Multi-media artist Rachel Mason presents her new video for ‘Queen Bee’, a track from her new album Das Ram’ LP, co-released by Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records and artist-run cassette label Practical Records.
I was invited to watch a beekeeper work while on an artist’s residency. The gender dynamics are so unique, says Rachel Mason. There is one matriarch the Queen Bee, surrounded by a massive, buzzing population. It’s fascinating to witness the dynamic of power and to think about that on a psychological level a female with that much power, surrounded by hundreds of workers who are there to pollinate crops, which humans depend on. They have total determination towards a single goal.
Created by Eric Leiser, an award-winning NYC-based artist, filmmaker, animator, puppeteer, writer and holographer, the new video underlines this tracks intensity. He commented, I was drawn to the symbolic subtext of this song. Bees are presently in danger of extinction, stemming from decades of environmental degradation. These amazing insects are among the most important creatures to humans, pollinating over 80% of all flowering plants including 70 of the top 100 food crops.
For me, the inner story is of a powerful female burdened with providing for the hive when she would rather pursue secret inclinations, says Leiser. “Animating up to 50 individual bees in the dense swarm sequences was my personal challenge. As an artist I always attempt to push the animation toward new dimensions of visual complexity in hopes of creative evolution.
As a filmmaker, the combination of narrative, animation and cinematography are very important to Rachel Mason, as demonstrated by videos for previous singles: ‘Heart Explodes’ (initially screened at Red Bull Studios NYC), Tigers in the Dark, ‘Roses’ and Sandstorm.
Cultured Magazine describes her art expression as panoramic windows looking out onto every touchstone of Masons multimedia practice, from her days free climbing the eight-story Dickson Art Center at UCLA as an undergrad to her decade-long pursuit of transcendent performance that mixes sculpture and songwriting, film and costume, installation and provocation in the form of witty and soulful social commentary. http://www.culturedmag.com/rachel-mason-studio-visit/
She has released 13 albums and many music videos. Her feature film The Lives of Hamilton Fish toured the world in 2015 and was released on VOD. Mason has exhibited her visual art and performance work at museums, film and performance festivals internationally and at many of the countrys leading art galleries. Her work has received praise in VICE, Interview Magazine, The New York Times, Artforum, LA Weekly, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Huffington Post, and Flash Art. Mason is currently working on a documentary feature film about the Circus of Books, and has two other film projects in development. She performs next on July 5, at the Hi-Hat in Los Angeles.
It was a natural decision for Mason to team up with Eric Leiser for this latest video. Recently featured in Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, his works have also been exhibited at the United Nations in New York, Galerie du Haut Pave Gallery in Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum, Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Sound of MU Gallery in Oslo, Flux Factory through Holocenter in New York City, Fringe Exhibitions Gallery in Los Angeles, Mass MOCA, The Ruben H. Fleet Space Museum in San Diego, MoMA and The MIT Museum, among many others. He also has an upcoming solo show of holographic sculptures at the Museum of Retail Gallery MaRS in downtown LA, opening in November 2017.
Directed by Eric Leiser
Original Animation by Eric Leiser
Music From the album “Das Ram” (Cleopatra Records)
Song, Lyrics and Vocals by Rachel Mason
Mixed and Engineered by Jeff Hassay