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The Gatekeepers // Zen Cohen


An eco-mythological, multi-channel video and sound installation

by Zen Cohen

on view June 7 - July 6, 2019

Opening Reception/Gallery Walk: Friday June 7, 5-8pm

Artist in Gallery: Saturday June 15, 2-4pm

Workshop--Embodying Totemic Personas: Saturday June 22nd, 12-4pm


An eco-mythological, multi-channel video and sound installation
By Zen Cohen made in collaboration with
Violeta Luna, Yunuen Rhi, Chiron Armand and Walker Fisher

“Since 2015, I have been collaborating with performance artists who identify as gender-fluid, queer shamans, and ‘border crossers.’ These artists created visual performance personas based on the intersections of their own trans-cultural, political and spiritual identities. The culmination of this footage as an installation is an attempt to magnify and illuminate these personas. To create a mythology inhabited by new idols and archetypes wherein these personas, or gates, are seen as symbolic figures at the threshold between the human and non-human world.

In each projection, the performers appear enacting rituals that merge body and land juxtaposed with layers of visual and auditory symbols. In other moments, the performers directly confront the viewer, staring towards the fourth wall. Through this convergence of projection and viewer, my hope is to initiate a remembrance that Nature is not something outside the Self but inherently linked to persona.”

Zen Cohen uses video, photography, installation and performance. Her practice explores the complexities of our ontological experience through creating works that merge ritual, mysticism, and technologies. She received her MFA in Art Studio at the University of California at Davis and her BFA in Media Art from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. Her work has been presented at the deYoung Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, SFMOMA, SOMarts, The Lab, The Montalvo Center, ARTSpace New Haven in CT, Vanity Projects in NY and internationally at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in the Canary Islands. Additionally, she worked as video editor for Al Jazeera America and owned a media production studio in San Francisco, which produced short documentaries, music videos, photo shoots and graphic designs for artists and organizations. She recently relocated to Iowa City.

For more information:
Instagram: @zen_cohen
Facebook: @ZenCohenStudio