Karen Yasinksy (b. Pittsburgh, PA; lives Baltimore, MD) makes short animated films based on beautifully rendered clay-modeled figures and drawings. To create these works, the artist works alone on each aspect of the story—drawing and modeling, sets and costume design, direction, cinematography, and stop-animation shooting. The musical soundtracks are made in collaboration with composer Winston Rice and others. Her twelve-inch-tall clay figures, with hand-painted faces and hand-stitched clothing, move minimally within small, simple sets. The characters are silent, the expression on their faces static, and their bodies move in small gestures. The result is compelling and realistic, partially due to the fact that the characters' stories are developed as Yasinsky shoots the stop-motion animation. The figures reflect a soulful playfulness reminiscent of Buster Keaton.
Filmmakers are a major influence on Yasinksy, and she has reconstructed the characters and narratives of several films. A recent five-part series (based on Jean Vigo's L'Atalante) uses several animation techniques to explore different aspects of the lovers' relationship and includes a haunting six-minute black-and-white film, La Nuit (2007). Her Au Hasard Balthazar (2008), based on Robert Bresson's eponymous film, premieres at the Museum. The program also features earlier works, including Boys (2002), Animal Behavior (2003), and No Place Like Home #1 and #2 (1999).
In the Film exhibition Modern Mondays
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