Nadia Hironaka, video still from "Scared to Death", 2005, 12:39 minutes

Nadia Hironaka, video still from “Scared to Death”, 2005, 12:39 minutes

Nadia Hironaka

Scared to Death

Intrigued by rumors of several past murders in a house in her South Philadelphia neighborhood, Hironaka creates a fictionalized account of the horrific events using the cinematic language of horror and suspense films. In her telling of the story Hironaka reverses the gender roles of the typical horror film and of the rumored account. Scared to Death references the classic horror film femme fatale, often characterized by a split personality where she is both the heroine and the antiheroine. The video looks to the mirror and sees both selves, the “me” and “her.” These two reveal themselves, one as an object of desire and one of horror. What lies between fear and fantasy is ultimately a thin, small crack.

Nadia Hironaka (Philadelphia, PA) received her MFA in film from the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the University of the Arts. Currently she teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. In June of 2006 she was awarded a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and has received past awards from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, Peter Stuyvesant Fish Award in Media Arts, PROG:ME Video Artist Award, the Black Maria Film Festival, and the New York Short Exposition Film Festival. Her films and video installations have been exhibited internationally in: PULSAR (Venezuela), Rencontres Internationals (Paris/Berlin), the Den Haag Film and Video Festival (The Netherlands), the Center for Contemporary Arts (Kitakyushu, Japan), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Morris Gallery, the Black Maria Film Festival, the Donnell Library (NYC), the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Galleries at Moore College of Art, and Vox Populi, all in Philadelphia.