Death and Dying

2010
come lontano (How Very Far)

come lontano is a perverse historical romance in which two lives are exposed, inter-mixed, doused with sentiment, and--hopefully--redeemed. The work revolves around a central ‘couple’--Pier Paolo Pasolini and Maria Callas. There is a third main character, an ambiguous villain made of steel, glass and rubber. Each member of our central couple has her/his own external distractions which impinge--to varying degrees--on their brief, ecstatic encounter. This encounter was in fact a cinematic collaboration; it’s product the film Medea (1969).

2009
Cecelia Condit: An Interview

In this interview American filmmaker, poet, and lyricist, Cecelia Condit gives shape to the contours of her work process. The artist describes the influence of her relationship with her mother, her long-term investment in the macabre, and her ongoing desire to confront death through art. While covering a broad range of topics, Condit’s discussion of her work and interests returns to several defining themes: aging, grotesqueness, and the notion of movement, both in terms of her own past as a dancer and the notion of the body in decay. With a particular emphasis on the production and context of her videos, Annie Lloyd (2008), and All About a Girl (2004), this interview offers insight into the artist’s fascination with aging, sweetness, and storytelling, while also articulating her joyful sense of discovery within the art-making process. No longer working with scripts, Condit presents herself in the interview as a scavenger–much like the crows she incorporates into her work–assembling videos which straddle the line between strange and silly. – Faye Gleisser

1996
Cecelia Condit Videoworks: Volume 1

Though the use of fairytales and dark fantasies, these works combine the commonplace with the macabre to construct a new world of the subconscious.

2002
Culture

In his signature photographic style, Donigan Cumming eulogizes a dying friend through his exploration of “culture” in all its manifestations: 1. culture: a particular civilization at a particular stage 2. culture: the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group 3. culture: all the knowledge and values shared by a society 4. culture: the growing of micro-organisms in a nutrient medium 5. culture: the raising of plants or animals.

1999
Cumming, Donigan: Four Short Pieces

Four short pieces: three featuring anecdotes and conversations, the fourth an icy landscape.

2007
Currents of Destiny

In this video, made soon after the death of his mother Stella, we accompany George to the wake, and on to a trip to Albert Maysles holiday home on Fisher's Island.

"Deep waters flow around the living, dead and inanimate objects that bring this picture to life on the wide screen tapestry of electronic reality. Come and join the young and old of eastern energies as they bask in the sun and shadows of past sins and future fortunes. See how the other side lives and devours the fruits and nuts that pepper this great nation with neon nutrients worthy of Broadway and beyond!"

1996
Cut the Parrot

The police phoned. They left a message on the machine. They said he was dead. The video unwinds through stories of sex for rent, unclaimed bodies, cigarette burns, and other monuments of life’s long run from wall to wall. Cut the Parrot is three grotesque comedies in one: the stories of Gerry, Susan, and Albert. Songs of hope and heartbreak spill from the mouths of the performers. The order of impersonation rules.

2012
John Smith, Dad's Stick

Dad’s Stick features three objects that my father showed me shortly before he died. Two of these were so well-used that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third object seemed to be instantly recognizable, but it turned out to be something else entirely.

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.

2013
DAREDEVILS, Stephanie Barber

A portrait of risk and language, DAREDEVILS, presents the experimental narrative of a writer as she interviews a well-known artist and feels the reverberations of their discussion throughout her day. Visually spare, still and verbose, the video considers three formal handlings of language—a dialog, two monologues and a song.

Starring KimSu Theiler, Flora Coker and Adam Robinson, shot by Matthew Thompson, and featuring the voices of Susan Howe and Jenny Graf, DAREDEVILS constructs a metaphor of an artist’s life and work as daredevilry.

2005
Donigan Cumming: Controlled Disturbance

This three-DVD collection features 18 titles, 10 years of videography, and over six hours of material by Donigan Cumming.

"Cumming has said that it is his intention to question, "the myth of the innocent, invisible photographic witness." Borrowing from what he calls, "experimental ethnography," Cumming consciously positions himself not only as investigator, but also participant, caretaker and friend. Thus his examinations of human frailty are always tempered by a compassion that stems from his own involvement in the situations he records."

2003
Draft 9

"This movie was collected for four years before being sprayed scattershot over 28 minutes of psychic mayhem. The line between living and dead is a frontier crossed and re-crossed here. The living are dead while the dead are animated, breathing, swimming, giving birth. Consumed by the animal life of the city, the artist undertakes a first person journey, producing diary notes from one of the most skilled lens masters of the new generation. The camera is her company in this duet of death, the instrument that permits her to see the impossible, the unbearable, the invisible."

2001
The Dutch Act

During 1998 and 1999, Pelon participated in various Internet newsgroups and lists where suicide is the main subject. Stories unfolded as the film was made; some reached the point of no return. The subject of suicide is very candid on the Internet, due to its anonymity and the freedom it allows from the usual taboos around the subject. The newsgroups and lists have become a relatively safe place for the many people that find themselves isolated because of their interest in the idea of suicide.

2017
Eat Your Secrets

The fourth collaboration between Jessie Mott and Steve Reinke continues its melancholic musings on desire and mourning, this time with more twerking. Hypnotic backgrounds and eccentric animals lend to its psychedelic children's cartoon vibe, and the signature Madonna and Stockhausen soundtrack enhances the desperation for paradise among those extra long tongues and snake-y bodies.