most extreme perfect that exists by Adie Russell (2011); single channel color video (3:04 min.) on Vimeo.
The Reveal: A Conversation with Adie Russell
by Harry J. Weil
After interviewing Adie Russell, I had over two hours of recording to transcribe and whittle down to a mere three thousand words. In passing, toward the very end of our conversation, she made a seemingly simple, yet poignant, remark on the creative process: “The magical thing about art is the connection that it makes with viewers.” I left it out of the earlier drafts for what would eventually be printed here, but found that I couldn’t let go of her sentiment so easily. The word “magical” conveys the sense of an inherent charm, something hard to put into words, and far better experienced than it is explained. That is exactly how I feel about Russell’s Covers (2006–ongoing), a series of short videos where she lip-syncs to audio recordings of interviews with icons like Marlon Brando, Ingmar Bergman, and Richard Nixon from the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Getting the lip-sync just right is difficult, but, as she describes, “[There is a] sweet spot toward the end of the day where I’ve really got the sync and the emotion of it down, just before I get really tired and start screwing it up. That’s usually where I get my take.” What follows is a compilation of our conversations that took place in person and via email in early January 2014, where we discussed the inspirations for this project, the ways in which it blurs the distinctions between an original and its imitations, and our mutual interest in spiritual and esoteric art practices…
*This excerpt is from The Reveal: A Conversation with Adie Russell, in our current March/April issue, Vol. 41, no. 5
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