Michelle Handelman


Support for "Hustlers + Empires", a multichannel video about aging, death, and chaos.


My work explores the liminal space between desire and repulsion, between the seen and the unseen. I am constantly searching for that elusive, unnamable, transcendent moment that smashes through this terminally linear story we call real life.  Phantasmagoric and emotionally raw, form is my weapon. I approach narrative without language, using shrieks and breaths to communicate where words fail. I use words to unpack dark, subconscious layers of identity, trying to reveal the artifice of contemporary culture while simultaneously co-opting many of its deceptions for my own devices.  My recent cinematic projects contextualize radical historic figures of cinema and literature through a queer lens, confronting the power relationships between the viewer and subject and subverting representations of gender and sexuality.  I use my life and my friends as material for my work – the uncomfortable and complex spaces of pain, pleasure, queerness, femaleness, and clandestine acts.

Featured Image: Irma Vep, the last breath, 2014.

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