Chelsea Knight | Work | Bio | CV | Contact



Instructions for a Fight: Single Channel Video, 4 minutes, 2017
Made in collaboration with Autumn Knight

This video is documentation of a rehearsal Autumn Knight and Chelsea Knight took part in while preparing for a live performance
at the New Museum in NYC in 2015. The piece is overlayed with the voice of our instructor.


Fall to Earth: Four Channel Video, 20 minutes, 2016
Collaboration with Mathew Paul Jinks, Ryan Tracy, Nick Hallett, and Christine Sun Kim.

The piece explores themes from Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses: silence, violence, conversion, blasphemy and resistance.
This film was made with support from the New Museum, NY and was produced while a R&D resident there in spring 2015.


Knight & Knight: Latencies: Live Performance, 2015
Made in collaboration with Autumn Knight

Knight + Knight Latencies is a performance that is part lecture, part dinner party, part physical fight, and part therapy session, in which two female artists
who share the same last name examine their symmetries and, in the process, some fundamentals around feminism and race. It was originally shown at
the historic 1939 Eldorado Ballroom in Houston, Texas, in January 2015, and was co-commissioned by Project Row Houses and DiverseWorks. The piece
was also shown at the Skowhegan Project Space and the New Museum, NY, in spring 2015.



Posse Comitatus: Two Channel Video, Live Performance, 2014
Made in collaboration with Mark Tribe

Posse Comitatus explores the performative aesthetics of militia training exercises. Collaborating with a militia group in upstate New York, the artists investigate the performance of politics.
The project features video of the group's paramilitary training exercises and of two dance performances based on these exercises, choreographed together with Cecil Slaughter at
Washington University in St. Louis and Valerie Oberleithner at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.



The Breath We Took: Single-Channel Video, 2013, 23 minutes

This video focuses on a woman's ambivalence about motherhood, childbearing and marriage from a Second Wave Feminist perspective. It also investigates her daughter's fears and challenges regarding her own marriage and motherhood, and the ways she feels she is performing herself in those roles, from a Third Wave Feminist perspective. Interviews, monologues, impromptu improvisation and fictional fantasies are included in this story about love, feminism and performance.


Searching for a Character: Single-Channel Video, 2013, 22 minutes

In this video, I embark on a cross-country journey where multiple actors perform monologues of their choosing, both with and without affect, non-actors read from a script of my choosing,
and an escape from oneself and one's loneliness is attempted, all in search of a cohesive and convincing "character."



I Am Not a Man, Not Now: Single Channel Video, 9 Minutes, Live Performance, 2012
Made in collaboration with Elise Rasmussen

In this piece, Elise Rasmussen and Chelsea Knight explore Antigone in its references to the roles of women in ancient Greece. They read the play
as both proto-feminist and misogynous, where the protagonist engages in acts of brave civil disobedience, but is also
used as an example of a stereotypical feminine tendency to feel rather than think. Rasmussen and Knight seek to draw attention to the way
language is used against women in the play, its loss and gain of intention through time through translation, and its relevance today.

FRAME: Mixed media installation, single-channel video, and photographs, 2012

In this video, a group of male and female construction workers assemble a steel structure while speaking from feminist theoretical texts and poems. The piece is shown inside a built construction environment mirroring the one in the video, and is accompanied by architectural photographs. Frame seeks to problematize the stereotypes of a traditionally male form of labor and other socially defined gender roles through the performance of feminist readings about women’s labor and the body. It also seeks to explore the ways we perform our class and gender, and how the relationships between men and women are written.

Don't Tread on Me: Three Channel Video installation, Photographs, Live Performance, 2011

For this project, I collaborated with participants that include members of the Tea Party, Ayn Rand enthusiasts, Libertarians, ex-communists,
artists, and stockbrokers with one thing in common: they are all in favor of free-market capitalism. Through a series of interviews, encounters, Greek-style
choruses and other choreographed ensemble elements, both fiction and documentary, the videos, photographs and performances in the work
explore the way politics are formed and articulated.

See Photographs



The End of All Resistance: Single Channel Video, 29 Minutes, 2010

In this piece, I invited two US army interrogators to teach and role play "emotional interrogation techniques" according to 2006 US Army Field Manual 22-2-3. I then transposed their performance into extended improvisations with two female actors and a married couple in a domestic setting, enacting scenarios based on the interrogators' demonstrations. The work explores interrogation as recognizable and similar to the interactions we engage in every day, and the kinds of performances we use to communicate power.



Acting Out: Single Channel Video Installation, 19 minutes, 2010
Made In collaboration with Austin Shull

Working with a group of actors and a director inside the County Jail in Skowhegan, Maine, we filmed a rehearsal of Ubu Roi, an early 20th century political parody play and precursor to the Theater of the Absurd. The fragmented rehearsals and performances by the actors highlight the arbitrary and farcical nature of our systems of confinement and incarceration.


I Lay Claim to You: Single Channel Video Installation, 6 minutes, 2009

In I Lay Claim to You, I invite choreographer Khalia Frazier to translate a text — appropriating themes from Margaret Mead's 1938 description of a Balinese cremation —
into a dance. In an improvised rehearsal, Frazier and I perform attitudes of identification: claiming and reclaiming ownership of the dancers and of each other. The
dancers operate as a Chorus, mediating and transcribing the process. I conflate tropes of cultural inscription with the situation of a rehearsal to engage difference and
sameness as changeable, conditional and contested categories, whose instability is political.



Palindrome: 2-channel Video, 45 minutes, 2009

Palindrome is about 2 characters exploring and performing in environments of captivity.



Immigrant Palace: Super 16mm film, Video, Installation, 2009

As Italy grows increasingly bold in its anti-immigration rhetoric and practice, collaboration across religion and culture becomes a tool with which to approach and examine and appropriate these ideological divides. Collaborating with Redouane Niraoui, a devout Muslim and naturalized Italian citizen of Moroccan descent, we piece together a narrative of his daily religious and private rituals as a resistance to his experience of social alienation in mainstream Italian culture.



No Man's Land, Video, 2008

No Man's Land centers on the dissonance between seer and seen, writer and actor, translator and inhabitant. The piece explores the
challenges of storytelling in an economically polarized world that is fixed on insider/outsider-based notions of identity and access. 
In transcribing the imagined, disengaged experience of an invisible woman in Guayaquil, Ecuador, alongside my own tourist narrative,
I make a spectacle of this frustration. This piece seeks to engage the political and intimate frustrations experienced in the search for embodiment.


Temps Mort, Photographs, 2007

A squatter’s building in Biella, Italy was purchased by condominium developers in Fall 2007. Prior to its rehab I interviewed the architect
who was transforming the building into condominiums and spent seven days confined to the building, making photographs in the former
dwellings of the dispossessed inhabitants.

See all images

Temps Mort


Room 101: Single Channel Split Screen Video (1 Hour) /Performance (10 Hours), 2007

During an artist’s residency in Italy in 2007, I asked ten participants each to spend one hour alone in a white room while being filmed,
while I performed the part of an ambiguous “attendant” waiting outside in constructed set resembling an office space, monitoring the
participants and listening to Fox News Radio for the ten consecutive hours of the project. This piece was made in collaboration with Zorka Wollny.


The Official: 3-Channel Video Installation, 2007

Shot in the United Nations in New York, what first appears to be an interview conducted with a diplomat by an unnamed interviewer
shifts into a fractured narrative. The characters use uncertain games, gestures of control and attitudes of intimacy to suggest larger cultural
tensions and ambiguities.

To see a clip from this installation, please contact Chelsea Knight directly.