Stanya Kahn b. 1968
It's Cool, I'm Good (2010)
Color Video with Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound
Courtesy of the Artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Stanya Kahn's It's Cool, I'm Good is one of three films from her first body of solo video works. The most narrative of the three, It's Cool, I'm Good continues Kahn's longstanding exploration of the blurred lines between fiction and document, performance and being, humor and distress, the scripted and the improvised. Commandeering a rotating staff of nurses with wit and belligerence, a severely injured protagonist (Kahn) moves through the city, hospice, and wilderness, seducing, harassing and charming caretakers into doubling as video witnesses. Memory and time have been destabilized by trauma. Mirroring economic collapse, urban tension and ecological demise as contexts for contemporary stress, the “patient” embodies damage and resilience with a relentless albeit morbid stream of jokes and facts. With a 22-track surround-sound audio score and over 20 locations featured, It's Cool, I'm Good creates a visceral cinematic space in which place and action, landscape and soundscape operate literally and metaphorically, signaling a tenuous relationship between experiences of trauma and moments of agency. Paralleling the ways in which jokes simultaneously compress and expand meaning, here living and and naming collapse into each other, in a narrative that unpacks more along psycho-emotional lines, creating many small arcs in place of one grand one.
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.