VDB is proud to present Linda Montano Videoworks: Volume 1. Originally trained as a sculptor, Linda Montano began using video in the 1970s. She is a seminal figure in contemporary feminist performance art and her work has been critical in the development of video by, for, and about women. Attempting to obliterate the distinction between art and life, Montano's artwork is starkly autobiographical and often concerned with personal and spiritual discipline.
This compilation features 11 of Jem Cohen's collaborations with musicians. Made on 16mm, Super 8 and Video, the works include the music of R.E.M., Gil Shaham and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Void, Elliot Smith, Jonathan Richman, Miracle Legion and Olivier Messiaen.
Mutiny employs a panoply of expression, gesture, and repeated movement. Its central images are of women: at home, on the street, at the workplace, at school, talking, singing, jumping on trampolines, playing the violin. The syntax of the film reflects the possibilities and limitations of speech, while “politically, physically, and realistically” flirting with the language of opposition.
In this interview, American writer, artist, performer Eileen Myles (b.1949) discusses the various philosophies that motivate her work, including the language of film, embodied performance, and the alienation evoked by bodily vulgarity. Myles links her wide range of artistic and literary practice with notions of abstraction, improvisation, and the mythology of gender, which she explores in relation to her own identity as a working, middle-class lesbian woman. She reflects on the significance of geographical locations, both New York City and San Diego, on her art, and shares how her past struggles with addiction have shaped her life and practice.
Rankus’s elegant black and white video takes us into an intensely dark inner world. The visual elements remind us of clues in a mystery story: dark corridors, half-revealed bodies, a man with a gun, a throw of the dice. But Rankus complicates the mystery by adding scientific symbols: a flickering brain, see-through bodies, diagrams of the head, a skeletal hand. Rankus uses quirky props, lights, actors, and computer imaging to create a labyrinthine space reminiscent of di Chirico’s paintings—one that reads as an open metaphor for the subterraneous desires of the human mind.
Nascentes Morimur grew out of a series of works on autopsy — an earlier video and a number of still images — that were exhibited together as Like a Shipwreck We Die Going Into Ourselves. In an interview on that body of work Wojtasik said: “In the end, doubt has been raised. One starts to look around the room at the living and the dead and question how real one’s own and others’ identities are. At the same time, one may be filled with simultaneous wonder and dread at the sheer fact of being alive in the body.”
Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and The American Center in Paris as part of their international Trans Voices project, Nation flashes contradictory formulations of language, politics, and medicine across a sharp and close screen. Blurring geography with the body's landscape, Nation reminds us that our bodies, like land, have been shaped by history into zones to be charted, conquered, divided, or made whole. "Think globally act locally," in one dense minute.
There is no future in reproduction. I have no concern with any species extending itself through time. You think you have given birth to a baby, when really you have given birth to a bus driver, or tax collector. Instead I'm interested in the placenta, the real mother of us all, forgotten discarded. The softest machine, all lipids and blood, that blooms and rots like any vegetal/floral martyr. That umbilical cord did not connect you to your mother. It connected you to that most partial of objects — the placenta — part you, part mom, all martyr and garbage.
Forming a loose trilogy with Rankus’s two previous works (Naked Doom and She Heard Voices), Nerve Language furthers his visual investigation into the ambiguous mingling of inner and outer worlds. In strikingly composed images employing tableaux vivant, assemblage and collage, Rankus fabricates a universe where the human body does not possess a discrete boundary, but is imagined into objects, causing the living subject to contemplate its own objectness. The soundtrack, composed by Bob Snyder, provides a wry commentary on Rankus' vision.
Inspired by a riff on a popular joke “Everybody wanna be a black woman but nobody wanna be a black woman,” Notes On Gesture is a video comparing authentic and dramatic gestures. The piece uses the 17th Century text Chirologia: Or the Natural Language of the Hand as a guide to create an inventory of gestures for performance. The piece alternates between title cards proposing hypothetical situations and short, looping clips that respond. The actor uses her body to quote famous, infamous, and unknown women.
Hirsch’s most ambitious film to date and the pinnacle of his trilogy, Nothing New depicts the epic rescue mission of a man whose parachute is caught on electricity power lines. Involving hundreds of participants in a desolate field facing the Jordanian border in the Jordan Valley of Israel, this communal cinematic endeavor aims to re-unite, if only for a brief moment, the collective spirit of the socialist Kibbutz movement in Israel, a movement that has undergone significant ideological modifications.
A trip to Winnipeg introduces the viewer to moments of Canadian cuisine and to the easily digestible tidbits that make up the WNDX Film/Video Festival. Come join the movie buffs as they beef up on eye candy and tummy truffles, all the while indulging in a masticating miasma of minutia that's easy to swallow. Wash it all down with some river views and Mr. Coffee secretions and you'll get a taste of the treats that await all who head north to appease the more southerly rumblings of the human anatomy.