Michelle Handelman


Support for <i>Hustlers + Empires</i>, 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.

Dorian, A Cinematic Perfume

Dorian, A Cinematic Perfume2009, Michelle Handelman, 4-channel HD video installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Sybl & Dorian

Sybl & Dorian2009, Michelle Handelman, Archival Pigment Print. Courtesy of the artist.

Back to