Miranda July: Renaissance Woman of the Digital Age
If you've never heard of Miranda July you are missing out on some seriously peculiar yet equally thought provoking works of art. Her body of work has evolved over the past two decades, starting early on as a video performance artist and blossoming into the very contemporary and very cool dilettante of digital media that she is today. To classify July's work under one genre or medium would be remiss; the span of her most recent work includes two narrative films, a nontraditional messaging app, a conceptual handbag, and, more recently, a novel.
Although her breadth as an artist is wide, what remains consistent throughout July's work is her distinctly offbeat voice. Whether it's the web of oddball love stories in her first feature film Me and You and Everyone We Know or her recent work with Miu Miu on an out-there performance based messaging app called Somebody, July's work is always steeped in her nuanced mix of comedy and passion.
In her most recent work, a novel titled The First Bad Man, July employs her usual brand of offbeat expression yet dives to even darker depths. The story follows the intimate inner world of Cheryl Glickman, a middle-aged introvert with some unusual bottled-up passions. The edges of Cheryl's compulsively contained life start to fray when she takes in her boss' fiery twenty-year-old daughter, Clee. The mind- and gender-bending story that unfolds reaches wild and aggressive heights while remaining a truthful and touching tale of human desire. A thoroughly July work.
Bottom line? Get into Miranda July. Luckily for us all, Netflix is currently streaming Me and You and Everyone We Know, the award winning film that she wrote, directed and starred in. If you are unfamiliar with her work, this film is an accessible introduction to her quirky brand. In the meantime, you can also see her (behind a mask) doing some of her typical, weird performance art things in Sleater-Kinney's recent music video for "Bury Our Friends" (below).