VDB TV

“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.

Featured Titles

The Drama of the Gifted Child

This video is about the idea of narcissistic transference, sexual dependency, and the failure to distinguish between the self and the loved one. It is also about using love to create a border between oneself and political and psychological oppression.

This title is also available on Cecilia Dougherty Videoworks: Volume 2.

My Failure to Assimilate

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

The dream and the waking

"The dream and the waking is a documentation of my commute between New York and Boston, which I make every week for my job. I wanted to document not only the fact of the commute--where I go and how I get there, what I am leaving behind and what I am going to--but also the stream of thought that runs through my mind on this commute. The trip was not something I would normally do unless I absolutely had to, and for almost a year it was the one part of my life that never changed. The space of the commute is like a non-space, like a recurring dream.

Gone

Gone is a two-channel installation based on the second episode of An American Family — the landmark PBS verité documentary about the Loud Family of Santa Barbara, California. Dougherty has created a free-form variation on the theme of parental visits to wayward queer children by mapping the dialogue and plot onto a contemporary community of artists and writers in New York today, paying homage to the art underground and the city itself.

Resources

 To read Amanda Mendelsohn's essay click here.  VDBTVEssay_CeciliaDougherty