Johanna Cairns 2017-12-01T22:55:55+00:00

Photo taken by Matthew McEntee

Johanna Cairns was born and raised in Portland, Maine, and received a B.A in Women Studies and Modern Dance from Hollins University in 2007. She moved to New York City where she worked with the Daniel Clifton dance company and created a series of her own video works.  Her collaborations and personal work have been shown in performance venues which include: Judson Memorial Church, Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, St. Marks church, The Mudlark Public Theater and Dance Space. She left New York to study engineering at the University of Maine where she discovered the Intermedia MFA program.

Johanna is currently interested in working between performance, painting video and installation. She is also looking forward to larger collaboration projects with artists in the community. Most recently she has co-founded a project called Maine Soup which is a micro funding soup dinner in the Bangor area that benefits local artists and helps to fund their art projects

Recent Work

Interview with Cheshire Mcgloun (2012) Video 11 min and 44 sec


My curiosity about theory and how it relates to my own process has led me to creating characters that physically explore these questions. The characters are a mixture of researched ideas and their/my own inspiration. I document them talking about their processes and physically engaging in their art. I am currently working on a video that documents Cheshire Mcgloun’s philosophy and approach to her own work and her engagement with the art world around her. The aim of this video is to make available Cheshire’s invaluable perspective on art process and the current state of the art domain.

Object/Ingest Performance, 30 min Materials: 300 Twinkies

Object/Ingest is an exploration of the concept-feeling-object translation process that has come to be defined as “art practice” and the desire associated with it. This piece was inspired by observations of my own hunger to object-make and the trends in Western art culture. The questions that fuel this work are: “What does it mean to translate felt experience into material that is outside of the body? What are the limits and consequences of object making? What remains or is lost when artists focus on product rather than process? What are the consequences of producing objects in a world full of visual clutter”?