REIGN is a new experimental short film by Los Angeles-based artist Jeannette Deron. It played in 360° this summer at Substrate Gallery in Hollywood as part of a special screening that included passionate live performances. Jeannette has been doing video work across various genres for quite some time now, but for this particular piece she took her art much further by creating a multi-sensory installation that translated the film into a tactile environment. The event, which was promoted by Curate LA, was well attended, bringing in a diverse crowd including music industry people, art lovers, fashion fans, and filmmakers. It's clear that Jeannette has honed in on her unique style, and having generated a buzz in L.A., she now hopes to bring her creation to a larger audience by seeking digital film/art/fashion magazines that are interested in promoting her work. View the film below.
It began with a solitary roadtrip that led Jeannette into a forest near Portland. There she captured hours of inspirational footage that she was later able to integrate into this project with queer artist and fashion designer Dru Acosta of the Del'Hacienda label, whose androgyny and royal aesthetic take center stage in this video piece that showcases he and his partner Omar's clothing designs and styling. REIGN goes beyond the fashion film category, however, embodying sentiments of self-discovery, temptation, and sacrifice. Atmospheres of the deep forest combine with a theme of sovereignty, as the subject's inner turmoil is exposed yet their supreme beauty is pristine and unfaltering. In REIGN Jeannette employed a Chiaroscuro lighting style resembling renaissance era art, and she also did her own sound design that mixes together various sounds and music samples including one that uses the rare and entrancing sound of an instrument called the theremin.
Upon completion of the video, Jeannette says "I knew I didn't want to simply share the film online. I felt like I had to present it in a more immersive setting that involved all five senses". Guests at her screening were invited into a world of dark, beautiful imagery and exotic vibes, starting with the mixologist greeting them with a Bourbon concoction that included ginger kombucha, peach bellini and mint to engage the sense of taste. Lining the gallery floor and walls were bucket loads of tropical foliage, eucalyptus and roses, with essential oils of moss, rose and burgamot diffusing throughout the room to envoke the spirit of mother nature. Jeannette's highly curated soundtrack for the night involved a mixture of many different genres including Turkish psych, trip hop and ambient, and the crowd was enveloped in video projections from all angles that put them up-close with plant textures and insect life that Jeannette shot using a macro lens.
Singer/musician NCP gave an incredible performance of her track Languish to lead into the start of the film. Her echoing vocals were the perfect match for the occasion, bringing a haunting tone to the night as dancer Ivana D'Souza accompanied her with movement. As the intro to REIGN began, Dru joined the performance and improvised a display of dramatics that eventually merged into the actual film; his antics in real life mirroring his on-screen journey. At one point he laid on the floor gazing deep into a mirror as if he was falling into a pool of water or a portal to another world; then he turned the mirror on the audience. All the artists involved spontaneously fed off of each other's energy and created a mood that fit perfectly into Jeannette's vision. The end result of this project was a unique event that served as a platform for up-and-coming talent eager to work together to send a message. At a time when the environment is threatened more than ever, people are craving nature. This cinematic experience immersed us in just that, voicing our great appreciation and connection to this Earth. With Trump in office causing great unrest and turmoil for us all, it's also a time when artists everywhere are feeling compelled to bond together and form communities that promote diversity, gender non-conformity, and universal love through uninhibited artistic expression. On a personal level for Jeannette in particular, this was the moment when she decisively left shyness behind to throw herself into her passion and make a name for herself in the art world.
Jeannette is a Chicana video artist and music curator based in Los Angeles (her work can be viewed here). She draws inspiration from her bicultural childhood living along the San Diego/Tijuana border, from her travels all around Europe, and from growing up on heavy daily doses of MTV. Her music background fuses perfectly with the medium of film, allowing her to execute original sound design for many of her projects and create the ideal mood to accompany her visual art. Some of her work has been featured in INDIE Magazine, the San Diego Film Festival, C-Heads Magazine, and PBS Television, including both personal projects as well as collaborations with various creative agencies, music artists, and clothing companies from around the world. She designed the REIGN event to showcase and combine her broad range of talents into one creation - from sound design, to set design, talent scouting, to cinematography and video editing.
Del'Hacienda is an emerging avant-garde apparel label by designers Omar Cisneros and Dru Acosta, whose boundary-pushing vision signals a type of artistry that is rare... even for a place like Los Angeles. The duo already has two runway shows under their belts, gaining lots of attention with their saint-inspired silhouettes and gender-fluid identities. They embody the values of a new generation of young artists who defy categorization and define the idea of fearless self-expression. One half of this creative duo, Dru is without a doubt a star waiting to be discovered in front of the camera as well. Drawing loads of attention wherever he goes, he was recently also featured in the newest music videos for both Cray and Lawrence Rothman that debuted on Milk xyz and Noisey/Vice.
NCP (aka Nazz) is a musician/vocalist as well as a graphic artist. She's part of various projects, including frequent contributions to The Drummetrics collective (of which she is the only female member). As a guitarist Jeannette had worked with some mutual friends of the Drummetrics in the past, which led her to recently connect with Nazz. The REIGN event was their first collaboration, and a very success and empowering one for them both. They definitely plan to team up more in the future. Listen to Languish here.
Ivana D'Souza is a professional dancer born and raised in Miami, currently living in L.A. and repped by Movement Talent Agency. Her training is extensive in all genres, but mainly focuses on hip hop, waacking, and house, to which she integrates other styles like modern and ballet to create a flow of her own. When Jeannette invited her to be a part of this performance, she was eager to work on something outside the mainstream 'commercial' realm that she typically encounters in Los Angeles. REIGN attendees were in awe of her performance, and the fact that it was not rehearsed and completely improvised makes it that much more impressive!