Dani Leventhal | the artist
The artist Dani Leventhal
Born 1972, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, .
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At once tender and savage, Dani Leventhals astonishing video diaries capture the banal and the horrific to reveal the transcendent beauty and pain of daily life. In the award-winning Draft 9 (2003), Leventhal cuts between skinned animals, well-fed pets, her grandfathers Holocaust-tattooed arm, and her own romantic liaisons to create, in the words of critic Genevieve Yue, something that is extraordinarily immediate, both fresh and painful, hard to watch and yet impossible not to watch.
When Danis movie hit the screen in Rotterdam I could feel the room change. It was a serious crowd, there were professionals there, the ones who had seen it all, the ones whod written the books, climbed the mountain and brought back the tablets, those kind of folks, but when her movie started everything stopped but the pictures. They are difficult and bloodied, and proceed in a crashing collision of instants one after another, yes of course of course its all too much, its always been too much. But here at last was a room thinking as fast as she was cutting, jumping every jump, joining every disjoint, who could see as fast as she could live inside her camera…
One cannot help but feel inspired when watching Dani Leventhals engaging and innovative video works. Diaries as well as documents, personal yet incredibly profound, Leventhals extraordinary movies appear deceptively simple on the surface. Striking camerawork and stream-of-consciousness editing combine in what must be some of the freshest first-person work to have appeared in a good long while…