Chelsea Knight | Work | Bio | CV | Contact



My Ecstasy is your Rapture: Mixed Media Installation with Single Channel Video, 2017
Full Video: 25 minutes, Video clip: 3:50

This video depicts impromptu performances that relate to the idea of freedom, as it is embedded within
representations of music, dance, violence, labor, gender and play.


Nana Vetriloquizing a Free Market Advocate: Single Channel Video, 2017
Full Running Time: 6:00, Clip: 2:30

This is an excerpt from a performance by actress Nana Mensah where she paraphrases comments made by an
anonymous member of the Tea Party, in which he argues that the free market will regulate racism.


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 overlaid with the voice of our instructor.


The Historical Contemporary, C-Prints, series of 7 images, 8x10”, 2016
This series of images are taken from old educational film strips. The images depict women in positions of labor or action, always supervised by a man.

See all images


Fall to Earth: Four Channel Video Installation, 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.


Posse Comitatus: C-Prints, 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 project features video of the group's paramilitary training exercises and two dance performances based on these exercises,
choreographed together with Cecil Slaughter at Washington University in St. Louis and Valerie Oberleithner at the Palaid de Tokyo, Paris.

See all images


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

This video focuses on a woman's ambivalence about motherhood, childbearing and marriage.


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

In this video, I embark on a cross-country journey in search of a cohesive and convincing "character.".


FRAME: Mixed Media Installation, Single-Channel Video, and C-Prints, 2013

In this video, a group of male and female construction workers build a room while speaking from feminist theoretical texts and poems.
The piece is exhibited inside a built construction environment mirroring the one in the video, and is accompanied by architectural photographs. Frame
seeks to approach the stereotypes of a traditionally male form of labor and other socially defined gender roles through the performance of feminist
readings about labor and the body.

See all images

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.
Shot in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 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.


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.

See all images



The End of All Resistance: Single Channel Video 29:00, 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.


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 Margaret Mead text 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: Mixed Media Installation, including plywood theatrical sets, 2-channel Video and 16mm film, 10 minutes, 2009

Palindrome is about two characters 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.


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, 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.