Shannon Kennedy was born in 1967 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and has worked as an artist since the early 1990s. Kennedy’s photographs and videos have been shown in the United States in solo exhibitions at Thomson Gallery, Minneapolis; Montgomery Glasoe Fine Art, Minneapolis; the St. Louis Art Museum; the New York Hall of Science, Queens; Dee/Glasoe, New York; and in group exhibitions at Metronom Foundation for Contemporary Art, Barcelona; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts; and The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis. In addition, she has received numerous fellowships and awards including grants from the Jerome Foundation and McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award. Kennedy’s building project was presented at Consolidated Works (Seattle) in 2001 and at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco) in 2002.
Traces of chemicals, water spills, mold, asbestos, and layers of paint all give rise to the history of a building, much in the same way that tree rings tell us of the age of a tree. Shannon Kennedy worked on a series of pieces that take as their point of reference the inner structure of the buildings in which the work is exhibited. Using an endoscope to film the spaces inside the floors, walls, air ducts, and pipes, Kennedy asks the question: at what point does the building itself function as a living organism? Kennedy traveled to the exhibition site to film and record ambient sound from the insides of pipes, walls, and air ducts. After editing the footage to a ten-minute piece, she exhibited the work as a large video projection in the building. The piece allowed viewers to be immersed in the environment, underscoring the idea that our relationship to a room alters when one becomes aware of the ignored spaces.