Relations as Art

From Art Papers:

Call Jillian Mcdonald a relations artist. Relationships are her medium, fleeting encounters her material. Mcdonald’s works often exist on the margins of art institutions and activate public space in disquieting ways. Yet, they are all about intimacy.

If her performance projects—in Mile Share, 2004, she invited strangers to run a mile with her; in Advice Lounge, 2003, she provided free, non-professional advice to passersby; for Houseplant, 2002-2003, she offered to deliver a houseplant to strangers’ residences; and in Shampoo, 2001, she posted a message in a local newspaper, inviting strangers to come for a free shampoo—seem light years away from her media works, the focus on relations provides an interpretive continuum.

For Me and Billy Bob, Mcdonald inserted carefully constructed footage of her image into scenes from Thornton’s movies, thus creating a compendium of flirtation—a wink, a light touch, a brief kiss, and a heart break.