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Sarah CrowEST

Andrew Frost

The exploration of alternative identities in contemporary art is well worn ground, especially within video art, yet few have achieved the surreal delirium of the work of the artist Sarah CrowEST.

CrowEST investigates sculptural form using language, body, space, place and time as her materials. In her magnum opus Snippets and Clumps [2004-05] CrowEST edited together numerous performances incorporating a costumed and masked figure that looks like a cross between a space alien and a cartoon character. Dressed up and wielding a mallet, the artist might be seen smashing a plaster sculpture to pieces, or awkwardly balancing on a pretend catwalk. In other pieces CrowEST performs her character of Winifred, an amalgamation of many art world archetypes such as the artist, curator and collector, and who seems to do little but stare into space. In another „clump’, odd creatures multiply until the scene is filled with eight bean-bag-like figures rocking back and forth.

In  other video works such as Globes for UnMaking [2007] the artist explored a Lynchian world of weird sculpture as a ball slowly collapses as water is poured on to it, becomes a hillock in miniature, then reassembles into a ball again. This connection to the cinematic surreal was made even more explicit in CrowEST’s short video Looped [2008], a pseudo-documentary of talking heads making personal confession and revelations, a cinematic reality undermined by the fact that actors are miming the words of others. 

b. 1959
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