Canceled: Visiting artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy to present screenings at Carson Center, Fiendish Plots

Dancer and actor Magdalena Kaczmarska stars in "Cleaner" by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. Courtesy photo.
Dancer and actor Magdalena Kaczmarska stars in "Cleaner" by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. Courtesy photo.

Canceled: Visiting artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy to present screenings at Carson Center, Fiendish Plots

calendar icon09 Mar 2020    

Updated March 12, 2020: The guest artist residency of Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, listed below, has been postponed to Fall 2020. (Date to be announced.) All events, including the film screening at the Carson Center, the film screening and exhibition at Fiendish Plots, and the residency by dancer Magda Kaczmarska scheduled for March 16-20 are canceled.

Lincoln, Neb.—The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the exhibition space Fiendish Plots will present an evening with visiting artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy featuring screenings of their two works, “Broker” and “Cleaner.”

The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, located at 13th and Q streets, will host a reception on Friday, March 20 from 5-6:30 p.m. “Broker” will be screened at 5:30 p.m. followed by a Question & Answer session with the artists.

Fiendish Plots, located at 2130 Magnum Circle in Lincoln, will also host a reception on Friday, March 20 from 7-9 p.m. “Cleaner” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. followed by an additional Q&A session with the artists.

In addition, the McCoys will be the featured presenters at IGNITE on Friday, March 20 at 10 a.m. at the Carson Center. IGNITE is a weekly colloquium for all Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts students, which involve guest lectures, workshops and seminars around creative and professional development.

All three events on March 20 are free and open to the public.

The McCoy’s multimedia artworks examine the genres and conventions of filmmaking, memory and language. They are well known for constructing subjective databases of narrative material and making fragmentary miniature film sets with lights, video cameras and moving sculptural elements to create live cinematic events.

“Broker” is the first film in the McCoys’ “Workstations” trilogy. It was shot in 2016 in a luxury apartment in the United Nations Trump Tower four months before the American Presidential election.

“Broker” is a meticulous portrayal of a high-end real estate broker, seen here as the physical embodiment of the constantly accelerating pitch of luxury merchandising. The film uses the architecture of the apartment to create an echo chamber of life style messages—messages that present an increasingly homogeneous (yet bespoke) utopian world for those with the means to buy it.

In “Cleaner,” the second film in the trilogy, the McCoys shift their attention from domestic to work space. “Cleaner” traces the traces the creative awakening of a maintenance worker, a Polish immigrant played by the dancer and actor Magdalena Kaczmarska. Her movements are framed within the routines of manual labor, yet set against the hermetic work environment of the tech economy.

The film, shot on location at the headquarters of Kickstarter while the artists were residents there in 2018, juxtaposes the physicality of traditional labor with the abstraction of technological work through its use of soaring camera movement, precise framing and choreography inspired by everyday gestures. The building's panoptic architecture, the young employees on sofas with laptops, and the opulent finishes of the offices are set against the repetitive motions of the cleaner's work.

Accompanying the films, the McCoys will also present a new series of works titled “Spills.” In these cast metal sculptures, debris from the tools and comforts of the modern office job are congealed into complicated masses. These artifacts present the viewer with an urban archeology of the small elements that, even in the digital economy, just won't disappear. They will also present works from the Broker Glass Series (2016), featuring cast glass sculptures of broken glass and dishware.

These works will be on display at Fiendish Plots. Fiendish Plots is an artist-run initiative and exhibition space organized by Charley Friedman and Nancy Friedemann. It was recently named by USA Today as one of 10 great DIY art spaces across the country.

The McCoys will be in residence at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts the week of March 16-20. They will be meeting with students in emerging media arts and film and new media, as well as have studio visits with students in the School of Art, Art History & Design.

In addition, Kaczmarska will be working with dance students in the Glenn Korff School of Music that week to choreograph the dancers accompanying “Cleaner” at Fiendish Plots on March 20.

The works of the McCoys have been widely exhibited in the U.S. and internationally—including a recent project at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York; the British Film Institute-Southbank, London; the Centre Pompidou in Paris; and the Wexner Center for the Arts. In 2011, they received a Guggenheim Fellowship.

The McCoys visit in March is sponsored by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Research Council.

Additional information:
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy:

Carson Center:

Fiendish Plots: