All in the Family
A screening organized by Laura Parnes
Wednesday June 25th, 8:30PM sharp
^ Peggy Ahwesh, Martina's Playhouse, 1989, Super-8 to video, 20:00 min.
Through role-playing or using actual family members in their videos, the artist's in All in the Family explore the dynamics of the family as an institution. Artists include: Peggy Ahwesh, Patty Chang, Eteam, Rico Gatson, Liselot van der Heijden, Lovett/Codagnone, Kristin Lucas, Guy Ben Ner, Laura Parnes, Shannon Plumb, Barbara Pollack, Martynka Wawrzyniak
Barbara Pollack, Game Boy, 1996/2001, 5:00 min.
This video gives the "subject" (the son) the opportunity to talk back to the "director" (the mother). Max (8 years old at the time) is filmed while he grows increasingly agitated about the director's intent to film him for a video project. By revealing behavior that is usually left out of home movies, this video interrogates all movies made by parents to "record" and "preserve" family moments.
Peggy Ahwesh, Martina's Playhouse, 1989
Super-8 to video, 20:00 min. Featuring Martina Torr and Jennifer Montgomery. "In Martina's Playhouse, everything is up for grabs. The little girl of the title oscillates from narrator to reader to performer and from the role of baby to that of mother. While the roles she adopts may be learned, they are not set, and she moves easily between them. Similarly, in filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh's playhouse of encounters with friends, objects aren't merely objects but shift between layers of meaning. Men are conspicuously absent, a lack' reversing of the Lacanian/Freudian constructions of women as Ahwesh plays with other possibilities." --Kathy Geritz, program notes (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archive, 1990)
Shannon Plumb from the Black and White Series, 4 min.
Black and White revisits the eponymous format of film and creates a circular dialogue within the history of video art, incorporating and updating previous conventions. Inspired by artists that explore themes of gender and the notion of performance, Plumb uses personal significant events as inspiration, capturing a sense of nostalgia. The unplanned instances and ambient sounds are incorporated in the film, and the viewer is included in the joke. Plumb subverts the medium by presenting a humorous combination of character and self at once. Reality is rendered with fantasy.
Liselot van der Heijden, Predators and Prey, 2008, 2:00 min.
Wildlife documentaries reveal more about human beings, culture and dominant ideology than about nature itself. Completely removed from their "real place," the electronic images of animals are used in a spectacular and melodramatic narrative to explain, justify and naturalize capitalist ideology and war.
Martynka Wawrzyniak, ME, 2007, 2:50 min.
In ME, four children reflect on issues they will encounter in their adulthood. They respond to questions such as "What makes you feel sad? How do you imagine yourself as a grown up?" and "Who is God?"
Rico Gatson, Media Center (Powers, Forces, Meditation), 2003, video, 4:00 min.
Media Center is a meditation on war, life and death. The video was produced directly after the start of the Iraq war and the birth of the artist's daughter. It progresses through rapid flashes of imagery extracted from the internet inter-cut with personal footage.
Laura Parnes, Untitled (for Technically Sweet), 2008, video, 2:30 min.
Under the residual glow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki lies something even more terrifying: the natural world and its utter indifference. This two-channel video pits catalogue-perfect natural settings with the potential for environmental devastation.
Guy Ben-Ner, Moby Dick, 2000, video, 12:00 min.
Guy "re-enacts" Moby Dick in his kitchen and living room with his children.
Patty Chang, In Love, 2001, video, 3:28 min.
In this dual-channel video, both images show the artist's and respective parent's faces pressed together in what at first appears to be a deep kiss. Gradually, it becomes evident that the video is running in reverse time, and that they share not a kiss but rather an onion from which they both eat. Parent and child swallow before they take additional bites, blinking hard to hold back tears from the onion's sharpness and pungency. However, in the video's reversal of time, the onion is reconstituted and the tears disappear-wholeness is thus regained.
Lovett/Codganone, <<PLAY>>, 2000, video, 10:26 min.
<<PLAY>> takes the final scene of the film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? as a point of departure. George and Martha are played by various configurations of the two artists and their parents. Performed by non-actors who share real-life intimacy, this appropriation of theatrical fall-out reflects on the performative identities and scripted communication that comprise patterns of interaction and dysfunction within family structures.
Kristin Lucas, Smaller and Easier to Handle, 2003, video, 7:28 min.
This incisive take on techno-culture presents a hallucinatory set-piece in which a nuclear family assumes the roles of a mutant operating theater with surgeon, assistants, and a half-human, half-animal patient. Employing outrageous costumes, surveillance footage, and a propulsive soundtrack, Lucas crafts a spooky parable for our fast-forward society.
Eteam, the paradox of the 10 acres square, chapter elevated transportation, 2006, 7:30 min.
Suspension bridge, walking bridge, draw bridge, overpass, log bridge, forth rail bridge, container elevator, moveable bridge, failed bridge. The most common way to overcome a distance without touching the ground is flying or jumping, depending on the length of travel. Only in the case of the bridge is the ground elevated and allows for travel through the air on the ground. The criteria for some of these bridges, their engineering and their shape is examined and tested in chapter-elevated transportation.
For more information please contact
Sara Meltzer Gallery
525-531 West 26th, 4th Floor
New York NY 10001