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 Jillian Monique McDonald  (20/21st century)

About: Jillian Monique McDonald


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: performance, digital, video, web art

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A performance, installation, video and web artist, Jillian McDonald was born in Canada and settled in Brooklyn, New York where she also teaches Digital Art at Pace University. Of her creative art, she says "I am interested in engaging with audiences as a means of orchestrating everyday activities away from their usual context". (

Her "performances" include collaborative projects in parks, piano playing and rock climbing. One of her performances was her "Candy for Strangers", where she gave away more than 500 pieces of candy in a subway station. To her surprise, people were trusting and appreciative. Another time, dressed in an evening gown, she appeared in a subway station with a tray of chocolates, but this time she just taunted people with it and withdrew the tray when they reached for it.

She also does web projects that have been produced in Toronto and have titles such as "Stand by Your Guns", a commentary on the glorifications of guns by making them part of a kid's fun centre; "Me and Billy Bob", about the misplace idolatry of celebrities aroused by television; and "karaoke at the gene pool" about a genomic experiment.

One of her web projects, "Home Like No Place", is an interactive game and was part of the Biennale de Montreal 2002. The Canada Council for the Arts has recognized her with a grant to creat a body of performances titled "In the Public Eye".

Her video art has been part of the Toronto International Art Fair and include "Second Sight", an alumni show at Hunter College; "Truckfood and Unpacked", video exhibitions about food and meatlockers in New York City; and "Little Sins" from a New York Art Gallery.
ART-TALK, April 2005

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