Kristin Oppenheim is a minimalist.
You can count the elements that make up her sound and video pieces on one hand but when the elements are layer together, they create a drama that is haunting, mysterious, and complete.
Her video Hey Joe is a fragment of a popular song that she sings over and over in a pale, lilting voice acapella. It is soothing, almost hypnotic, and conjures an extreme kind of solitude. This conbinaiton creates a heightened act of perception, and meaning, and a strange emotional pull of images, words, and rhythms.
Her sound piece The Chase has two running sound tracks with no apparent connection. Yet because of the order in which we hear the tracks, they frame a drama: danger and relational. The listener has to find what sound is the “main character” and how the other sound is a supporting character. The two sounds elements:
1) a man’s labored breathing with the sound of feet running, dog barking as man runs by.
2) a telephone conversation between two women-mother/daughter perhaps talking about menial things (cleaning a gutter).