Liz Magic Laser (US)


The borders between theatre, performance and video blur in Liz Magic Laser’s artistic practice. Her work is often set in semi-public spaces such as banks, cinemas and newsrooms. She draws on a range of material for her scenarios, including quotes from political speeches, scenes from films and literary texts. The artist tries to expose the mechanisms, which lie hidden in these specific rhetorical situations. Laser often combines live performance with technology such as streaming or satellite links. These innovations reinforce the live action, but at the same time create a number of challenges.

Flight (2011)

video installation, sound, 30’12”

In Flight, a performance staged on the steps of Times Square, the busy epicentre of New York’s entertainment district, six actors mingle with the general public. They perform 23 successive scenes from well-known films, most involving epic chases and fights. In a context reminiscent of a cinema, Liz Magic Laser illustrates the shift in the history of cinema from the film as an arena of revolutionary struggle, as in Battleship Potemkin, to the site of personal trauma in films like The Shining.  

Prison Score (2012)

video installation and film posters, sound, 10’

A series of posters of prison films hangs in Mechelen prison. For Prison Score Liz Magic Laser distilled from these films a number of scenes showing inmates making hysterical movements. She created a choreography in cooperation with the Belgian dancer and choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez which mimics the movements of the film characters. Prison Score was filmed in Mechelen prison. The artist pairs the original film posters from the prison with her montage.  

Co-produced by Contour 2013 and NONA.