Natural Life, an experimental documentary installation produced in conjunction with the legal efforts of The Law Offices of Deborah LaBelle (LODL), challenges inequities in the juvenile justice system by depicting the stories of six youths who received the most severe sentence available for convicted adults–being sentenced to die in prison (i.e. given a sentence of “natural life” or “life without parole”). These stories are presented against the overlapping contexts of social bias, neglect, apprehension and alienation.
Natural Life extracts from the database of written interviews conducted by LODL, information on six individual inmates’ stories. These stories, freshly recorded, interwoven and told from multiple angles, form an array of voices varying in age, gender, economic background and race. The project’s aim is to create a loosely structured web of conflicting or differing views in which, for instance, the voice of a victim’s sister who has, over time, formed an intense bond with the killers of her brother, is contrasted with comments by angry, unforgiving police agents or frustrated family members.
A practicing video artist and documentary maker for the past fifteen years, Even has produced both linear and interactive documentary video work representing the less overt manifestations of complex and sometimes extreme social/political dynamics in specific locations (e.g. Palestine, Turkey, Spain, the U.S. and Germany, among others).
Even’s work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art, NY, at the Whitney Biennial, the Johannesburg Biennial, as well as in many other festivals, galleries and museums in the United States, Israel and Europe, and has been purchased for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the Jewish Museum (NY), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), among others. She has been an invited guest and featured speaker at numerous conferences and university programs, including the Whitney Museum Seminar series, the Digital Flaherty Seminar, Art Pace annual panel, ACM Multimedia, The Performance Studies International conference (PSI), The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts conference (SLSA) and others.