Chloë Bass (b. 1984, New York) is a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, conversation, publication, and installation. Her work uses daily life as a site of deep research to address scales of intimacy: where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. She began her work with a focus on the individual (The Bureau of Self-Recognition, 2011 – 2013), has recently concluded a study of pairs (The Book of Everyday Instruction, 2015 – 2017), and will continue to scale up gradually until she’s working at the scale of the metropolis. She is currently working on Obligation To Others Holds Me in My Place (2018 – 2022), an investigation of intimacy at the scale of immediate families.
Chloë has held numerous fellowships and residencies: she is a 2020 – 2022 Faculty Fellow for the Seminar in Public Engagement at the Center for Humanities (CUNY Graduate Center), a 2020 – 2022 Lucas Art Fellow at Montalvo Art Center, and was a 2019 Art Matters Grantee. Previous recent honors include a residency include a residency at Denniston Hill, the Recess Analog Artist-in-Residence, and a BRIC Media Arts Fellowship. Her projects have appeared nationally and internationally, including recent exhibits at The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Mass MoCA, Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, the Knockdown Center, the Kitchen, the Brooklyn Museum, CUE Art Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the James Gallery, and elsewhere. Reviews, mentions of, and interviews about her work have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Temporary Art Review, and Artnews among others. Her monograph was published by The Operating System in December 2018; her chapbook, #sky #nofilter, was published DoubleCross Press in November 2020. Her short-form writing has been published on Hyperallergic, Arts.Black, and the Walker Reader. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Queens College, CUNY, where she co-runs Social Practice CUNY with Gregory Sholette.
[UNTITLED FILM PROJECT], part of Obligation to Others Holds Me in My Place
[UNTITLED FILM PROJECT] is a four-channel feature-length film installation documenting mixed-race/cross-cultural American families. The film draws from the important visual legacy of family home movies to produce a record of regularly occurring special occasions: birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and group gatherings, all as experienced by families that contain and represent a multiplicity of cultural practices. The film's footage will be shot by the families involved: a true "home movie." That footage will then be edited and recombined by artist Chloë Bass to present an intimate document of what it means to be together within difference: neither the magic beauty nor the tragic confusion, but rather the profound everyday nature of family life. Throughout American history, the mixed race body is usually presented either as a disaster (see: the figure of the tragic mulatto, narratives around the violence of passing, etc.), or as a kind of magic (see: serious journalistic features about hybridity as an evolutionary asset, or the common statement "mixed babies are the most beautiful"). This work is looking to undo or undermine both of these poles, suggesting instead that racial mixture is essentially American. The final film installation will be projected to cover all four walls of a room, with viewers seated or walking through that room, moving their own bodies as a way to take in the images within, and relationships between, all four channels. The channels will consist of footage organized by type of occasion celebrated, rather than by subject-family.