Elizabeth Withstandley is a research-based video installation artist that focuses on individuals and communities. She works by experimentation, research and data collection to create conceptually driven projects. Her work is rooted in conceptual art, taking the form of multi-channel video installations that explore contemporary culture through a loose narrative structure. The works question individuality, personal identity, morality, and purpose of life, while presenting a portrait of a person, a group of people, a specific culture or location.
She is from Cape Cod, Massachusetts and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She is one of the co-founders of Locust Projects, a not-for-profit art exhibition space, in Miami, FL and Prospect Art a not-for-profit in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Select past exhibitions include Antenna Gallery in New Orleans, LA , ATHICA: Athens Institute of Contemporary Art, Athens, GA, The Bass Museum, Miami, FL, MOCA North Miami, Snitzer Gallery, Miami, VisArts in Rockville, Maryland, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA, The Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, The Tel Aviv Artists’ Studios, Israel, Cultural Center, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
23’ HD video
The Real Brian Wilson is a community-based project that delves into the concept of individuality in relation to one's name. It was initiated in late 2015 with the launch of a website, TheRealBrianWilson.org, aimed at facilitating interaction and story-sharing among individuals named Brian Wilson from around the world. Through a six-month-long social media campaign, I reached out to diverse individuals who shared the same name, ultimately connecting with a young writer in Northern Ireland who became an active participant in the project.
Originally conceived as an installation, The Real Brian Wilson features a two-channel video presentation accompanied by a series of digital artifacts, including handwritten letters exchanged between Brian Wilson and myself. The project is also exhibited as a single-screen composite.
The split-screen video provides a juxtaposition between the collective experience of a group of Brian Wilsons and the individual journey of Brian Wilson in Northern Ireland. One video showcases an annual meeting of Brian Wilsons, where individuals with the shared name convene in Scotland in a setting reminiscent of a self-help gathering. The other video follows the solitary experience of Brian Wilson in Northern Ireland, who discovers a radio broadcast of the Brian Wilson meeting. Against the backdrop of Northern Ireland's unique landscape, a region grappling with its own identity, the lone Brian Wilson embarks on a personal exploration.
The Real Brian Wilson
Through the convergence of these narratives, The Real Brian Wilson invites viewers to contemplate the complexities of individual identity, the shared experiences within a community of namesakes, and the broader socio-cultural implications of personal identity in a changing world.