Kalup Linzy – Forthcoming Documentary
Linzy has made several videos of between 5-20 minutes that belong to a narrative series which alternately mimics, lampoons, and inhabits TV soap operas’ fevered, melodramatic tenor and suspenseful cliffhanger endings. Once you’ve seen one of Linzy’s videos, you really have to see them all.
A performer above all else, Linzy plays many of the characters in his videos himself and enlists artist friends to perform the others. Many of the characters appear in drag, their vocal tracks either exaggeratedly sped up or slowed down by the always-tinkering Linzy; the technical affect is hilarious, otherworldly, and extremely enjoyable—Linzy’s videos could belong just as comfortably on cable TV as in an art gallery.
Linzy also regularly performs publicly, expanding the personas of the characters that inhabit his videos. His performances, in his words, document his characters’ time spent and lives lived between the spaces shown in the soap operas. Currently working on his newest video and planning four upcoming exhibitions, Linzy recently met up with NYFA Current Editor Nick Stillman in his Manhattan studio.
Nick Stillman: I was trying to think before we began the interview of any accurate art world references or precedents to your work and I couldn’t really come up with much . . . . maybe early John Waters? Could you talk a little about your schooling and how you ended up in the art world?
Kalup Linzy: I studied mass communication when I was an undergrad at the University of South Florida. So pretty much doing the news, TV broadcasting.
NS: Hence your technical background . . . .
KL: That’s where it began, anyway. I wasn’t really digging that, though. I was interested in theater, but never really got into it at school because they had a policy that you couldn’t really do much outside of the department—you had to be really focused on them. So I went to see an advisor because I was told there was a film program at South Florida. I was one of those students who went in during the summer to catch up . . . . my math skills (laughs). I guess I was an “at-risk” student. Anyway, I ended up in the art program and started taking film courses and art history courses and kept making films—more like little short stories. During my last year I had already started making an independent soap opera and I had this just horrible critique. Somehow I went from doing that soap opera to doing Conversations wit de Churen (2002-present), which turned out to be a good thing.
(For Euston_Madman =)