THE BELLA RIBBONS PROJECT
The Bella Ribbons Project is an award-winning multidisciplinary body of work that investigates figurative movement within physical, emotional, and cerebral space. The individual pieces are seamed together by a single protagonist and focal point, a young dancer. The dancer makes her way through a myriad of ethereal and psychological landscapes. The variety of media allows for subtle shifts in theme and narrative to arise. Her challenges, struggles, and triumphs reflect and provoke questions about our collective human connections to nature and grace, time and space, trauma and recovery, and consciousness.
The project includes video installation, single-channel video, short film, photography, drawing, sculpture, interactive installation, experimental dance, and ephemera for exhibition and screening, as well as an educational and lecture component intended for museums, universities, and other institutions.
Lead Project Artists & Co-creators - Seth D. Myers & Sarah Stolar
Seth D. Myers and Sarah Stolar both received their MFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003 and have been collaborating on conceptual, visual, and academic research since. Both Myers and Stolar use their own life experiences as the root of their visual investigations of physical and psychological spaces. They have remixed and reworked reoccurring themes of trauma, childhood, fairytales, sexuality, gender dynamics, internal dialogue and struggle, and ultimately the politics of human experience in their interdisciplinary collaborative work.
Seth D. Myers is an artist, filmmaker, and educator who lives in Dubuque, Iowa. His creative work ranges from experimental video to short films to large-scale video installations with award-winning video work that has exhibited and screened internationally at film festivals and venues that include the Museum of Modern Art in Moscow, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and Currents New Media Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Myers is currently an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Loras College and considers himself a creative recluse.
Sarah Stolar is an interdisciplinary artist who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She works from a vast technical perspective, including painting, drawing, multi-media installation, film, video, and performance art. Her visual art and collaborative work have exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Harwood Museum of Art, Taos and the Bohemian Gallery & Museum of Contemporary Art in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her work has been featured in publications including The Nation Magazine, Hyperallergic, and others. Stolar is currently the Chair of the Art Department at the University of New Mexico-Taos.
Bella is an award-winning experimental short film that integrates multiple genres of time-based media into a cohesive cinematic work. Visuals, sound, and pace drive the narrative. The figures' movements, natural environments, and inanimate objects function as signifiers to provide meaning without dialogue. This unique work also uses a mashup of video techniques which weave a spiritual and psychological journey of a young fairytale-like dancer. She moves through a myriad of epic landscapes - labyrinths, dunes, mesas, vistas, forests - and between youthfulness and impending womanhood. Bella is a visual and conceptual experience that challenges viewers from both an emotional and psychological perspective.
Death Dream is a single-channel, vertical video mounted on a freestanding tripod. The vertical work functions like a multiverse, allowing viewers to experience multiple universes of a young dancers journey at the same time.
Ribbons 1-6 is an award-winning six-segment video series that exhibits as a multi-channel video installation or a single-channel video. Each individual work functions similar to a dream state as they all begin at an arbitrary time and end abruptly. When experienced in their respective order, the works are paradoxical; linear and non-linear, interconnected and disconnected, abstract and representational, narrative and non-narrative, dark and light. The audience is challenged to work through this enigma.
THE PINNACLE DRAWINGS
The Pinnacle Drawings are works on paper made in response to The Bella Ribbons Project films and video works, these drawings merge cut and collaged large-format archival inkjet film stills with expressive mark-making.
TRIPPING THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
Tripping the Light Fantastic is an interactive multimedia installation that is influenced by the enchanting and psychedelic qualities of New Mexico. It invites the audience to engage with current interactive technology to choreograph their own audiovisual performative experience. Participants touch copper conductive ribbons and individually activate large projected videos of a dancer leaping, floating, and twisting in the air. The audience becomes musical composers, choreographers, and performers on a stage in a time-altering universe of color, light, and sound.
LIVE PERFORMANCE ART & CONTEMPORARY DANCE
Bella Palermo, dancer, actor, artist, and muse of The Bella Ribbons Project performs live contemporary dance and performance art actions at various project events. These live events are sometimes scheduled in advance and under the direction of Myers or Stolar, while other activities are impromptu and inspired by the moment. This active component provides an ongoing improvisational and experimental element to the project's overall narrative.