Rachel Garber Cole’s film and performance work is concerned with the flora of anxieties that roil around in our psyche, externalizing the intimacy of interior life in order to create new, fantastical, and often surreal worlds. These worlds are highly theatrical while employing a homemade aesthetic. Although she works primarily within the digital, Cole is constantly reminding us of the tactile and the analogue: the physical process of creating images. She creates characters using papier-mâché, peppers scenes with handwritten dialogue boxes that are then filmed, and shoots makeup and costuming in ways that allow the normally invisible materials of these masks to become visible. Rather than employ the magic of filmmaking to render “accurate” representations, Cole is invested in exploiting the potential of the lens to make the minutiae visible. She thereby allows us to see what has been built in an effort to paradoxically strip artifice away to get to the visceral.
Cole’s work has been generously supported by grants, fellowships, and residencies, and has been screened nationwide. Cole has received funding from the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Community Arts Fund for her film, Pregnant and Dying and from the BAC SPARC grant (Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide) where she developed storytelling workshops and performances for seniors at the Council Center for Senior Citizens in Midwood, Brooklyn. She has developed work at the Prairie Center of the Arts, Peoria, IL, The Studios of Key West in Key West, FL, and most recently attended a residency at Hill House in East Jordan, MI. Cole’s work has most recently been screened at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Sedona Film Festival, Festival L’Inconnu in Paris, and Anthology Film Archives in New York City.