Conversations at the Edge Spring 2019
Conversations at the Edge is a weekly series of screenings, performances, and talks by groundbreaking media artists. The program is organized by the Department of Film, Video, New Media, and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Video Data Bank.
Visit the CATE blog at blogs.saic.edu/cate.
United Red Army (The Young Man Was, Part I)
2011, Naeem Mohaiemen, Bangladesh/Japan, 70 min.
- Thu, Feb 14th 6:00pm
Naeem Mohaiemen uses films, photographs, and essays to explore the histories of failed utopias within the framework of international left-wing politics. In conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition of the artist’s acclaimed three-channel installation "Two Meetings and a Funeral," Mohaiemen presents UNITED RED ARMY (THE YOUNG MAN WAS, PART I), which traces the events and aftermath of the Japanese Red Army’s (JRA) infamous 1977 hijacking of Japan Airlines flight 472. Mohaiemen combines the original sound recordings of the hostage negotiations with text on black screen to underscore the event’s political and interpersonal tensions while meditating on its complex reverberations across the globe. Presented in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. DCP digital. (Amy Beste)
Artist Naeem Mohaiemen is scheduled to appear for audience discussion.
The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images
2011, Eric Baudelaire, Japan/Lebanon, 66 min.
- Sat, Feb 16th 12:30pm
Presented as a companion to Naeem Mohaiemen’s UNITED RED ARMY (THE YOUNG MAN WAS, PART I), Eric Baudelaire’s THE ANABASIS OF MAY AND FUSAKO SHIGENOBU, MASAO ADACHI AND 27 YEARS WITHOUT IMAGES examines the fractured biographies of Fusako Shigenobu, leader of the ultra-left Japanese Red Army (JRA) in Lebanon, her daughter May Shigenobu, and radical Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi, who moved to Beirut to join the JRA in the early 1970s. Using Adachi’s “theory of landscape” (fukei-ron), which proposes that a nation’s landscape reflects the social and political systems in power, Baudelaire weaves together contemporary and archival images of Tokyo and Beirut with May Shigenobu and Adachi’s recollections of revolution, exile, and their eventual returns home. Presented in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago as part of the exhibition "Naeem Mohaiemen: Two Meetings and a Funeral." DCP digital. (Ariel Clark-Semyck)
Laida Lertxundi: Landscape Plus
2012-18, Laida Lertxundi, USA/Spain, ca. 69 min.
- Thu, Feb 21st 6:00pm
The films of Los Angeles-based artist Laida Lertxundi are seductive and self-reflexive explorations of place. She presents a suite of films produced through a process she refers to as “landscape plus,” which marries observational photography with music, actions, and chance events. Her latest, WORDS, PLANETS (2018), mixes domestic spaces and sun-drenched vistas with readings and texts to evoke the many ways lived experience transcends representation. The autobiographical 025 SUNSET RED (2016) links the Basque and Californian landscapes through the filmmaker’s upbringing by Spanish communists. Also screening: VIVIR PARA VIVIR / LIVE TO LIVE (2015) and WE HAD THE EXPERIENCE BUT MISSED THE MEANING (2014), THE ROOM CALLED HEAVEN (2012), CRY WHEN IT HAPPENS (2010). 16mm. (Amy Beste)
Filmmaker Laida Lertxundi is scheduled to appear for audience discussion.
1970-2017, Morgan Fisher, USA, ca. 75 min.
- Thu, Feb 28th 6:00pm
Morgan Fisher, artist and filmmaker, will discuss his recent work in painting and photography, then present a selection of films, including STANDARD GAUGE (1984) and the Chicago premiere of ANOTHER MOVIE (2017). STANDARD GAUGE, a single take except for the titles, shows in close-up pieces of 35mm film (“standard gauge”) that Fisher collected during his time as an editor in Hollywood as he comments on them. ANOTHER MOVIE is a pendant to Bruce Conner’s found-footage classic, A MOVIE (1958). ANOTHER MOVIE uses all of Ottorino Respighi’s symphonic poem "Pines of Rome" (1924), which Conner’s film uses only part of, and includes a scene to illustrate the part of the music that Conner omitted. The long intervals of black elsewhere in the film let the viewer imagine the scenes that Respighi wanted his music to describe, but such is the power of Conner’s film that viewers may visualize scenes from it instead. Multiple formats. (Morgan Fisher)
Artist Morgan Fisher is scheduled to appear for audience discussion.
On Watching Men
1976-2010, Various artists, Various nations, USA, ca. 82 min.
- Thu, Mar 7th 6:00pm
Featuring works by Chick Strand, Tracey Moffatt, Yael Bartana, and Jumana Manna, this program explores the subtleties of power relations and gender dynamics in observational film and media art. The artists turn their cameras on men, addressing and reversing conventional hierarchies, while also placing various manifestations of masculinity under experimental, quasi- anthropological study. In an introduction and post-screening discussion, curator Rachael Rakes will discuss these works in light of contemporary alternative ethnographies and consider masculinity as a construct in nonfiction artmaking. Multiple formats. (Rachael Rakes)
Curator Rachael Rakes is scheduled to appear for audience discussion.
The Grand Bizarre
2018, Jodie Mack, USA, ca. 66 min.
- Thu, Feb 7th 6:00pm
Artist and animator Jodie Mack (MFA 2007) is celebrated for transforming the patterns of everyday life into dazzling short films. Her debut feature is an exhilarating examination of the global circulation of textiles. Shot on location in nearly 20 countries around the globe, THE GRAND BIZARRE weaves together footage of industrial mills, artisan looms, airports, shipping crates, shops, and street vendors--all connected through thousands of yards of fabric. Mack illuminates formal commonalities across cultures while reflecting on overlapping systems of knowledge and the price of appropriation in a globalist economy. Screened with HOARDERS WITHOUT BORDERS 1.0 (2018). Multiple formats. (Amy Beste)