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Michelle Jaffé


October 21st – January 6th, 2018

     Soul Junk envelops the viewer in video and sound, placing them inside a metaphoric mind at work. Mimicking synaptic circuitry firing in the brain, this installation explores raw emotions as conveyed and betrayed by the human voice and facial expressions. Unfiltered confessions about family trauma, love, and loss are juxtaposed with observations about the cocksure attitudes of those in power. In the age of the selfie, narcissistic and patriarchal behavior is probed in an effort to shed light on how decisions of power brokers in government or corporations prevail at the expense of individuals, families, and communities. The limits of personal choice as it intersects with the collective choices made by a society are exposed. Pain, doubt, and frustration are laid bare in an effort to make sense of the world we live in, and to stimulate a conversation for change and social justice.

     Spliced, overlaid, and digitally distorted video clips of the artist’s face are projected onto sculptural materials such as neoprene, paper, and cloth, fracturing the image. Special speakers focus sound in a physically disorienting way so that the viewer’s experience is felt viscerally in the body, as well as aurally. Jaffé’s immersive installation transforms the gallery into a visual and sonic environment. Navigating it is akin to witnessing synaptic firing in the brain. This presentation amplifies the narratives expressed in the video. The viewer is constantly making, un-making, and re-making again the work as they traverse the space. Opposing ideas are hurled against one another in rapid fire. Synapses firing, provocative new neural pathways are forged.


Soul Junk is a Fiscally Sponsored project of NYFA and is Supported by Queens Council on the Arts.


Michelle Jaffé creates participatory installations that manifest as sculpture, sound and performative video. She has exhibited at New Media Gallery, Vancouver, Duke University, NYCEMF, Beall Center for Art + Technology, Transylvania University, Indiana University, UICA, Bosi Contemporary and Susan Berko-Conde Gallery. She has been awarded residencies at Exchange Museum-UK, MacDowell Colony and Djerassi, Brooklyn College Computer Music Department and grants from NYSCA and Queens Arts Council. Jaffé’s design work is extensively collected by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum at FIT and Museé de la Mode in Paris.


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