“Make Believe, It’s Just like the Truth Clings to It”: In Conversation with the Work of Cecilia Dougherty

Programmed by Amanda Mendelsohn | 1992 - 2001 | TRT 01:19:7

Video Details
Cecilia Dougherty | 1995 | 00:20:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3

My Failure to Assimilate muses on the profound sense of melancholy that sets in after the end of a relationship. The tape uses poetry, songs, collage, interviews, and narrative elements to construct a complex picture of the resulting loss of direction and loss of identity. The tape is organized into three sections: Part 1: 'Schizophrenia'; Part II: 'Alienation'; and Part III: 'True Self'. Central to the question of identity is the interplay between imaginary and symbolic identification.

—Maria Troy and Thompson Owen

About this program:

The work of Cecilia Dougherty explores the nature of queer women's relationships to one another, society, and the everyday, as well as a feminist analysis of lesbian sexuality, psychologies, and intimacies inside a culture that is, at best, indifferent and at worst, hostile. She often uses methodologies borrowed from documentary and biography to map contemporary realities over pop-historical icons, creating art that deals with nostalgia, popular culture, and the state of society. Looking to Dougherty’s lasting legacy, we are pleased to present the VDB TV program “Make Believe, It’s Just like the Truth Clings to It”: In Conversation with the Work of Cecilia Dougherty programmed by Amanda Mendelsohn, Graduate Distribution Assistant at the Video Data Bank, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago M.A. candidate in Modern and Contemporary Art History. Exploring the earlier video works of Dougherty, this program deals with issues of identity, queerness, and experimentation. The four titles selected, The Drama of the Gifted Child, My Failure to Assimilate, The dream and the waking, and Gone, range from 1992 to 2001, illuminating a specific time period of Dougherty’s work chosen by the artist herself. Accompanied by an essay in part based on her interview with Dougherty, Amanda explores her relationship to Dougherty’s experimental practice and catalog, as well as how the pieces fit into the broader picture of analysis.


 To read Amanda Mendelsohn's essay click here.  VDBTVEssay_CeciliaDougherty