Religion/Spirituality

2007
Ephraim Asili "Points on a Space Age"

“A documentary about the Arkestra, but it's one whose presentation reflects the multilevel approach Sun Ra had to music and life in general. Jump cuts and split screens dot the visual stream with home movie footage from the Arkestra in Egypt during the '70s to the Arkestra of today led by Marshall Allen. Director Ephraim Asili wisely divides the 40 minutes into distinct chapters, illustrating each with band interviews, live footage, visuals of planets and NASA launches, and his voice quoting writings from Ra.

2007
Recitation

The Grandmother recites the Mourners' Kaddish over her granddaughter.

1984

Reeves explores his personal journey to seek the center of existence through the teachings of Eastern religions. India is the source of images for his message about the eternal wheel of existence—life and its continuous process of change.

“Reeves uses a digital imaging technique… in which images seem to be composed of a series of almost fragmented yet fluid stills, and all movement becomes a procession of shadows.... This gives a powerfully ethereal quality to the piece, one that underscores the theme of human existence.”

1996

This tape addresses spiritual closure. Video gave me a chance to examine, see, and celebrate the seven spiritual venues, paths, and journeys that I have made: 1) Catholic life, 2) nun's life, 3) yoga life, 4) Buddhist life, 5) feminist life, 6) natural life, 7) life. Publicly, I am admitting that I am a spiritual materialist—been there, done that—but I am also saying that all of my spiritual experiences have worked together to prepare me for even deeper journeys combining all of the sacred technologies I have learned so that I can re-invent my own way.

1995
Sharada, Wife of Ramakrishna

In 1991 Montano met a Hindu couple at Ananda Ashram, the meditation center she attends in upstate New York. Since then, the three have become friends. Mr. and Mrs. Mehta are Ayruvedic doctors; both physically resemble another Indian couple—saints Sharada and Ramakrishna, who lived in Calcutta in the 1800s—and are both known for their incredible devotion to the mystical life. Montano made this postmodern documentary to honor the Mehtas, to present an idealized model for a spiritual relationship and to hold out the possibility for spiritual ecstasy in everyday life.

2006
Some Ghosts

Some Ghosts incorporates embroidery and stop-motion animation techniques to create a colorful dreamscape in which an unwitting spaceman releases angry spirits from a haunted medicine cabinet.

2007
Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure

Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure is a fourteen-minute experimental video that unfolds through a series of short episodes. "To describe Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke's new video as ironic doesn't do it justice.

2004
Soothsayer

Prophecies of doom, disaster and political catastrophe envisioned by some of the world’s most famous psychics between the 1960’s and the year 2001 are conjured up through 3D-animation, industrial films, text and historical footage -- the sum of which combine to form a visually stunning meditation on the forces that are driving us into a dark, paranoid and uncertain future. Soothsayer reconsiders yesterday’s daunting and sometimes whimsical predictions for the future after they’ve been outpaced by time. 

2015
Nadav Assor, Strip / Musrara

Strip / Musrara is part of Assor's ongoing “Strip” series, set in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood. It is an attempt to create a living map that is both collective and subjective – a plurality of combined perspectives. Not a map of the exact measurements of the neighborhood, but of the experience of moving through it, together and alone, locals and strangers, intersecting and drifting apart.

2012
Sunday School with Franz Hinkelammert

The violent overreaction to 9/11 and to the revolutions of the 1960s cannot be explained only with fear and politics. Franz Hinkelammert, a German-born liberation theologian, economist and philosopher, brings religion front and center to the discussion in a unique way. The emptiness and senselessness felt by those at the margins of a free-market utopian ideology has been filled by an extreme millenarian Christianity and other religious fundamentalisms that justify murder and torture as preemptive self-defense.

1996
Temple of Confessions

A documentation of a performance/installation. Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes created a fictional religion based on inter-cultural confessions. Exhibiting themselves in Plexiglas boxes as "end-of-the-century saints", the two performers hear the confessions of audience members willing to reveal their intercultural fears and desires to the saints.

2017
The Death Tapes (Image Credit: Gisela Gamper)

VDB is proud to present Linda Montano's The Death Tapes. 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.

2014
Ed Rankus, Thorns vs. Roses

A collage piece. Oppositions of agony and ecstasy are explored. Morticia trims yet another rose stem, while Bugs Bunny takes up Zen. Guilt-wracked, a nun tries furtively to cleans herself of imagined sin. Or attain spiritual release. Various divas flail to no avail. Lips, lipstick, frozen lips. Shakuhachi music by Chris Moran sets the mood, when there isn’t a thunderstorm raging.

1998
Time Bomb

Time Bomb tells the story of a young girl's experience at a Baptist retreat, where she is called upon to accept Jesus into her life after a coercive game of terror. This piece explores memory, the power of crowds, rituals of conversion, and the isolation of a child lost in the world of adults. Fear and family values motivate action and create an empty arena for escape. Visually, Time Bomb proceeds through a sequence of images that figure the "light" of memory as simultaneously revelatory and obscuring, constructive and destructive.

2009
Tin Drum Trilogy

Paul Chan's Tin Drum Trilogy includes the highly acclaimed single channel videos RE:_THE OPERATION (2002, 27:30, U.S., color, sound), BAGHDAD IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (2003, 51:00, U.S., color, sound), and Now promise now threat (2005, 33:00, U.S., color, sound).

In addition, this new DVD box set includes audio commentary by Paul Chan and VDB Director Abina Manning. An accompanying monograph includes title descriptions, artist's biography and newly commissioned contextualizing essays by Dierdre Boyle and Yates Mckee.