BELLWETHER is proud to presentCHRISTOPHER MINER
This Creature, I Am
When Elvis sings the words of "Peace in the Valley",
though tired and weary, he says, "I will be changed from
this creature that I am." But that¹s after death,
when God brings his children home to a pain-free after-life
in heaven. Until then, there is now, and Christopher Miner¹s
videos are about the anguished life of the convicted still
In "Led By the Child", Miner cries his heart out
to Elvis¹ version of the old spiritual. Though emotionally
difficult to watch the outpouring of emotion, the viewer may
not know whether to cry along with the artist or laugh at
the over-dramatic performance. The dual nature of this conflicted
heart, at once longing for transcendence while living with
the desires of the flesh, is central to Miner¹s work.
In "Child of the King", he reveals himself earnestly
singing along to the same 25 year old Christian record he
had as a child, while casually flipping through a Playboy
magazine of the same era. He embodies the apparent discrepancy
of the presence of faith in a heart prone to wander, making
the coexistence seem natural.
In "Burning Bush" the artist stands in front a
continually burning fire in the wilderness, just as Moses
in the desert found the voice of God. But while Moses literally
heard God speak, Miner is transfixed in continual silence,
still waiting for his own revelation. "Making God Happy"
shows Miner taking a more literal approach to figuring out
the relationship between his girlfriend, breaking out in hives,
and why God saved Israel before they ever obeyed his laws.
In "As I Wonder", a car ride is symbolic of Miner¹s
own pilgrim journey, though his eyes aren¹t wholly fixed
on the prize of the faithful. Even a drive through the countryside
at dusk is not without it¹s sexual meanderings. In "Virgin"
the preoccupation with sex is more intensely portrayed. While
David Lee Roth is waiting anxiously for sex with a magazine¹s
centerfold, Miner makes a softer porno of himself his
waiting not resulting in purity alone, but the confusion of
his own body becoming the object of affection. In "Dream",
Miner revisits a movie from high school that is integral to
the roots of his obsessions, bringing back memories of his
mother¹s admonitions along with the wonder of lost chances."Me,
God and Sandra" serves as a paraphrase of the struggle,
as Miner takes time to pray for just a moment before returning
to confront his own process of change, which unlike Sandra
Dee¹s conversion, is full of pain and anguish.
Christopher Miner holds a BA from The University of Tennessee,
Knoxville and an MFA from Yale School of Art. Three of Miner¹s
videos were recently shown at the New Museum as part of Videodrome
II curated by Anne Ellegood. Miner grew up in Jackson Mississippi
and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
.BELLWETHER is an artist-run space in support of emerging