Chicago Art

2013
Jessie Mott & Steve Reinke, A Day for Cake and Accidents

A Day for Cake and Accidents features a cast of animal characters -- each of a different, though often indeterminate, species -- who struggle with impending astrological despair and engage in absurdist dialogs, confessing various melancholic desires and transgressive secrets in poetic cartoon abjection..

A Day for Cake and Accidents is the third in a series of short collaborative animations.

2001
Agoraphobic

Agoraphobic is a portrayal of a specific case of New-Age impotence. The agoraphobic's pathology manifests itself as a need to drink his victim's blood in order to move from place to place. Set in an office interior, Agoraphobic becomes a play on the patient / therapist relationship, suggesting an imbalance in the transfer of baggage. 

2001
Amsterdam Camera Vacation

"I'm not going to go to the Anne Frank House—I don't think I could take it—being a tourist is bad enough—though I'm not really a tourist—I'm here working—my camera's the one on vacation—taking holiday sounds and images—it's having a nice change of pace—for me it's still the same old thing—talking and talking.

2002
Anal Masturbation and Object Loss

"Ever on the lookout for learning opportunities, Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together. All the information’s there—you just don’t have to bother reading it!"
—New York Video Festival (2002)

 

2000
Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 1

This compilation is a fresh, witty, and compelling addition to video’s rich legacy of media deconstruction. Through appropriation and reassemblage, these intriguing works upset the hypnotic spectacle of TV viewing by displacing its logic and forcing viewers to make new connections among its codes and conventions. While this disruption is playful, it also reveals the tragic underbelly of corporate message-making—the way it appropriates and suppresses nature and "unpredictability," the way it preys on human vulnerability, and the way it shamelessly celebrates mediocrity and distraction.

1997
Ashley

Animal Charm's Ashley seems to develop a conventional story about a modern mother and wife with typically modern desires. But the insertion of incongruous soap opera scenes soon ensures that the seductive images take on an absurd and oppressive charge. “The antiseptic cleanliness of the imagery has a superficial appeal, but begins to feel claustrophobic—or toxic—after prolonged exposure.”

1999
The BLVD

An experimental documentary about the street drag racing scene on Chicago’s near West Side. This is a rambling textured film about obsession. It is about the mythos of speed for its own sake, but it’s also about waiting, and it is through waiting that The BLVD exposes community, inner-city landscapes and nomadic experiences of place. The film treats storytelling as a living medium for determining history. And it commands respect, for those who transform cars, or anything else, through passion.

1984
Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield, Phyllis Bramson: An Interview

Phyllis Bramson (b.1941) is a Chicago painter whose post-imagist style emphasizes content and the deeply personal. Bramson’s paintings are private scenarios that include figures (or performers) who carry out highly charged activities with strong psychological meaning. They perform in highly theatrical, Oriental settings of almost cubist space and acid greens, yellows, and reds.

1979
Roger Brown: An Interview



Roger Brown's (1941-1997) quirky, stylized paintings were influenced by such disparate sources as comic strips, hypnotic wallpaper patterns, medieval panel paintings, and early works of Magritte. His work is epitomized by a series of claustrophobic urban scenes with their drop-curtain-like gray clouds and cardboard-box apartment buildings, suggesting an amalgamation of boyish enthusiasm for model making and adult despondency. In 1996 he donated his apartment, complete with all of his belongings, artworks, writings, and automobile to the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, where it is on public display.

2002
The Chocolate Factory

The Chocolate Factory is a suite of monologues in the voice of a fictionalized serial killer, one monologue for each victim. The camera, with an almost structuralist rigor, pans up and down simple line drawings of each of the seventeen victims. A Black Sabbath song, picked apart and extended, serves as punctuation and soundtrack. Reinke has described the video as, "My autobiography as Jeffrey Dahmer."  But really, as the narrator says, "It's all about the victims."

2001
comunista!

"You are invited to Jim’s party! Snake optional."

--Cinematexas Festival (Austin, 2001)

"Three more sing-alongs, this time with swans, a snake, and the Red Army Chorus."

--L.A. Freewaves Festival

This title is also available on Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 1.

1987
Danny

This video is a moving personal documentary about Danny, a friend of Kybartas who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1986. This powerful work explores the reason for Danny’s return home and his attempts to reconcile his relationship with his family members who had difficulty facing his homosexuality and his imminent death. Retracing Danny’s memory of his once-high lifestyle in the clubs and gyms of Miami, Danny avoids sentimentalizing its subject as it juxtaposes images, text, and voice-over to build a sense of the psychological struggle brought on by Danny’s impending, premature death.

2003
Decision 80

Appropriated network-TV footage of Jimmy Carter’s "I see risk" speech from the 1980 Democratic Convention meets Reagan’s gloomy inaugural ride through D.C.: "If you succumb to a dream world, you’ll wake up to a nightmare."

This title is also available on Presidents and Elections.

2000
Dinner at Jane's

Executive produced by Sara Diamond at the Banff Art Centre, co-produced by Michelle Baughn and Suzanne Lacy, directed by Tom Weinberg and Dick Carter, and edited by Holen Kahn.

2001
el güero

"A refreshing look at karaoke, psychedelic dance moves, and donuts all mashed together into a small and swinging film about a man who considers his private thoughts and private jokes worth sharing with a large audience. And it's unlikely that many would disagree."

--Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2001

This title is also available on Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 1.