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In Buchanan's video work, she uses fragments of histories; individual, family or community experiences of “otherness”. The perpetual small and large traumas directed towards the marginalized, have long been the subject of her work. Buchanan’s focus is often the black body as object, symbol and story, an embodiment of curiosity, and a “dark” and weighty presence. She is interested in the coping strategies employed by communities to endure these experiences, including cultural expressions such as music and dance, folk art, athletic performance and other normative activities, including religiosity and belief in an afterlife. The fragmented forms that she employs to shape these stories, reflect the aggression that alters and constricts lives.
Buchanan's media works have been screened widely including Slamdance International Film Festival, Syracuse International Film Festival, Everson Museum of Art, Currents 2010, Squeaky Wheel, “One Night Only”: Site SantaFe, Hammer Museum/UCLA, Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Oswego, Memorial Art Gallery/ University of Rochester, Bard College, Muhlenberg College, and Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin.
Yvonne Buchanan was born and raised in a New York City and splits her time between Syracuse NY, where she teaches at Syracuse University and NYC.