Artist Statement

I am an artist working across mediums with an emphasis in performance and video. Equal parts physical and psychological, my performances question perceptions of authenticity, creating works that hinge upon reality and simulation while making allusions to film, ritual, and folk traditions. 

In my performances there is a confrontation with the self and rupturing of wholeness and one’s configuration in space. The doubling of the body can be seen as contemplation on the multiple personas one presents to the world. Each performance wavers between sincerity and melodrama, pursuing a desire to blur the lines between representation and life. I seek to embrace the ambiguities that exist between being and wanting to be, and the rich production of myth and image that comes from that. With the integration of digital and analogue technologies with real time performance, I am creating a space to conjure a myriad of identities and jump between realms of existence. The artist is no longer a being existing in space but a multitude of beings occurring across time and simultaneously with one another. 

My work intends to probe many levels of experience and awaken a viewer out of passive observation. The intent is for an energy exchange to occur between the audience, the performer and the work. By engaging the senses there is potential for a heighten awareness, for a viewer to not merely witness the work but become a participant. My performances and installation are an emotional and alluring gateway into challenging subject matter, both fatalistic and hopeful.

The manipulation of anatomy plays a major role across my performance and its sculptural elements. 
The body is fragmented  by way of live feed manipulation and the use of practical effects. The  isolation of limbs, organs, and bodily fluids emphasizes the vulnerability of our bodies. Each part of the body tells its own history of pain, violence, and loss. Conversely the body fragmented is also a source of recovery. The  body merges with video projection and forms of wax, clay, plastic, sugar and dough, and becomes an entity that is ever-shifting and evolving. I celebrate the opportunity for dynamism with cycles of dismemberment, incubation and renewal.


Whitney Vangrin is a MFA Candidate The University of California, Davis, CA and recipient of the Provost’s Fellowships in the Arts, Humanities and Social. She is an artist working across in performance, sculpture and video installation. In 2012-13 she ran the collaborative exhibition space 1:1 with Jarrett Earnest, Leigha Mason, Alex Sloane at 121 Essex Street, NYC. She has presented performance work at MoMa PS1, Swiss Institute, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and ICA, Philadelphia and has exhibited throughout the United States and in Switzerland, Germany and Taiwan.

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