Screen Kiss (Blog Entry 5)

Screen Kiss- Jillian McDonald

Jillian McDonald is a conceptual artist, who is from Canada but resides in Brooklyn, New York. She holds the titles of Associate Professor of Art at Pace University, where her responsibilities also include co-directing the university’s Digital Gallery.

Her work is meant to be humorous and features references to popular films. She uses video art, net art, performance art, installations, and photography in her work.

‘Screen Kiss’ is among her most popular works. This piece was created as a sequel to another popular McDonald piece titled ‘Me and Billy Bob’. Both works were created as a product of McDonald’s fascination with the actor. Because Billy Bob had not responded to ‘Me and…’ she was ready to make him jealous, and did so by creating ‘Screen Kiss’.

The piece shows McDonald inserting herself into existing film scenes as a stand-in for the actresses or actors kissing popular film stars. McDonald chose film stars such as Daniel Day Lewis, Johnny Depp, Gary Oldman and even Angelina Jolie in order to make Billy Bob jealous. To quote Jillian herself, she ‘makes eye contact with the camera, which functions as voyeur and Billy Bob’s, presumably jealous, eye’.

Although McDonald’s attempts almost come off as being ‘stalker-ish’ and desperate, ‘Screen Kiss’ is definitely humorous in ways and also shocking. Apart from what it may exude to some people, her artistic intentions are definitely met. Her pieces are meant to be striking and funny, and are made to surprise the audience, and ‘Screen Kiss’ achieves that. The viewers ‘job’ in this work is nothing but to view the work and have a certain reaction and opinion about it. The fact that it’s a simple video to watch as opposed to an interactive art work makes it easier on the viewer to know what their role is.

Sources Used


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