Artist

Dani ReStack

Dani (Leventhal) ReStack
Born 1972 in Columbus, OH; lives in Columbus, OH

Dani describes the creation of her moving-image works as a process of “accumulation and excision.” In videos such as
Sister City and the companion piece Platonic (both 2013), she collects and chisels moments, stories, and images, placing them within loose constellations rarely unmarked by the specter of death. Dani shoots her own footage, often involving individuals who are close to her, but treats the resulting images almost as a bank of found material to be manipulated and recontextualized through montage. Her cutting is intuitive, not systematic. Micronarratives of birth, aging, awkwardness, and pain gradually take shape without ever fully congealing, as Dani allows her images to breathe even as she transforms their tenor through assemblage. The textures of the everyday are refracted through an intimate sensibility that dwells in the vulnerability of our fleshy bodies, our need for care and communion—and our cruelty.

Dani frequently turns to animals—dead and living, domesticated and wild—as part of her exploration of how bodies, of whatever species, inhabit the world. She pays no mind to traditional hierarchies, allowing not just horses and cats into her bestiary, but roadkill and anemones, too. A similarly egalitarian ethos pervades her organization of the many fragments she brings together in these lo-fi, diaristic works. The utterly commonplace might stand next to a fleeting moment of beauty or a recounted episode of brutality—all are accorded equal status under her gaze. The fragile bodies and relationships between people that appear onscreen find themselves redoubled by the delicacy of the accords between Dani’s images and sounds: a snake fiercely devouring a mouse cuts to a child in a superhero costume; a luminous jellyfish is accompanied by asynchronous sound, in which a woman asks incredulously, “How can someone say there’s no God?” In other hands, the combination of radically heterogeneous materials can figure as a violent leveling of specificity. Dani, however, brings a tremendous sensitivity to the unlikely connections she forges, creating force fields of affinity and difference that extend across human, animal, and environment. —Erica Balsom for the 2017 Whitney Biennial catalogue



Videography

Strangely Ordinary This Devotion (SOTD)

2017, 27:00 minutes, Colour, English

A hand in Two Ways (Fisted)

2017, 07:00 minutes, Colour, English

Hard as Opal

2015, 29:00 minutes, colour, English

Sister City

2013, 04:40 minutes, colour, English

Platonic

2013, 20:40 minutes, Colour, English and Polish

17 New Dam Rd.

2012, 08:13 minutes, Colour, English

2011, 05:04 minutes, colour, English

Tin Pressed

2011, 06:23 minutes, colour, English

Hearts Are Trump Again

2010, 08:48 minutes, colour, English

Music at Night

2010, 05:21 minutes, colour, English

54 Days This Winter 36 Days This Spring for 18 Minutes

2009, 17:00 minutes, colour, English

Skim Milk & Soft Wax

2008, 44:40 minutes, colour, English

Show & Tell in the land of Milk & Honey

2007, 13:00 minutes, colour, English

3 Parts for Today

2007, 13:00 minutes, colour, English, Hebrew

Recitation

2007, 02:00 minutes, colour, English, Hebrew

9 Minutes of Kaunaus

2007, 06:30 minutes, colour, English

Litau

2007, 07:30 minutes, colour, English, Russian

Draft 9

2003, 28:00 minutes, Colour, English