They Go Out in Joy (2015), is a feature-film-length series of 114 videos derived from photographs of Irish emigrants. The one-to-two minute videos will be performed by different actors and viewed in any order online. The project explores how memory is mapped forward as narrative expectation in communities that are geographically cohesive, and those that are not. The photographs were taken just before each person's departure from Cobh, Ireland, (the major port of Irish emigration) in the 1920s. The 114 individuals on whom the videos are based are featured in a collection of portrait photographs held in the private collection of a Cobh resident, whose parents operated a boardinghouse where the emigrants stayed just prior to their departure, and according to long tradition each left their photo with the proprietors. All the background locations featured in the videos show Cobh itself, filmed in residence there at Sirius Art Centre in 2013.
Frontier (video) (dvlpmnt)
Frontier is a solo performance work written, directed, designed, and performed by Colin Gee, with music by Erin Gee. It is inspired by John Ford's 1956 film, "The Searchers". The project is comprised of an online videos series and a live performance, which unfolds within a projected video landscape featuring locations derived both from the original film, animations, and realistic video footage from small town America.
Early stages of this production have been developed through residencies at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYU/Gallatin, Watermill Center, New York Theater Workshop, and the American Academy in Rome.
I, Who Am The Chorus
I, who am the chorus (2013), is a series of seventeen video works created in Rome and presented online by Wayne Ashley at FuturePerfect, where the project can be seen in full. Non-narrative, viewed in any order on the website, each video features a single character, poised in front of various locations in a Rome that is emptied of pedestrians.
Please click here to visit the project in situ at Future Perfect.
I, who am the chorus (Scene 8)
In the first place...
In the first place(2013), an EMPAC Dance Movie Commission based on the Renaissance book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was installed at EMPAC last April. The link includes the first two scenes. As it opens, and as the opening text informs you, Poliphilo has fallen asleep and found himself in a wood. A second influence for the piece was the "Memory Palace" mnemonic technique. It shifted Poliphilo's "crisis of forgetting" from the Renaissance protagonist's disorientation relative to antiquity, to a disorienting relationship between personal memory and a location's historical record. With music by Erin Gee, and titles and postproduction by Patrick Kelley.
In the first place... (Scenes 1 and 2)
Harboring (2013),is a series of short video character studies created in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Viewed in any order, each video features a single character, almost immobilized, poised in front of a location within the shipyard. The same character appears in each scene. His attitude in each scene is drawn from a specific individual appearing in a historical photo, held in the Navy Yard’s National Archive collection.
Harboring (two scenes from a series)
I felt I'd been here before
I felt I’d been here before (2010), commissioned by Belfast Exposed, is comprised of five video works responding to five photographs from the Belfast Exposed Photography Archive, documenting the Belfast “Troubles.”
A single individual is identified in each image, each title refers to their position, and the video responds to that individual. While avoiding the original narrative of the image, the videos are shot in the same Belfast locations as the original photos they respond to.
Second from the left, foreground
Cathedral Project (2009), comprised of twelve short videos, is an extension of the Portrait and Landscape series, with each video articulating shifting relationships between character, narrative, and location. The videos were created in the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, where Gee was the 2009 Visiting Artist-in-Residence. The series places a single character in twelve different spaces. Though each video is non-narrative in itself, as the series’ progresses through the cathedral, subtle shifts in the character’s tone can be understood as a larger narrative.
Nested (2009), was created for SFMOMA in response to Louise Bourgeois' sculptural work, The Nest.
History Plays (2010), are a series of direct responses to works in the permanent collection of Whitney Museum. They can be viewed here.
Dakota (2005), is a film and performance project. Performed live, Dakota begins with 25 minutes of film, at which point the action shifts from the screen to the stage for an additional 20 minutes, then returns to the screen for the conclusion of the story. This shift from stage to screen parallels a shift from the narrative tensions of the story to the psychological tensions of the character, and occurs at a moment of choice for the protagonist, related to the potential loss of his daughter. The Dakota staging was premiered at PS122 in 2005, prior to the completion of the film. The piece was shown with both film and staging at the Dublin Fringe Festival 2006, where it received the Best Actor Award.
Dakota | Colin Gee
Portrait and Landscape
Portrait and Landscape (2009 - ongoing), is a video series in which the performance seeks a counterpoint between character ⎯ often defined by no more than a brief set of movements ⎯ and architectural setting, whether interior or exterior. A tacit drama emerges between these elements, as expectations of narrative and linear time are subverted by the brief, looping performances.
Lady Heard Voices
Lady Heard Voices (2004), is a feature film project created as a short in 2004, featuring Iréne Hultman.
At a Summer home on a sparsely populated Swedish island in the company of her young son, a formerly successful writer confronts a haunting apparition, and a collapsed belief in fantasy and word games. During three days in autumn the negotiation of pedantic intellect and poetic imagination become a reckoning of loss and sacrifice in an allegory on the nobility of purpose.