Julia Calabrese and Maura Campbell-Balkits
Our first screening of Spring 2019 features two women who deconstruct humor by questioning media standards and modes of consumption. Both draw inspiration from late night talk shows, classic tv advertising, and stand-up comedy. Their work feels strangely familiar, but misplaced, as they both shift the context of the jokes and performances in their own ways.
Julia Calabrese is a multidisciplinary artist who uses the tools of video and performance to create her visual language. Calabrese combines elements of performance art, dance, set design, theater and community engagement to make site specific artworks. She inhabits natural landscapes or constructs immersive environments to explore themes of human frailty, failure and the absurd. Calabrese’s work focuses on themes surrounding the human body and imaginative possibilities held within existing or constructed environments, unexpected settings and unfamiliar situations.
Calabrese grew up in the Washington D.C. area and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Alfred University in 2007. She lives and works in Joshua Tree, CA.
Maura Campbell-Balkits is an entertainer turned artist type. After she realized that the entertainment world wasn’t for her, she turned to making videos in her garage to express herself. Now she makes them in a television studio. You may recognize her from The Midnight Variety Hour (a collaborative performance and music group that performs around Portland sometimes). Some people have called her work “terrifying,” “hilarious,” and “surreal.”