Los Angeles, CA
Patrick Staff: Weed Killer is the premiere of a MOCA-commissioned video installation by Patrick Staff. Staff’s newest work was inspired by artist-writer Catherine Lord’s memoir The Summer of Her Baldness (2004)—a moving and often irreverent account of the author’s experience of cancer. At the heart of Weed Killer (2017) is monologue—adapted from Lord’s moving and often irreverent book—in which an actress reflects upon the chemically induced devastation of chemotherapy. This monologue is intertwined with comparatively otherworldly sequences, including choreographic gestures shot with high-definition thermal imaging. Presented as an immersive installation, Weed Killer suggests a complex relationship to one’s own suffering and draws into focus the fine line between alternately poisonous and curative substances.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.