Billy Bob Thornton’s affection. We exchange looks of longing, pleasure, and pain, yet the desire remains unconsummated, looping infinitely. The cinematic devices of voice and gaze exaggerate the drama.

MeandBillyBob.com masquerades as a fan site, leading the visitor into position as voyeur. Rather than promoting information about the star’s personal or professional life the focus is my romantic obsession. Bordering on mania and inciting curiosity, the ultimate goal of the website is of course to attract its very subject.

In installation, the visitor is confronted with a darkened room, an endless sound loop of Billy Bob Thornton’s own heart-wrenching duet, Starlight Lounge, a slowly revolving spray of light points reflected from a disco ball and light set up near the ceiling, and a comfortable chair before a screen.

~

Jillian Mcdonald is a Canadian performance and media artist, transplanted in New York. Mcdonald's videos have been featureded recently, among other places, at YYZ in Toronto, Scope art fair (The Hamptons, New York, and Miami), Foxy Production in New York, Neutral Ground Gallery in Regina, Year Zero One in Toronto, TPW in Toronto, vertexList in Brooklyn, and VideominutoPopTV in Firenze Italy.

Other web projects include Snow Stories, Screen Kiss, Stand By Your Guns, Things are Okay, Home Like No Place, Ivy League, and Advice Lounge - all viewable at www.jillianmcdonald.net/web.html. Snow Stories was created in residence at Harvestworks in New York City and funded by The Canada Council and The Experimental Television Center. Home Like No Place was featured at La Biennale de Montreal 2002. These projects have been shown on The Whitney Artport Gate Page, Turbulence (New York), Kanonmedia (Vienna), Emmedia (Calgary), Hive projects (Toronto), Seoul Net Festival, The Sundance Online Festival, ThirdPlace.org, Rhizome (New York), Javamuseum, DIAN (Germany), the Web Biennial in Istanbul, The Irish Museum of Modern Art's Net.Art Open, StudioXX, and S@lon (Mexico). She has received a Canada Council for the Arts Grant for the creation of four new multimedia projects in 2003, and a Turbluence.org web art commission.

Ongoing performance interventions collectively titled In the Public Eye have brought Mcdonald around North America and fostered a love of strangers.


Mcdonald teaches Computer Art at Pace University in New York.


*Sponsored by The Canada Council for the Arts, Video Pool, Main/Access Gallery, City of Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, and Pace University

press:
Sylvie Fortin for Art Papers
Curt Cloninger for Rhizome
Pamela O'Connell for The New York Times
Karen Rosenberg for The Village Voice
Brian Boucher for Flash Art
Roberta Smith for The New York Times
Pamela O'Connell for The New York Times
Carol Kino for The New York Times

recently featured at:
• Conversation 4: Jillian Mcdonald and Mark Lee Morris. San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, CA
• My Own Private Reality. Growing Up Online in the 90s and 00s. Edith Russ Site for Media Arts - Oldenburg, Germany
• Me and Billy Bob. Jack the Pelican Presents - Brooklyn, NY
• Video Pool – Winnipeg, Canada
• Attitude. Center for Contemporary Public Arts “Elementi” – Bitola, Macedonia
• 17e Rencontres Vidéo Art Plastique. Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie, France
• AIM 23. Bronx Museum of The Arts, NY
• Misplacement of Intimacy. Latitude 53 Gallery, Edmonton
• Dialogue. Thomas Erben Gallery, NY
• Rhizome.org
• Betaspace.org
• From New York, With Love. Covivant Gallery, Tampa FL, curated by Trong Nguyen
• The Infinite Fill Show. Foxy Productions Gallery, NYC, curated by Cory Archangel
• Edge Intermedia and Eastern Edge Gallery, St John's Newfoundland
• Desert - 6th Manifestation Vidéo et Art Electronique held at the site of the historical des Carrieres incinerator, Champ Libre, Montréal
• Jillian Mcdonald videos. Video Lounge, Vox Populi, Philadelphia