Jillian McDonald

Jillian McDOnald performed new work for Savoir-Faire titled Dead Of The Night on November 13th, 2010 at SOHO20 Chelsea Gallery.


Dead of the Night is a re-imagining of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) in the gallery space, where audience members are inserted into the narrative as this classic horror story unfolds.  Surrounded by menacing zombies and set within the context of a rural farmhouse, visitors attempt to evade the ghoul’s unyielding thirst for human flesh.


“Jillian is interested in Zombies and Vampires as radically different yet universally recognizable archetypes of horror film monsters that rarely if ever appear together. They share the evil power to turn victims into monsters, and caught in the unknowable position between “alive” and “dead” they have the power to fascinate and terrorize. Zombies and Vampires have their own iconographies and characterizations that are as different as night and day. Zombies moan as they stagger stiffly and unconsciously in packs towards their single goal – to catch and consume the flesh of the living. Gruesome and rotting, they are ordinary people reincarnated as characterless and soulless ghouls. Although they are brutish, vile, and almost unstoppable, they are neither resourceful nor clever, and are imminently expendable. Vampires slink and pose with agility as they move towards the forest’s edge. Aristocratic, powerful, seductive, exotic, elegant, timeless, and mysterious, they have a rich immortal life and feed off human blood. Victims sometimes beg to be “turned” into these fascinating creatures.” (from the Lilith press release)


Jillian Mcdonald is a Canadian artist working in video and performance. She has lived in New York since 1996 where she is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Pace University.  Recent solo shows and projects include Moti Hasson Gallery and Jack the Pelican Presents in New York; Third Avenue Gallery in Vancouver; The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery and Rosenthal Gallery in San Francisco; ThreeWalls in Chicago; 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Virginia; vertexList Gallery and ArtMoving Projects in Brooklyn; La Sala Narañja in Valencia, Spain; and TPW and YYZ Galleries in Toronto.


Mcdonald has received grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Canada Council for the Arts, Soil New Media, Turbulence, The Gunk Foundation, NYSCA, The Experimental Television Center, Thirdplace.org, and Pace University. Mcdonald’s work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Art Papers, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, and The Village Voice, among others. She is featured in several books including Stalking by Bran Nicol and Art and the Subway by Tracy Fitzpatrick.


Photos: Adam Golfer



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