Cliff Evans (American, b. 1977), The Wolf and Nanny, 2009 (still)

Cliff Evans (American, b. 1977)
Citizen: The Wolf and Nanny, 2009
Video; color, sound; 7:00 mins.
Produced by Hermes Foundation
Courtesy of the artist and Stephan Stoyanov Gallery, New York, N.Y.

Citizen: The Wolf and The Nanny, features a universe in which visions of present, past and future intertwine through a looping narrative. The video starts and ends with the depiction of the nuclear family unit in a sublimely utopic fertile valley, confronted with a futuristic almost a messianic vision. Evans voraciously sifts the internet, sampling an astonishing amount of timely visual culture and cues, organizing environments inhabited by still images of people evacuated from the original moment they were photographed, their gestures frozen in time and space. The animation is full of poignant metaphors; the wolf is a motif repeated several times, and can be seen as primitive free agent, as well as provocateur of danger, darkness, and violence, while the figure of the nanny suggests domestication, safety, and order.

Missiles fly overhead the athletic jogging nanny figures as if in some apocalyptic vision, while policemen, soldiers and cheerleaders inhabit a curious, sanitized and self-contained space station. Corporate logos spin like glowing mandalas and advertisement slogans contribute to the hysterical appearance of this frozen spectacle procession. If Alfred distills a kind of clarity in removing all of the figures from his narrative, Evans looks to the other side of the coin casting an overpopulated world that is uncomfortably accurate as a result of the dense aggressive juxtapositions.


Cliff Evans (American, b. 1977), Camping at Home, 2011

Cliff Evans (American, b. 1977), Camping at Home, 2011

Cliff Evans
(American, b. 1977)
Camping at Home, 2011
Video; color, no sound; 2:45 min. loop
Courtesy of the artist and Stephan Stoyanov Gallery


In Evans’ newest video Camping at Home, a constant sweeping diagonal pan follows the insect-like construction cranes that hang in the sky like scorpion tails and earth moving excavators that carve deep gradations into the soil. Evans peels back a deeply complicated allegorical portrait of a post-bust economy in the United States, and globally, as the housing market crisis carries on. Homeowners continue to fight foreclosures while complicated regularity hearings surrounding predatory home lending practices, and the LIBOR interest rates scandals uncover systemic corruption that has shaken the grip on our most basic human needs. Housing construction sites rapidly sprawl and swallow pastoral hillsides, the occasional cluster of tent camps punctuating the growing divide in economic disparity. In 2012 the tent became deeply politicized as an important activist symbol during Occupy Wall Street’s activities, complicating the otherwise architectural form of vacation and leisure. Impossibly long military convoys and 50’s era family sedans towing campers crisscross windy road panoramas that tie together the multiplicity of motifs that rest in between stability and instability.