Three of these four works form a trilogy that explores one of the principle metaphors of video: the window. The window is used to examine notions of knowledge, voyeurism, surveillance and time. In addition, Crush is a reflection on identity, what it means to be human.
Identically dressed, and with sibling-like resemblance, performance artists Trevor Martin and Kym Olsen shift between spoken word and athletic dance choreography in a collection of 29 scenes. Set in various locations--including a gymnasium, an abandoned hospital, and a trailer park circus--Martin and Olsen slip between a ventriloquist and his dummy, a seducer and his surrogate, a doctor and his patient, and synchronized dance partners. The film examines a complex social psychology--questioning the colonization of the human body for various political, medical and religious agendas.
Hey Bud revolves around the suicide of Bud Dwyer, a government official who killed himself before a television audience. Zando compares the suicide to a kind of pornographic sex act that plays upon the tension created between exhibitionist and voyeur. It forces viewers to take either an empathetic position vis-a-vis the exhibitionist, or to act as voyeur through release of the repressed desire to see the forbidden face of Death. The piece attempts to understand the power gained through exhibitionism, and how that power is lost through death.
In this cooking demonstration/performance, Sobell wears a chicken carcass over her face while dressing (literally, in baby clothes) a chicken to be cooked for dinner. Cooing and breast feeding the chicken as she would an infant, Sobell brings two stereotypical female roles—that of care giver and that of cook—psychotically close, emphasizing the potential dark side of women’s intimate association with food in a way similar to Suzanne Lacy’s Learn Where the Meat Comes From.
Parnes moves further into her interrogation of horror genres and the art world, with their sometimes over-lapping cults of personality. Grappling with the danger of beauty without criticality, Hollywood Inferno takes the viewer through the alienating world of a teenager named Sandy, a modern-day Dante, and follows where her aspirations toward stardom lead her.
How I Love You is an exploration of sexuality among gay men in Lebanon. A couple and three individuals talk about their sex lives, about commitments and failures, about their relationships to their bodies, about their passions and love in a society where homosexuality is still punished by imprisonment. The video uses light to produce a white veil that obstructs seeing, hence rendering character identification almost impossible. Through this obstruction, the video locates itself within a specific social context.
Steve Seid of Pacific Film Archive calls it, “An episodic adventure about extra-evolutionary transformation. Organized as 'lesson plans’, this unique work is an ambitious tutorial for the neo-nauts of inner space."
A formidable collage of striking images, this powerful and provocative work confronts racial violence through images of ecological mayhem, machismo, pornography, and Third World poverty—images which return to the taboo body of a black man. "Directed and produced by our culture," An I for An I studies how violence is internalized and psychologized by overlapping soundtracks, printed texts, recurrent images, doctored footage and split screens. The piece attacks racist culture and pleads for an alternative recourse to violence.
The title gives a bitter meaning to the uneasy image of a woman who is brushing her hair over her face with fierce movements. Mostly the face remains impersonally hidden under her hair; when it is uncovered, we see how the rough scratches of the brush against the skin have smeared her lipstick.
Juxtaposing feminist readings of medical tracts, narratives of patient treatment and archival footage, I Need Your Full Cooperation reveals the evolution of women’s relationship to modern medicine. The video dramatizes Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “rest cure”, adapting her 1892 story "The Yellow Wallpaper", and includes critical commentary by activist/writer Barbara Ehrenreich and historian Carroll Smith-Rosenberg.
Kirsten Stoltmann's video, I Spill My Guts Everyday for Nothing, is exactly that, a portrait of the artist spilling her Guts with a blank expression on her face. Again, Kirsten emerges as an empathetic anti-hero, who, in her own need for confessional exposure, must be regarded as equal parts comic and tragic. The work has unexpected power in its simplicity and humor.
I Wanted You shows a woman who is crawling over the floor. She is wearing only tights and a pair of red shoes with high heels. Her hair-covered face makes her an anonymous victim of the camera, which is making converging circles around her body.
With wit and humor, seven-year-old Kendra portrays ten female stereotypes, including an ingratiating Southern belle, a motorcycle-riding tough chick, and a simpering housewife. Under the rubric of playing dress-up, the video illustrates the pervasive, prescribed personalities available to women, and the early age at which girls recognize these choices. But, as outtakes reveal, spirited Kendra’s is infinitely more complex than the cardboard cut-outs she depicts.