At once tender and savage, Dani Leventhal’s (born 1972) video diaries capture the banal and horrific to reveal the transcendent beauty and pain of daily life. For example, in Show & Tell in the Land of Milk & Honey (2007), Leventhal juxtaposes bucolic shots of farm life with tales of sexual harassment and sick chickens. In the award-winning Draft 9 (2003), Leventhal cuts between skinned animals, salsa dancers, a Holocaust survivor, and her own romantic liaisons to create, in the words of critic Genevieve Yue, “something that is extraordinarily immediate, both fresh and painful, hard to watch and yet impossible not to watch.”
Leventhal has exhibited her work internationally at venues including the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; MoMA/PS1, New York; the Rotterdam International Film Festival; and the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; among others. In 2007, she received the Visual Arts Award from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, and also produced a limited edition book and video, Skim Milk & Soft Wax, at the Women’s Studio Workshop. Leventhal received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and received a second MFA in Film/Video from Bard College.