about


Biography

Sheri Wills is an artist whose work is based in film, video performance, and installation. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including one-person shows at the Director’s Lounge in Berlin, the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema in NYC, and The International Experimental Cinema Exposition. Her films have been screened at venues including the London Film Festival, the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is included in the Rizzoli book, Sonic Graphics: Seeing Sound, by Matt Woolman. Her films are distributed by the New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative and  Light Cone in Paris.

Sheri Wills received an MFA in filmmaking and an MA in modern art history, theory & criticism, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She did her undergraduate work in Visual Arts at the University of California in San Diego.

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 Bushwick, 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.

Statement

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.

I am interested in projected light because it is at once a presence and an absence:  the light itself is physical material, while the play of light and shadows creates an illusion of reality – you can pass your hand right through it. I play with the objectness of light by working with boxes and other materials as a conceptual and often physical framework.

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.