Religion/Spirituality

Rising fundamentalism and a government that cites faith to defend war actions have helped grow a desperate society. Dipping between ecstasy and despair, transcendence and absurdity, this movie journeys to a hidden space where you can lose your way, lose yourself in the moment, lose your faith in a belief system. An exhausted and expectant crowd waits on this narrow span. It is not a wide stretch, but it can last forever.

This is a colorful fable of many foibles involving a man of the cloth who wishes to shed those accouterments for something of a more sinister fabric. The plot tumbles unrelentingly toward a sci-fi tone when a time machine is thrown into the vivid melange and our anti-hero gets caught up with an ancient soul who has the hots for less ancient hunks. There’s spectacle on a budget and young and old doing their best to put on a big show about the sacred, the profane and the goofy.

Get ready for a smorgasbord of mishaps perpetrated by misfits choking on missteps in life… Add to this a dash of bitter memories sprinkled with love affairs gone stale, and you’ve got a heap of slop for mental indigestion. 

This movie is food-for-thought you can choke on; an eye-filling, ear-stuffing digital dish that induces gasps and quite a few giggles.

For the Least is a short documentary about American Catholics who marched to Guantanomo to bring spiritual comfort to the prisoners and an end to the torture they endure. In December 2005, Catholic Workers--people of faith following the tradition of Dorothy Day--marched over 70 km in the hopes of entering the prison. Ultimately, although they could not actually visit the prisoners, they camped outside the Cuban military limit, fasting and praying for the detainees. The video is in the format of a letter written to the U.S.

A song of mourning, praise, and compassion for the sentient creatures with whom we share this planet. Focusing on the myth, history, and natural life of the elephant, the video explores the gulf we have created between ourselves and animals. Powered by the poetry of Lorca, Kipling, and Reeves, this impassioned lament for subjugated and slaughtered elephants earns its polemical stance—a broader relation to inhumanity—by force of its compelling subject matter.

Interview with David Klemm, professor of modern religious thought.

In 1971, graduate student Gloria Orenstein receives a call from surrealist artist Leonora Carrington that sparks a lifelong journey into art, ecofeminism, and shamanism. A wife and mother of two writing her dissertation for New York University, Orenstein never expects to have her life transformed through female friendship.

An erotic/mystical misadventure in which the allure of the religious path is strewn with earthly temptations. Struggling with a bogus Zen koan involving flowers in keyholes and jumping through windows, the protagonist will end up entering, by the conclusion, the realm of subatomic particles, thereby achieving transcendence-of-a-sort. On the soundtrack, operatic quotations comment ironically (and sometimes sincerely) on the visual proceedings.

Gossip, 2011

Rebecca gazes into the crystal ball. It is afternoon in a Brooklyn neighborhood of industrial buildings. Rebecca has a way with words just as words have a way of seeking her out. The crystal ball intensifies this. The A train rumbles over the Manhattan Bridge. Rebecca gazes into the crystal ball. Nighttime in a suburban neighborhood of burnt out buildings. Words have a way with Rebecca just as Rebecca has a way of seeking them out. The crystal ball intensifies this.

Set between Swaziland and South Africa, in a region still struggling with the divisions produced by an apartheid government, Greetings to the Ancestors documents the dream lives of the territory’s inhabitants as the borders of consciousness dissolve and expand. Equal parts documentary, ethnography and dream cinema, herein is a world whose borders are constantly dematerializing.

A speculative portrait of a Dutchman living in the Surinamese jungle, fixing canoe motors, who is accused of eating the locals' children.

“...and we Antilleans, we know only too well that – as they say in the islands – the black man has a fear of blue eyes.”
— Franz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks

Heat Rash, 2022

This audio, visual laxative empties the mind of inhibitions to allow the spectator entrance into the whirlpool of sexual fixations. It also offers a recipe for love potions and recites demonic spells that influence bodies in shower rooms. Enjoy those black and blue antic perpetrated below the belt and recorded now for public consumption.

This title comprises Vortex (2007), Paradise Gone (2007) and Incantation (2007) which were compiled into this form by Mike Kuchar in 2022.

Reflecting upon the figure of “Trickster” in African and Native American culture while recounting the story of his first love, Harris creates a graceful, deeply moving lament for the loss of innocence in a world without magic.

“[I]n his beautifully rendered Heaven, Earth and Hell, [Harris searches] among the deceptions of race, history, and love. Harris describes a transformative journey, recounting his yearning for acceptance and the choices made to construct himself out of blackness.” —PopcornQ.com

There is no need to "sin" because Hell is here, just go to the window and peek out…. It’s next door and is on display in this movie.

… See the poet tumble down a flight of stairs as he avoids the clutches of a behemoth babe who practices witchcraft and carries plastic flowers.

An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.

"A chamber drama set in the confines of an apartment’s sun room, this video further explores visual themes and obsessions found in my earlier works and adds in a few new ones for good measure. Earlier motifs seen here are lightbulbs in pendulum movement, tabletop antics with simple household objects, Christo-like fleshy textures, sketchbook pages torn from their binders, book pages, bookshelves, and flowers. I play a vaguely Walter Mitty-ish figure, who imagines himself as a conductor, as Orpheus, and as conflicted characters in a Greta Garbo movie.

The Waiãpi videomaker Kasiripinã decides to show white people the documentation he did on his people in Amapo. He presents and comments on three celebrations that represent episodes of the myth-cycle of the creation of the universe. The theme of the Tamoko celebration is war, and it presents the death of a cannibal monster. In the second celebration, Pikyry, the dancers act out the spawning of fish. The last is the Turé, the dance of the flutes, in which the Waiãpi reenact the death of the tapir in honor of the creator, Janejar.

Directed by Kasiripinã Waiãpi.

The Waiãpi videomaker Kasiripinã decides to show white people the documentation he did on his people in Amapo. He presents and comments on three celebrations that represent episodes of the myth-cycle of the creation of the universe. The theme of the Tamoko celebration is war, and it presents the death of a cannibal monster. In the second celebration, Pikyry, the dancers act out the spawning of fish. The last is the Turé, the dance of the flutes, in which the Waiãpi reenact the death of the tapir in honor of the creator, Janejar.

Directed by Kasiripinã Waiãpi.

In 1971 the curator Allon Schoerner was commissioned by Hadassah, a Jewish women’s organization, to create an exhibition about Jerusalem for the Jewish Museum in New York City.  As part of this endeavor, three artists were sent overseas to document the city: David Cort of the Videofreex, young media artist Shalom Gorewitz, and photographer and light show artist Bob Quinn.

This five-DVD set compiles all the raw footage shot on this journey. 

A woman survives a clinical death in 1988 and wakes up hearing voices in her head. Samuel, a spirit, has started to speak through her. People identify her as a medium. Samuel proclaims a mission to save the world before the year 2012. The entity's name soon changes from Samuel to EN K1, a Sumerian God who claims to be the father of the human race.

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.

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.

Jake Wells, a professional tattooist, DIY drone builder, FPV (First Person View) flight hobbyist, and possibly the world’s first RC (Remote Control) Christian Minister, shares some of his stories and ideas regarding the connection between religion, drone technology and his personal struggles.

“To take back the gold that was stolen from us – this is the object of our actions.”

Lettres du Voyant is a documentary-fiction about spiritism and technology in contemporary Ghana, which attempts to uncover some truths about a mysterious practice called "Sakawa" — internet scams mixed with voodoo magic. Tracing back the scammers’ stories to the times of Ghanaian independence, the film proposes Sakawa as a form of anti-neocolonial resistance. 

Linda Montano is interviewed by Janet Dees, Curator at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum, Northwestern University.

Since the 1960s, Linda Montano has aimed to blur the distinction between art and life with her performance and video work. Delving deep into subjects like death, spirituality and personal trauma, she is seen as an influential figure in feminist performance art.