Series Description

 
Sandwiched Between Trauma and Apocalypse
Curated by Aily Nash | 2000 – 2009 | TRT: 01:14:55

Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love
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Steve Reinke | 2007 | 14:00 | English | Color | 4:3

In the first part of Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love, Reinke talks us through his process of remaking an artwork. Reinke describes Adrian Piper’s performance My Calling (Card) #1, as we watch his hands gesticulating over the woodgrain of his desk.

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Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love
Video Details
Steve Reinke | 2007 | 14:00 | English | Color | 4:3

In the first part of Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love, Reinke talks us through his process of remaking an artwork. Reinke describes Adrian Piper’s performance My Calling (Card) #1, as we watch his hands gesticulating over the woodgrain of his desk.

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Hostage: The Bachar tapes (English...
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Walid Raad and Souheil Bachar | 2001 | 16:17 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

The work operates as an elegant performance of found footage — the purportedly lost and unreported perspective of the crisis is given voice. The crux of the work is the maintenance of ambiguity and tension between the internationally reported facts of the event and the divergent narrative that’s presented by Walid Raad and Souheil Bachar.

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The Burning Blue
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Jesse McLean | 2009 | 09:15 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

Jesse McLean’s The Burning Blue also touches on the relationship between the public and private experiences of historical events. Working with found footage and her own home movies, McLean draws lines of intersection between the most intimate memories of the Challenger explosion, and its occurrence on a globally televised scale.

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La Tombola (Raffle)
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Ximena Cuevas | 2001 | 07:53 | Mexico | Spanish | Color | 4:3

Ximena Cueva’s La Tombola (Raffle) is at once a piece of found footage and a work of interventionist performance. The thrill of this work is in the sense of hope that emanates from the presence of an antagonistic agent who acts with autonomy in the midst of a media nightmare.

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RE:THE_OPERATION
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Paul Chan | 2002 | 27:30 | United States | English | Color | 4:3

Speculating on the subjectivity of key figures in the George W. Bush administration, in RE: THE_OPERATION, Paul Chan gives us intimate access to their psychology, philosophy, and private confessions. Chan offers an alternative perspective of the war through an imagined intimacy with those at the helm.

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The 2000s

"This program takes as its starting point the third sequence in Steve Reinke’s Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love (2007), in which Reinke elaborates and schematizes his hyperbolic historical theorem. He relates history to biography by diagramming their projected forms — history culminates through progress in apocalypse, whereas, biography begins with trauma. Who we are, he states, is determined retrospectively by this original trauma. Reinke combines these two diagrams into a diamond-shaped figure — its widest point marks the present. By relating history to biography, we find ourselves snuggly positioned between trauma and apocalypse. It is between these two points that this program unfolds, each work radically reconfiguring this relationship between history and biography to make meaning of the present. These videos by Paul Chan, Ximena Cuevas, Jesse McLean, Steve Reinke, and Walid Raad propose subjective rewritings of historical events, claiming agency over how these pasts are understood. The works variously articulate the irreconcilability of worlds — we live together in alternate, yet parallel realities."

— Aily Nash

Continue reading Aily Nash's essay Sandwiched Between Trauma and Apocalypse


Aily Nash is a curator based in New York. She is co-curator of Projections, the New York Film Festival’s artists' film and video section, and a Biennial advisor and co-curator of the film program for the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She is program advisor to the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Short Film section. She has curated programs and exhibitions for MoMA PS1, NYC; Brooklyn Academy of Music, NYC; Anthology Film Archives, NYC; FACT, Liverpool, UK; Image Forum, Tokyo, Japan; Tabakalera, San Sebastian, Spain; and others. Her writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, BOMB, Artforum.com, Film Comment, and elsewhere. Nash curated five seasons of the Basilica Screenings series at Basilica Hudson (2012-2016). She has taught at Parsons and Bruce High Quality Foundation University in New York. In 2015, she was awarded a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation.

Featured titles

Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love

A desktop video in five parts that modestly propose ways of existing with or against history and politics.

HOSTAGETHE

Hostage: The Bachar Tapes (English Version) is an experimental documentary about "The Western Hostage Crisis." The crisis refers to the abduction and detention of Westerners like Terry Anderson, and Terry Waite in Lebanon in the 80s and early 90s by "Islamic militants." This episode directly and indirectly consumed Lebanese, U.S., French, and British political and public life, and precipitated a number of high-profile political scandals like the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S.

Burning Blue, The

A video that observes the thrill, terror, and boredom found in watching mass spectacles, and the unexpected loneliness when you miss them. This video speaks of both the power and the failure of the televised experience to bind us to one another.

La Tombola (Raffle)

“Take back the airwaves: Mexico’s video art doyenne Ximena Cuevas books herself onto the tabloid talk show Tombola (Raffle), toying at first with whimsical deconstruction until she turns the whole affair on its head by seizing the televisual flow itself.”

RE: THE_OPERATION

Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush's administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the "enemy." Letters, notes, and digital snapshots "produced" by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war.

Resources

Sandwiched Between Trauma and Apocalypse