Ritual

2009
Oded Hirsch, 50 Blue

In 50 Blue a young man (the artist’s brother) pushes an elderly disabled man (the artist’s father) in a wheel chair through a muddy landscape. It is a long and exhausting trip to an unknown destination only discovered at the end. After an arduous struggle the two arrive at the edge of a grey lake where a 10-meter high guard tower stands. The young man ties the wheel chair to a rope and hoists the old man up on the tower platform with the help of eight men, all dressed in yellow plastic raincoats.

2013

The Battle of Karbala (680) resulted in the death of Hussein, the grandson of prophet Muhammad and all his supporters. This battle is central to Shi'a Muslim belief in which the martyrdom of Hussein is mourned by an annual commemoration, Ashura. Artist Köken Ergun has worked with Istanbul's Shiite minority, documenting their preparations for the Ashura day.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

2013
Immortal, Suspended, Deborah Stratman

The idea of suspension is evoked on shifting registers – as levitation, cessation, preservation, and suspense – and located in sites whose identities slip as we track through a space within a space.

Camera, Edit, Sound Design: Deborah Stratman
Scroll: T’ang Yin
Dolly: Matthew Thompson

 

1979
The Laughing Alligator

The personal odyssey recorded in The Laughing Alligator combines methods of anthropological research with diaristic essay, mixing objective and subjective vision. Recorded while Downey and his family were living among the Yanomami people of Venezuela, this compelling series of anecdotes tracks his search for an indegenous cultural identity.

1978
Learning to Talk

This video is related to Seven Years of Living Art (a seven-year performance of personal endurance Montano began in December of 1984) and adopts the Zen Chakra system of seven centers as a structuring device. The adoption of the Chakra system arises from Montano’s commitment to the study of Eastern culture and religion.

1977
Mitchell's Death

Using performance as a means of personal transformation and catharsis, Mitchell’s Death mourns the death of Montano’s ex-husband. Every detail of her story, from the telephone call announcing the tragedy, to visiting the body, is chanted by Montano as her face, pierced by acupuncture needles, slowly comes into focus then goes out again. The chanting is reminiscent of Buddhist texts, while the needles signify the pain that is necessary for healing and understanding.

1997
Morayngava

Morayngava: the “design of things.” Yngiru: the box of the spirits, the films, just like xaman dreams. This is how the Asurini define video, which has just arrived in their village. After discovering that it is possible to store their images, the old men lament that they never stored images of their ancestors and decided to register the initiation of a xaman, a tradition threatened by new times.

Directed by Virginia Valadão and Regina Müller.

In Assurini with English subtitles.

1997
Oasis of the Pharoahs

Kuchar makes it to the Isis Oasis resort just in time to catch the marriage vows of his friends Rebecca and Steve. Transposing the myth of Isis in their union, Kuchar tries to make sense of this recreated paradise, this gathering of God’s creatures, and the fates of Rebecca von Hettman and Charlie Sheen—in this humid, steamy, stained story of the transmigration of souls.

2009
Obsessive

A boy endures sleepless nights of desire and obsession in this haunting visualization of erotic possession.

1995
Obsessive Becoming

This surreal, free-form autobiography is concerned with childhood and adult rituals, and the longing for meaning and connection during the often wildly absurd events of early life. Obsessive Becoming returns to Reeves’s early exploration of personal narrative forms, poetry, and his interest in creating a more spontaneous and direct fusion between language and video. Words and images of the expectations and disappointments of coming of age break down the boundaries of both mediums.

2011
Ben Russell, River Rites

“Animists are people who recognise that the world is full of persons, some of whom are human, and that life is always lived in relationship with others.”

-- Graham Harvey, Animism

Trance dance and water implosion, a kino-line drawn between secular freak-outs and religious phenomena. Filmed in a single take at a sacred site on the Upper Suriname River, the minor secrets of a Saramaccan animist's everyday are revealed as time itself is undone. Rites are the new Trypps -- embodiment is our eternal everything.

2016
Ruffled Spirits

"He had let no appetite in him go hungry, no temptation pass him by, which led to sordid alleys where he became more an 'animal', than a spiritual 'man'."

– Mike Kuchar

1994
Seven Years of Living Art

A video collage of a seven-year performance piece by performance artist, Linda Montano that chronicles the issues and events that arose in Montano’s life while she devoted a year to each of the seven chakras. Beginning as a piece devoted to themes of commitment and limitation, the work becomes a fascinating hybrid of art and life, as Montano experiences the onset of menopause, her mother’s death , her choice to enter and then leave a convent, the suffering of a stroke, and thoughts of her own death—all within the structural confines of an intense work of art.

1972
Videofreex, Soup in Cup

A Japanese Kabuki-influenced performance piece, shot in the woods in Winter. A masked woman emerges from a snowy forest and approaches a stone dwelling, where another woman is waiting.  The pair enact a tea ceremony in silence. 

In the next scene the tea tray appears in the road, and then disappears after a car passes.  Image processing magic.

Please note, production year is approximate.

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.