The Sun was offended by her brother's behavior one day and hid away in a mountain cave as an act of passive protest. Representatives of a world plunged into darkness begged her to come out, but she refused. It was only after someone started a silly, racocious dance and the plight of the world was momentarily forgotten in laughter, that the Sun peeked out to see what could be so funny.
Ghostly hauntings function as symptoms of a distraught environment in a series of interdependent retellings or reconsiderations of this myth found in the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters). The restagings are informed by the Japanese poet Akiko Yosano’s understanding of human bodies and personal relations as integrally politicized entities and actions, and her influence inspires a closer examination of how humans interact with the environment and the “non-human” as an extended community.
Janelle VanderKelen’s videos, films, and sculptural installations situate the telling and marking of time within the body as mutable monument. She employs ideas of performance, ritual, and reenactment to engage contemporary concerns regarding feminine agency and representation. Her work has exhibited at institutions including the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art; Bow Arts in London, England; and Anthology Film Archives. She has also screened at festivals such as Antimatter [Media Art], Athens International Film + Video Festival, Revelation Perth International Film Festival, San Diego Underground Film Festival, and IC DOCS. Recent awards include the Brico Forward Film Grant and the Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Travel Grant.
She currently co-curates a monthly non-profit screening series called aCinema and teaches film and video at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she received both her MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres and her MA in Intermedia Art.