David Scott Kessler

2015 Pew Fellow

1/11: David Scott Kessler, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
2/11: David Scott Kessler, 2015 Pew Fellow. Photo by Ryan Collerd.
3/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopi: A Saga in Four Divinations, 2014, 100 feet, four channel video installation with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, part of Due North exhibition at The Icebox at Crane Arts, Philadelphia. Photo by Jen Brown.
4/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopapeysa narrative film and seating installation, 2014, 15-minute HD video, velvet bench, fireplace, fur, part of Due North at The Greyspace at Crane Arts. Photo by David Scott Kessler.
5/11: David Scott Kessler, Lopi: A Saga in Four Divinations, 2014, 100 feet, four channel video installation with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, part of Due North exhibition at The Icebox at Crane Arts, Philadelphia. Photo by Jen Brown.
6/11: The Voice of the Oracle of Neptune, installation view, video installation in subway concourse from Philadelphia Underground, Dilworth Plaza, 2010. Photo by David Scott Kessler.
7/11: The Pine Barrens: Summer 2014 edition, 2014, film screening and performance with live score by the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, “Denizens of the Pines” at Ashleigh Homestead, Browns Mills, NJ. Photo by Eric Ashleigh.
8/11: David Scott Kessler filming The Pine Barrens, 2015, on location in the Great Swamp, Wharton State Forest. Photo by John Pettit.
9/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Closeup of Weaving Girl,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.
10/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Pyramid House,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.
11/11: Still image from film, Lopapeysa, “Girl on Cliff,” HD video, 2014, filmed by David Scott Kessler.

“Often with little more than tone and concept in mind, I will begin filming and, like the traveler, see where that leads me.”

David Scott Kessler (b. 1975) is a filmmaker and director whose work explores place, moving through “the confluence between the real and imagined,” he says. Originally a painter, his work combines film, installation, writing, performance, and drawing to suggest what he describes as “a world beyond reality.” Kessler’s current project, The Pine Barrens—which confronts environmental degradation and human response to it—has included bi-monthly performances over the last three years, during which he collaborated with The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra, inspiring him to think about what he sees as the “untapped potential for the merger of live music and documentary.” In 2014, he produced and directed two music videos for singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten. He has studied at Parsons School of Design, The University of the Arts, Constantijn Hygens Christelijke Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in the Netherlands, and Montclair State University. Kessler’s work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Housing Works, New York; Summerhall, Edinburgh; The National Museum of American Jewish History, Philadelphia, and many others. He is the founder of the media production company Studioscopic.

References

Pew Fellow and visual artist Benjamin Volta leads an artmaking workshop as part of Historic Germantown’s ongoing Center-funded project Elephants on the Avenue.

In this month’s Pew Fellows news, Jenny Sabin is honored with a Women in Architecture Award presented by Architectural Record, Benjamin Volta unveils a new mural, and we remember the late artist and teacher Nicholas Kripal.

Grants & Grantees

In 2006 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 73 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Andrew Simonet is a dance artist, a founder of Artists U and Headlong Dance Theater, and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Bruce Graham is a playwright and a 1993 Pew Fellow.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Silvana Cardell is a choreographer, dancer and, educator, whose choreographic impulses are defined by her experience as an Argentine expatriate living, working, and raising a family in the United States.

Grants & Grantees

Hayes blends various mediums—including video, performance, installation, and photography—to probe the complex intersections of history, politics, gender, and speech within private and public spaces.

Questions of Practice

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Dancer, choreographer, and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier tells the autobiographical story of an artistic journey defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.

Grants & Grantees

In 2005 the Center awarded Pew Fellowships to 12 Philadelphia-based artists, and grants to 66 dance, music, theater, and visual arts organizations and practitioners in the greater Philadelphia region.

Grants & Grantees

Albert C. Barnes founded The Barnes Foundation in 1922 in Merion, Pennsylvania, to house his growing collection of modern art, African sculpture, and metalwork.

Grants & Grantees

Daniel Heyman’s (Pew Fellow, 2009) works on paper capture the images and words of Iraqi torture victims from facilities like Abu Ghraib.