Youth/Childhood

Jollies, 1990

Benning gives a chronology of her crushes and kisses, tracing the development of her nascent sexuality. Addressing the camera with an air of seduction and romance, giving the viewer a sense of her anxiety and special delight as she came to realize her lesbian identity.

This title is also available on Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volume 1.

On the vast Kazakhstan Steppes, nine 16-year-olds prepare to graduate from the Akkol orphanage. Rockets launched overhead from the nearby Cosmodrome inspire their dreams as they write about and perform their imagined future-selves. Guided by the nomadic spirit and natural beauty of the Steppes, the teens explore questions of time and truth in relation to the challenging reality of their lives.

These five short videos introduce Judy, a paper maché puppet who ruminates on her position in society. Like Judy, of the famous Punch and Judy puppet duo, Benning’s Judy seems to experience the world from the outside, letting things happen to her rather than making things happen around her.

This title is also available on Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volume 3.

La Mesa, 2018

La Mesa explores the intersections of memory, identity and queer desire. It recreates fragmented and romanticized stories of a childhood in rural Mexico as told by the artist’s father. These disjointed vignettes are interwoven with queered reenactments of scenes from popular culture. The artist casts himself in the old Mexican films and American Westerns he grew up watching with his family in California. He appears as the romantic lead opposite the male actors, including Pedro Infante, Mexican national hero and the filmmaker’s childhood crush.

Videotaped on August 13th 1972, this tape features a number of scenes shot for Lanesville TV, including the Videofreex at the Catskill Game Farm shooting footage of the animals. There are some oddball images… a woman on an exercise machine, and someone in a gorilla suit brushing their teeth. A man named Steve Toomie from Tannersville, NY talks about Mountaintop Youth Group’s performances. There is the horse riding competition in Hunter. A little girl asks, “Are you the Lanesville Television guy?” and then shows her horse ribbon to the camera.

Zaatari’s contribution to Lebanon’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennial 2013. This video offers a portrait of a public school and a tribute to those refusing illegal military orders.

Little Spirits is about a young girl who plays a trick on a friend, unaware or uninterested in the possible consequences.

This title is also available on Cecelia Condit Videoworks: Volume 2

Locke’s Way is the photographic path to knowledge, full of twists and turns, treacherously steep. What has happened down here? A family’s photographs tell us everything and nothing about the subterranean past. "One of the central questions of philosophy has always been: what can be known? Locke’s Way provides a vivid illustration of this perennial philosophical dilemma. In this short video, Donigan Cumming is preoccupied with the story of his older brother, who seems to have been brain-damaged and spent much of his life in institutions.

¡Macho Shogun! was created by Reed Anderson and Daniel Davidson over a single weekend some time in 2000.  It's your basic monster-robot / destroy-city kind of video that we wanted to make when we were kids but never did.

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

¡Macho Shogun! was created by Reed Anderson and Daniel Davidson over a single weekend some time in 2000.  It's your basic monster-robot / destroy-city kind of video that we wanted to make when we were kids but never did.

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

Magic for Beginners examines the mythologies found in fan culture, from longing to obsession to psychic connections. The need for such connections (whether real or imaginary) as well as the need for an emotional release that only fantasy can deliver is explored.

"Out of the blue, I bought my first television. I kept the TV on all the time."

— Andy Warhol

Mama, 2005

"Mama mama mama...," a woman calls out again and again, over and over. Is it her child that she mimics, or is she calling for her own mother? A desperate video performance in the first person.

Segalove re-enacts the trials and travails of her desperate, hormonal, pubescent years with actors dancing their way through what looks like a techni-color version of the Cleaver’s backyard. She plays herself, getting questionable advice from girlfriends, begging her mother for a bra and falling in love for the first time, with Moondoggie in Gidget Goes Hawaiian.

Natural Life is a feature-length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth.

The youthful status and/or lesser culpability of these youths, their backgrounds, and their potential for rehabilitation were not taken into account at any point in the charging and sentencing process. The five will never be evaluated for change, difference or growth. They will remain in prison till they die.

Nest of Tens is comprised of four alternating stories which reveal mundane yet personal methods of control. These systems are derived from intuitive sources. Children and a retarded adult operate control panels made out of paper, lists, monsters, and their own bodies.

From the performance by the same name, by Suzanne Lacy, Stan Hebert, Councilwoman Sheila Jordan, Frank Williams, Officer Terrance West, Mike Shaw, and Annice Jacoby, Oakland, 1995-6. Suzanne Lacy worked alongside youth activists, city council members and the mayor’s office to draft a Youth Policy Initiative that would create a dedicated stream of funding to serve youth needs. In the spring of that year, No Blood/No Foul was a performance on the eve of the Policy’s vote by the Oakland City Council, with Mayor, Council members and a large audience in attendance.

No Is Yes, 1998

A combination of experimental and narrative approaches which explore the commodification of rebellion as it is marketed to youth culture, through the eyes of two drug-dealing, teenage girls from Brooklyn who "accidentally" kill and mutilate their favorite alternative rock star. Their obsession with murders and makeovers and their confusion between fashion and transgression lead these girls into a world where nihilism is bought and sold, and rebellion is impossible.

Bouncing balloons, cloth puppets and loud mouthed 'wall-bangers' enliven a grown up nursery.

—Mike Kuchar

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.

A simple yet moving story of children and a baby deer set against the background of a go-kart track.

A childhood experience is projected on a shadowy wall of a former movie theatre. A racist cinematic trauma passed between friends and family is remembered among the rustling of leaves and reflections of trees on an iPad screen. An essay about how past and present interrupt one another like movies being perpetually edited.

This video proposes an ironic metaphor to grasp the follies of U.S. government action and inaction in Central America. The process of learning U.S. policy is similar to the process of a young child acquiring the principles of language. These dual senses of literacy operate on several levels, situating a child’s consciousness within the contradictions of history comments on the illusory innocence of childhood, and the unexamined, but real, guilt of the U.S. government, its supporters and clients.

A high and low fidelity record of obsessions past and present. A hooded man named Cobra Commander (drawn naked) and a boy with black glasses. A fanged woman named Shadow-La and a girl in a rose colored wig. Belinda (Heaven on Earth), Madonna (Live to Tell), and headphones (worn naked). An airport terminal. Home. The Montgomery Ward catalog circa 1980. That orange bedspread, that red flowered couch.

Paternal Rites is a first-person essay film that examines the secret underbelly of a contemporary Jewish American family as they grapple with the aftereffects of physical and sexual abuse on their present-day lives. It is also a groundbreaking film about the nature of trauma and memory itself: the ways in which trauma encrypts in uncanny ways; the function of speech and narrative in the process of decryption; and the role of film and filmmaking in the practice of healing.

The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrfice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.