Sheri Wills an artist who works with film, video, and sound to make single-channel videos, installations, sound works, and live video performances. She explores the material, physical, and philosophical potentials of cinema to reveal small moments that often go unseen and pull forward the emotional content of abstract imagery.
She has participated recently at residencies including the Narva Art Residency in Estonia, At Home Gallery in Slovakia, and the Studios at MASS MoCA. She has had one-person shows at venues including the Director’s Lounge in Berlin, the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema in NYC, and the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Her films have been screened at venues including the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris, the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art in NY. Her films are distributed by Light Cone in Paris.
Her collaborations include live video projects with music composed by Jan Jirásek, Charles Norman Mason, Bright Sheng, and Ofer Ben-Amots and video performances with music ensembles, including the NYC choral group, Khorikos, the Providence String Quartet, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, and Ensemble QAT in Montreal, at venues including Roulette in Brooklyn, the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn, and the Czech Center in NYC.
She is a Professor in the department of Film/Animation/Video at the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in New York City.
I am attracted to half-seen imagery that disappears just before you might affix a firm meaning. While I work with contemporary technologies, I see my work in the tradition of women’s lap craft. I am drawn to that which is intimate, everyday and personal. Small stories, soon to be placed in a crowded shelf, impossible to find again.
Although I work with film and video, I am most interested in sensations which cannot be articulated through representational imagery or language. I make photograms, laying objects on unexposed film and flashing it with light. The historic links are intended, but I am primarily interested in the relationship between the directness of the object – the trace it leaves on film – and the resulting abstraction. For me, this work speaks to a conflation of memory and the present, the physicality of the object and its seemingly abstract imprint, as well as questions the borders of human perception.