CHRISTY JOHNSON
FEAST PROJECT

This artist’s project represents four years of research (in part funded by the Arts and
Humanities Research Council, the British Council, UCR California Museum of Photography,
and University College for the Creative Arts, UK (formerly Kent Institute of Art & Design). The
work has developed across platforms and resulted in a number of linked pieces, which extend
and expand Johnson’s interests in the interface between the archive, the book, the screen,
and the museum.

The project has three distinct components: photographic site-specific installation, video
triptych (projection/dual monitor work) and a published artist’s book distributed by Art Data,
London. The Feast Project was previewed and launched in April 2007 in the Oculorium
Gallery/Project Space at the UCR California Museum of Photography in the USA http://www.
cmp.ucr.edu/.

This work represents a convergence of three strands of inquiry: identity and the body, sites
of memory, and the archive. The work as a whole aims to explore how the female body is
socially and sexually constructed through transformative religious ritual; contemporary
practices of intervention and the museum; collecting, re(collecting) and the relationship of
artefact and memory; and the archive as a site of reclamation and narration. Through critical
intervention, found material has been mobilised and the ‘record’ put in question. The Feast
Project operates as a set of interchanges between then and now, and reclaims a space for
the reactivation of identity.

See
www.feastproject.com.
Christy Johnson is a London-based artist and lecturer originally from Los Angeles, California. Trained in the Fine Arts, Johnson’s interdisciplinary practice involves
time-based media and the photographic arts. She has primarily chosen to work beyond the context of the gallery, exploring new platforms, contexts and sites for
her practice, as well as relationships to diverse audiences. The work includes artist’s books, public art commissions, installation works and museum intervention.

Johnson’s Feast Project stems from her previous work and continues her interests in the exploration of identity and the sexual body; the performance of gender in
ritual contexts; the relationship of documentation and narrative structure(s); collecting, collections and the mobilisation of found material; the archive as ‘live’
process, a space of activation; and sites of memory.

She has been involved in the research project Divers Memories, sited within museum collections, whose principal investigator is Chris Dorsett (Programme
Director of Research Degrees, School of Arts & Social Sciences (Fine Art) at Northumbria University). The project invites its contributors to return to the museum
environment, not as passive visitors, but as creative agents in the construction of meaning.  Johnson participated at two museums: the Manchester Museum, UK
and the Pielisen Museum in North Karelia, Finland.

She continues to be part of the Photography/Video Research Cluster at the University College for the Creative Arts.  This group, which includes leading UK
researchers and practitioners, provides a focus for research activity in photography, film and video, and also at the interface between them.  It encourages
debate about the development of photographic, video and related technologies and their relationship to art practice, by hosting seminars, visiting speakers and
conferences. The group has strong links with Photoworks (Brighton) and LUX (London).


Abbreviated CV

Qualifications
               
Master of Fine Arts, Degree with Distinction (1988)
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, USA

Master of Arts, Degree with Distinction (1986)
University of New Mexico

Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude (1984)
California State University, Northridge, USA

Current Academic Positions                
Director of Studies: Video and Photography
Maidstone College
University College for the Creative Arts, UK
formerly Kent Institute of Art & Design
http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/index.cfm?articleid=15164

Principal Lecturer, MA Course Leader
MA Artists’ Film, Video and Photography
Maidstone College, UCCA
http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/index.cfm?articleid=9163

Selected Awards                
British Council Grant (2007)
UCCA Research Grants (2006-07)
UCCA Publication Grant (2006)
Arts and Humanities Research Council (2003)
Grants in the Creative and Performing Arts
London Arts Board (1998)
Award to Individual Artists

BooksFeast: Christy Johnson and 33 Confessors (2007)
University College for the Creative Arts, UK
ISBN 978-1-870522-49-6

Photo-text piece contribution (pages 90-91)
In The Wake of a Dad Dying (2006)
Bookwork by Andrew Kötting

Selected Exhibitions, Installations, Interventions, Talks

‘Supper’ in Intervention (September 2007)
Fieldgate Gallery, London, UK
http://www.fieldgategallery.com/

Notes on an Indulgence, Artist’s Pages (July 2007)
Collaboration with Catherine Clinger
Vertigo Magazine http://www.vertigomagazine.co.uk/

Christy Johnson and 33 Confessors - photographic installation (2007)
Oculorium Gallery, UCR / California Museum of Photography, USA
http://www.cmp.ucr.edu/

The Set - video triptych installation (2007)
Project Room, California Museum of Photography

A digital screen-based exhibition of the Feast Archive and artist’s presentation (2006)
Panel: Theory and Practice in Renovating the Archive
Conference ‘Reading Spiritualities’ Constructing and Representing Spiritualities Through the Medium of Text: Literary, Visual and Sacred, 20-22 January 2006
Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University, UK
http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fss/events/spiritualities/

A Tale of Two Feasts (2005)
Greenhouse Series, No. 2 (installation and publication)
George Rodger Gallery, UK

Truss (2001)
CDAK International Exhibition
Seoul, Korea

Action/Performance and the Photograph (1998)
Commissioned by Reading Borough Council, UK

Divers Memories Interventionist Museum Projects (4 produced in 1996):

Split/Suite: The Making of Finland in Three Movements
Collaboration with Roz Mortimer (video sited in main building)
Pielisen Museum, North Karelia, Finland

Vihta
Collaboration with Roz Mortimer
(installation in sauna number 60; performance to camera, SX-70 images and sound)
Pielisen Museum

Model House
Photographic diptych and text sited in main building)
Pielisen Museum

taxis, “In the Company of Things”
(photographic tags sited in the bird section of museum)
Manchester Museum, UK

Signature (1995)
(site-specific Installation - slide projection, sound and text)
Thatchum Nature Reserve (worked with the archivist at Hampshire Museum)
Commissioned by Artpoint Trust and Reading Borough Council, UK

The Angry Act of Creation: Thresholds of Initiation (1992)
Valokuvataide-Arkitaide, Symposium Lecture
Helsinki Museum of Fine Art, Finland

Thematics of Violation (1990)
Large-scale photographic-sculptural constructions
University of Texas at San Antonio Art Gallery, USA
9 October 1990 (public lecture by Jason Knapp)

Amphibiguities (1989)
Large-scale photographic-sculptural constructions
The Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA