Frances Stark: My Best Thing
October 14, 2011–July 1, 2012
Frances Stark (American, b. 1967) is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer whose work explores image-making and the written word. Known for her works on paper that often reference the acts of drawing and writing, Stark also makes videos, sculptures, and live performances that are suffused with self-doubt, speculation, and vulnerability. She regularly draws from popular culture, literature, and her own personal life, often exploring expectations and assumptions about gender that inflect her identity as a woman, artist, teacher, and mother.
First presented at the 54th Venice Biennale, Stark's My Best Thing is a feature-length animation in the form of a serialized soap opera, constructed from interactions in online video chatrooms. The female protagonist's flirtatious discussions with random participants soon expand beyond sex into broader topics including film history, politics, and protest, and she gradually grows fond of some of her interlocutors, who transform from strangers into confidants and collaborators. Produced using a text-to-speech animation program from the scripts of virtual encounters, My Best Thing highlights the manner in which current communication technologies allow for both greater intimacy and anonymity, giving rise to new kinds of behaviors and relationships.
Installation view of Frances Stark: My Best Thing on view at MoMA PS1, 2011. © MoMA PS1, 2011; Photo: Matthew Septimus.
Frances Stark: My Best Thing is organized by Peter Eleey, Curator of MoMA PS1.
This exhibition is made possible by the Annual Exhibition Fund with support from Hoor Al Qasimi, Richard Chang and Tina Lee, Adam Kimmel, Peter Norton and the Peter Norton Family Foundation, Jennifer McSweeney, Beth Swofford, David Teiger, Agnes Gund, Dana Farouki, Sydie Lansing, John Comfort, Philip E. Aarons and Shelley Fox Aarons, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, and Enzo Viscusi, with additional funding from The Director's Circle of MoMA PS1, The Contemporary Circle of MoMA PS1, and MTV.
Images, slideshow: Frances Stark. Film still from My Best Thing. 2011. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York; Galerie Buchholz, Cologne and Berlin; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; and greengrassi, London.