Aleesa Cohene

Vancouver , BC
British Columbia CA
Lives in
Toronto , ON
Ontario CA

Video-maker, visual artist. Inspired by the political import of found footage, Toronto-based Cohene was trained at York, OCAD and the International Academy of Design. Her three videos of the early 2000s challenged the received configuration of both the planet and the body. Programmed at Inside Out, Absolutely (2003, 8) took on globalization in its intermingled iconography of protestors dragged away by police, clips from Soldier Girls (1981) showing young female black and Latina recruits at US boot camp chanting their fanatical desire to kill “an Iranian,” and strange expert interviews that fade in and out of their critical edge. Cohene has often collaborated as photographer and otherwise on the Toronto queer radical circuit. Since 2007's Something Better, a video triptych about how "our relationships to others are constructed through mirrors of ourselves"(1), Cohene has expanded her interest in installation and graphic framing of work. 2011's Yes, Angel recounts the AIDS crisis using found footage, in an installation that calls for the exhibition space to be painted as a starring night sky, and "and a scent inspired by the properties of blood," created by the artist. Cohene exhibits internationally, and as of 2014 was represented in Europe by avant-garde art gallery Suvi Lehtinen (Berlin).
(1) Cohene, Aleesa. Artist website, 2014.