Terri Hanlon

Meringue Diplomacy (2010)

Terri Hanlon is the author of two micro feature video works, Meringue Diplomacy (2010) and Inversion of Solitude (1993). Both integrate performances by a circle of her gifted artist colleagues with music, lighting, camera and costumes.

Terri received a BA in sculpture from the California College of the Arts. In the late 70's she co-founded a performance art group, The EVA Sisters (Terri, Fern Friedman and Deborah Slater) based in San Francisco. She met these collaborators while earning her MA in the "Interdisciplinary Arts" program at San Francisco State, one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The EVA Sisters, named after the astronaut term extra-vehicular activity, also collaborated with David Behrman to produce an early interactive performance art piece, Looking Past the Future in 1979.

The EVA Sisters project What House, based on a feminist "bottom-line" perspective of the art world, toured nationally. In the late 70's and early 80's, Friedman and Hanlon collaborated with composers Paul DeMarinis and David Behrman and performer Anne Klingensmith to produce the record She's Wild. They also did several live interactive performance versions of that piece in San Francisco and New York.

Terri brought an interest in sociology with her when she moved to New York City in the early 80's, creating a series of short music videos based on various aspects of life on the East and West Coasts. Music by Frankie Mann and Rhys Chatham was featured in several of these videos, which were shown on PBS and various downtown nightclubs such as CBGB's and the Mudd Club. At that time Terri became a "computer graphics missionary", working at an early computer graphics company in training designers in corporations like Colgate Palmolive to put down their pencils and pick up the digital pen. That position allowed her early access to the newest technology. She also worked with software designer Jonathan Cohen; he developed pioneering early digital interactive graphics software used in her short pieces You Pay Rent and I Should Have Stayed Home.

In the 90's, inspired by the choreography and conceptual work of the EVA Sisters, Terri moved into making larger-scale video / music features under an hour in length. These works incorporated the choreographic visions of Eric Barsness and Carol Clements, the camera work of Howard Grossman and Marc Kroll, and music by a number of gifted composers.

The first of these pieces, Inversion of Solitude, was completed in the mid-90's. Frankie Mann created its sound score and the designer and creative director Matthew Duntemann contributed computer graphics. Inversion of Solitude was shown on PBS and at the New York Film Festival.

Meringue Diplomacy is the second of these larger pieces. It was completed in 2010, after a ten year involvement with digital printmaking, CD cover design and commissioned portraits. While involved in printmaking, Terri started shooting the video in 1997, and in a timeline inspired by Marcel Proust completed her scene and animation collection in 2009, working in almost every pre-hi-def format then available, from Video-8 to DV Cam. It is a video with music, inspired by the life of the great chef Antonin Carême. One could say of this work that it delivers information on two very different levels: one rational, as in traditional documentary, the other painterly, visual, abstract, perceptual. MERINGUE DIPLOMACY has a music score directed by David Behrman.

Both Meringue Diplomacy and Inversion of Solitude could be characterized as performance art-based "disjunctive narratives," growing out of the work she had started in the late 70's with The EVA Sisters.The score features the music of Jacques Bekaert, Jon Gibson, Barbara Held, John King, Laetitia Sonami and avid Behrman. Choreography is by Carol Clements.

Nancy Ralph
New York Food Museum