Understanding language as political, Malen presents interspecies relationships without sentimentality. Her affective tools—satire, Biblical absurdism, and the compassion it took to found the New Society for Universal Harmony (which Malen did in 1999)—are worth holding onto in a moment when one stupid tweet could begin nuclear annihilation.
–Nicholas Chittenden Morgan Artforum Jan. 2017
From 2012-15 I was working with actors and a stage director hoping to bring to life an image from a 15th century manuscript illumination that we could use as a springboard for an investigation into human ecological destruction and our endlessly cruel treatment of non human animals. Many workshops led to video documentation that inspired the making of short films (one produced on a sheep farm in Ghent NY) and eventually developed into Scenes From Paradise.
Scenes From Paradise is a dark comedy presented in multiple formats: a film, live performances, and three-channel video installations, which are variously titled Reversal, The Reason of the Strongest is Always the Best, So we’ll no more go a rowing by the light of the moon and Scenes From Paradise.
In every format Eden, the cautionary tale, is made newly relevant by the ticking clock of climate change, habitat loss and extinction. But we do not live in a human centered world; we only imagine that we do.
Scenes From Paradise was exhibited at Studio10, Brooklyn, NY in January 2017 and performed live at Art Omi International Art Center in July 2016.
For more information about this project see:
Scenes From Paradise (catalog with essays by Nancy Princenthal, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Fintan Boyle and Jennie Nichols)
Lenore Malen by Nicholas Chittenden Morgan, ArtForum, 2017
Lenore Malen, Scenes From Paradise by Ann McCoy, Brooklyn Rail, 2017