Fellow: Awarded 2011
Field of Study: Film and Video
Competition: US & Canada
Michelle Handelman makes confrontational works that explore the sublime in its various forms of excess and nothingness. Using video, photography, public sculpture, and live performance, she creates visceral experiences that challenge viewers to confront their own identity.
Her videos have screened internationally, including at the Georges Pompidou Centre; Institute of Contemporary Art; American Film Institute; Pacific Film Archive; PBS; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Anthology Film Archives. Her performances and installations have been featured at Performa 05, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; MIT List Visual Arts Center; Krannert Art Museum; Arthouse at the Jones Center; Siggraph; Exit Art; 3LD Art & Technology Center; Participant, Inc.; and The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2007 Handelman’s work was chosen by Bloomingdale’s for its Fall Art Campaign. She is an NYFA Fellow and has received grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, and The Horizons Foundation, among others.
In the mid 90s Handelman directed/produced the feature documentary on the San Francisco leather dyke scene, BloodSisters (1999 Bravo award), which has just been re-released by the Tribeca Film Institute. Before moving to New York in 1999, Handelman collaborated for many years with Monte Cazazza, a pioneer of the Industrial music scene in San Francisco. Together they built several bodies of work including the video Hope (1995 Sony Visions Award); the essay "The Cereal Box Conspiracy Against the Developing Mind," published in Apocalypse Culture 2(Los Angeles: Feral House Press,1992). Her fiction and critical writing appear in several anthologies, including Inappropriate Behaviour (London: Serpents Tail, 2001) and Herotica 3, edited by Susie Bright (San Francisco: Plume Books, 1994). Her work is in the collection of Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art; di Rosa Foundation and Preserve, Napa, California; and Zabludowicz Art Trust, London. She is an Associate Professor in the Film/Video department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.