Dark kNight, 2012
3D animation (black and white, sound)
12 min, loop
Custom frame: 19.5 x 31.5 x 3 in / 49.5 x 80 x 7.6 cm
Sound by Claudia Hart and Mikey McParlane
In creating Dark kNight in 2012, Hart felt it was time to begin a migration out of the sanctuary cocoon of her earlier animated automatons to symbolically confront and counter misogyny. In her re-emergence, she chose an avatar to represent the attempt of a defiant automaton who not only seeks to escape one of her own eScapes, but to break free of the simulated sanctuary world behind the screen. As the title implies, the work is Hart’s response to the popular Christopher Nolan blockbuster, “The Dark Knight Rises”, a film about escape from imprisonment and the fascism that deems who is and isn’t to be imprisoned. With the film’s two highly independent, physically athletic and defiant female characters, both of whom have escaped their own entrapments, Hart was immediately prompted to envision her own restless, racially-hybrid female avatar trying out various strategies to escape virtuality. In the video we see Hart’s Dark kNight hurling herself, feet first, into the screen in an attempt to smash through it. Hart claims the mythological source for the figure, besides Nolan’s Batman, is the chained Prometheus, bound by the Olympian gods for bringing fire to humankind. Artistically she is inspired by Michaelangelo’s Dying Captives, who appear to struggle in their efforts to release themselves from their prisons of stone.