“A Problem of Courage”

Kara Hearn’s exhibition at DiverseWorks, “A Problem of Courage,” includes a video installation starring the artist as herself and some 20 other characters. The piece moves from one awkward, slightly tragic moment to the next — with Hearn doing all the acting. “I think I wanted it to be a combination of really mundane tragedies, all the way to more kind of cinematic, dramatic [ones],” Hearn says. In one scene, Hearn plays a woman who wakes up during an earthquake, as well as her roommate, who runs to comfort her. In others, Hearn plays two ex-lovers meeting in front of the grocery store; two women forced to share a lunch table and make small talk; and a mother, father and daughter in a car that hits a cow. She not only plays the cow, but also its young calf, which proceeds to “moo” over and over again after its mother is hit.

Hearn says the choice to play every role herself made things a bit easier. “I’m completely alone when I’m shooting these and, you know, even though I know that people are going to see it, sometimes it removes a lot of the self-consciousness of it,” she says. “I think the challenge…was that it was all being filtered through me and my personality…there is only so much range there.”

The show also features three smaller videos Hearn created using green screens (and other people). In one, a woman wrestles with a person dressed completely in black against a black background. In another, the same black-garbed person holds someone else in his or her arms. In the third work, Hearn is sprawled out on the ground, as if she’s sleeping or dead. “I’ve been playing around with the dark side and all of that and death for the last few years,” Hearn says. “[This is] kind of the first solid manifestation of it.” Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. 1117 East Freeway. Through June 14. For information, call 713-223-8346 or visit www.diverseworks.org. Free.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. Starts: May 9. Continues through June 14, 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes