I see my work, which folds experimental film into installation space, as a gentle invitation into turbulent space. If I tried to encapsulate my practice in a single sentence, it would be "I'm trying to praise the mutilated world and practice resurrection.
"Somewhere in that collision of Adam Zagajewski and Wendell Berry's poems is thefrustrating, beautiful thing I strive to capture in the work I create.
My practice exists at the intersection of Black futurism, queer futurity, and mysticism.
Through my work, I consistently try to manipulate the chaotic and nonsensical beauty of dream logic without destroying its fragility. As my practice has evolved over the past decade, I have spent the last six years creating pocket universes where my films can dwell and breathe. I am interested in gently subverting gallery and museum space so visitors can do more than imagine better futures, they can visit those futures within these liminal, contemplative ecologies.
The films, which often utilize ritual and movement, seek to embody emotions for which most of us have never found words, ask how we can queer current power structures, and challenges viewers to slip into discomfort and then stay there for a while.
A 2006 graduate of Southern Adventist University with a B.S. in Film Production and a B.A. in International Studies, Leslie’s aesthetic sensibility comes from a childhood spent growing up in Southeast Asia, straddling multiple Asian cultures and his own American roots. His work, which has been internationally exhibited and includes two solo shows, quietly subverts existing power dynamics while inviting viewers into challenging dialogs through the beautifully strange. Leslie currently serves as the Director of Art Residency for Level Ground and fantasizes about running away with a sea-faring band of nomadic artists.