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Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Catherine Sullivan November 29, 2007–February 24, 2008

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    Triangle of Need

    Triangle of Need is a multi-channel video installation created by Chicago-based artist Catherine Sullivan. Sullivan collaborated with Minneapolis-based choreographer Dylan Skybrook, Los Angeles–based composer Sean Griffin and Nigerian actor/director Kunle Afolayan on the project. Sullivan filmed Triangle of Need primarily at Vizcaya and in a nondescript apartment in Chicago, the city in which James Deering’s business was based. Three large monitors were installed in the Living Room, with a fourth monitor, depicting a figure skater against grainy images young women celebrating their 15th birthday (quinceañera) at Vizcaya.

    Sullivan created narratives revolving around such disparate themes as a hominid species forced to reproduce by women scientists a common e-mail scam promising fortunes to the recipient; and a series of reconstructions from the Pathescope Films catalog, silent films screened by Deering at Vizcaya.

    Triangle of Need was commissioned by Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in collaboration with the A Foundation (Liverpool, UK) and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), where it premiered). Since 2007, it has been exhibited in several locations in the United States and Europe, including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and an edition of the work was acquired by the Miami Art Museum (Miami). 

    About the Artist

    American artist Catherine Sullivan initially trained as an actress, and although she has worked in a variety of media, she is best known for theater and video work that explores the conventions of performance and role-playing.

    Sullivan uses a wide range of historical and cultural references—including film noir, avant-garde cinema, contemporary art and the history of theater—to explore the tensions between performers, their roles and their audience.

    Sullivan has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); UCLA Armand Hammer Museum (Los Angeles); The Renaissance Society (Chicago); The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford); Biennale de Lyon and Opera de Lyon (France); Volksbühne (Berlin); Kunsthalle (Zurich); Kunstverein Braunschweig (Germany) and Tate Modern (London).

    Read the Exhibition Brochure