Day 11 > Jillian McDonald

The Rock and the True Believers – TRT 23:49 mins

The Rock and the True Believers was shot in Newfoundland – known as “The Rock” to Newfoundlanders, and features endless barren rock, water, icebergs, and fog, all shimmering with the supernatural. Fishing boats, lighthouses, nets, and worn graveyards overlooking the North Atlantic share the screen with local actors, some dressed as mummers, along with peculiar flora and fauna – carniverous pitcher plants, dandelions, moose, sea lions, polar bears, whales, squid, caribou, whales, puffins, and sea urchins. A soundtrack by Keri Latimer features modified sea shanties in a “call and response” style, traditionally sung on the voyage towards shore.

Jillian McDonald is a Canadian artist who lives in Brooklyn. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Pace University, and is hopelessly in love with the North.

Solo shows and projects include the Esker Foundation in Calgary, Air Circulation and Moti Hasson in New York, The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Centre Clark in Montréal, and Hallwalls in Buffalo. Her work has been included in group exhibitions and festivals at The Chelsea Museum and The Whitney Museum’s Artport in New York, The Edith Russ Haus for Media Art in Germany, The International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venezuela, The Sundance Film Festival in Utah, La Biennale de Montréal, and the Centre d’Art Contemporain de Basse-Normandie in France.

She was featured in a 2013 radio documentary by Paul Kennedy on CBC’s IDEAS, and reviewed in The New York Times, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Border Crossings, and Canadian Art. Critical discussion appears in several books including The Transatlantic Zombie (2015), by Sarah Juliet Lauro and Deconstructing Brad Pitt (2014), edited by Christopher Schaberg.

McDonald has received grants and commissions from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Turbulence, The Verizon Foundation, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, and Pace University. In 2012 she received the Glenfiddich Canadian Art Prize, and she has attended residencies including The Headlands Center for the Arts in California, Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace in New York, and Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta. She will be in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space in 2016.

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