47 Canal, known for its roster of artists who consider the mediation of contemporary life, has taken an interest in liveness this month. Following Xavier Cha’s five-day run of the performance Feedback, the gallery presents Korean-born theatre director Young Jean Lee’s first two films. Lee’s work addresses lived identity in provocative ways, through productions such as her acclaimed 2014 play Straight White Men. The film A Meaning Full Life (2015) presents a simple vignette about a rich white couple finding themselves, and two subsequent interviews with the writer of the film, Sheikhar Boodram. A New York City teenager, Boodram admits his changing views on privilege. The 20-minute film Here Come the Girls (2013) is something of an experimental character study. Focusing on Joe, a 34-year-old drug-addled musician, the work is an unflattering reality show-style portrait. A shaky camera swoops above him during a therapy-like interview session and observes him in the shower. Lee herself intrudes with pointed questions, asking how the self-involved Joe would feel as a black woman. His stilted response begins, “I would have more pressure to behave as a citizen of society.”
Pictured: Young Jean Lee: Here Come the Girls, 2013, film, 20 min.