Writer, performer and visual artist, and newborn opera project initiator, Danielle Adair presented the show »And I Think I Like It.« within the space of Akademie Schloss Solitude. The exhibition includes a collection of thirteen video-song-poems that combine animation, sound, and text, and provide insight into Adair’s complex body of work. It was the first time that all thirteen videos are exhibited as a whole collection. – An essay by Claudia Gehre
For Danielle, it is one of her major projects of the last few years. She started work on the series of videos in 2011 in Los Angeles, CA/USA, and created the last of them during her residency in Solitude. In this series, as in her other works, she draws a picture of her artistic practice, framed in the recent political climate of the United States.
Besides the visual parts, originating from her drawings and collages that she turns into animated motion pictures, the series is strongly language based. Initially the video pieces emit a kind of lightness, mainly because of simplicity of the visual language and the rhythmic and poetic voice, on closer inspection however, the viewer can discern an interrogation of contemporary social, political, and cultural issues.
For some videos she used significant phrases of electoral campaigns and interspersed them with private messages from emails and letters. For example, the piece Hope May (2012) touches on both public and private by using private »hope« statements she culled from her email during the time of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign in the US in 2008 for which the campaign slogan was »Hope.«
What does it mean to work as an artist in that time? What is her artistic interest and practice? The work What Do You Do (2011), inspired by the expression of »wearing many hats,« is another piece of the puzzle that demonstrates her focus on the performance of the self in everyday society.
Assuming that everybody is performing in face-to-face interaction, and therefore taking different responsibilities, she turns it into her form of practice. For exploring different environments the artist plays different roles: as a journalist in the project First Assignment (since 2008), investigating Afghanistan in the pre-election atmosphere of 2008, or as a tourist in On the Rocks, In the Land (2013), visiting conflict zones around significant walls, places like Belfast or Berlin. And sometimes Danielle gives »TED-Talks« as well known personalities of public life. Her main interest here is the moment of slippage that occurs between performance and documentary, the way an individual can be at once both fiction and real. This indecisiveness seems to be distinctive for her work as the titles also often promise a story that the work might not to pretend to fullfil.
For her next project, the short opera Caution Baum, Danielle will work with vocalists and instrumentalists from the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, creating an opera that includes projections, painting, and movement.