E.J. Hill & the Art of Endurance / KCET Artbound Los Angeles

EJ Hill, "Complicit & Tacit"

EJ Hill, “Complicit & Tacit”

EJ Hill‘s performances don’t wait for something to happen. Hill’s works engage with the supposed boundaries we place on ourselves, focusing on the possibility of transcendence. There’s a lightness and magical quality to Hill’s deep brown eyes, which revel in self-awareness and an energetic spirit. Fit and always dressed his best, Hill seems to asks audiences to look at him and trust his desire to communicate this story. His performances invite the viewer into an emotional, painful, yet ultimately fulfilling experience that is an open, honest, and highly personal investigation into the cultural and social implications of his body as art.

Hill spent his childhood, adolescence, and early adult years in Los Angeles. Until age 8, he lived in South Central, on 108th and Hoover. From 8 to 15 years old, he resided in the Los Angeles enclave of Carson, and he spent the next five years in Torrance, in the South Bay. At age 20, he moved to Boston, where he continued to work in after-school education. At a summer camp in Maine, where he met Margaret Nomentana, his first creative/artistic mentor.

“I was assisting Margaret in this drawing workshop, and she was like ‘hey, I think you should go to college — to art school,’ and I was like, ‘Actually I don’t think so.’ But she kept on me,” Hill says. “We kept in touch, and she emailed me with a list full of colleges, and I was 22 at this time and had been out of high school for four years. I took a total gamble, went to Columbia College for art school and had no idea what I was getting into. It all exploded when I got there.”

At Columbia College, Hill found himself immersed in contemporary issues in new media. But it wasn’t until he watched documentation of Chris Burden’s “Selected Works” from 1970s when he realized that this was what he’d been looking for.

Read the full story on KCET Artbound LA: http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/ej-hill-performance-the-fence-mechanism.html