Autobiography

2001
My Dinner with Weegee

In My Dinner With Weegee Donigan Cumming weaves together two life stories. The central figure, a man in his seventies named Marty, remembers his experiences in New York as a young Catholic labour organizer and peace activist, his friendships with David Dellinger, the Berrigan brothers, Bayard Rustin, Weegee, and James Agee. This mixture of first-hand knowledge and gossip brightens Marty’s dark passage—he is old, sick, depressed, and alcoholic.

1990
My Mother's Place

My Mother’s Place is an experimental documentary focusing on the artist’s mother, a third-generation Chinese-Trinidadian who at 80 still has vivid memories of a history lost or quickly disappearing. She conveys these with a storytelling style and a frankness that is distinctly West Indian. A tape about memory, oral history, and autobiography, My Mother’s Place interweaves interviews, personal narrative, home movies, and verité footage of the Caribbean to explore the formation of race, class, and gender under colonialism.

1996
Nine Fish

From childhood memories to recurring nightmares, Nine Fish attacks and illuminates the indecision and confusion surrounding euthanasia and care of the elderly in the United States. In this deeply spiritual and personal video, director Kip Fulbeck chronicles his Cantonese grandmother's physical decline and its continuing impact on his family. The shifting complexities of personal identity, family communication, and cultural assimilation are explored through nine semi-fictional stories.

2006
Notes on the Death of Kodachrome

This piece purports to be about the discontinuation of the much-loved format, Kodachrome, and with it the further endangerment of super-8 film. But it has other agendas of reclamation and personal reckoning that are its true subject matter.

2010
The Nutrient Express

A trip to Winnipeg introduces the viewer to moments of Canadian cuisine and to the easily digestible tidbits that make up the WNDX Film/Video Festival. Come join the movie buffs as they beef up on eye candy and tummy truffles, all the while indulging in a masticating miasma of minutia that's easy to swallow. Wash it all down with some river views and Mr. Coffee secretions and you'll get a taste of the treats that await all who head north to appease the more southerly rumblings of the human anatomy.

1995
Obsessive Becoming

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.

2003
OPERATION INVERT

Are gender outlaws considered the new biological terrorists seeking weapons of mass bodily destruction? OPERATION INVERT compares the different regulations mediating botox-related plastic surgery and gender reassignment "sex change." Historical medical assessments of the invert (homosexual and transsexual) "condition" reveal seemingly outdated absurdities about outsider deviance. Nonetheless, current institutional loopholes governing gender re-assignment surgery suggest a fresh resurgence of loony pathology and diagnosis.

1993
operculum

The artist visits with seven cosmetic surgeons specializing in blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid creasing surgery) in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area for initial consultation sessions. The doctors demonstrate different reshaping options and comment upon the prevalence and success rates for different Asian nationalities while Tran presents statistics and facts in text that frame the consultations.

This title is also available on Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series.

1989
Precious Products

In Precious Products we are subtly reminded of this country’s obsession with consumerism and narcissism. George, with his ever-present video-8 camera, attends an opening of Precious Products—an exhibition of artworks satirizing art as commodity. He leaves the art world of San Francisco to spend a Christmas holiday with friends in their opulent home. Ironically, this is the home of a celebrity (another kind of commodity), Russian defector/ballerina Natalia Makanova. Surrounded by all the luxuries of life and Makanova’s image, George muses about death.

1991
Prosaic Portraits, Ironies and Other Intimacies - Susan Mogul

Susan Mogul's first video diary work, produced two years before Everyday Echo Street: A Summer Diary (1993), follows the artist on a trip though Eastern Europe immediately after the fall of the USSR. Through discussions with various characters about politics, art, and each others personal lives, Mogul creates a video time capsule of social life in Poland, then Czechoslovakia, and former Yugoslavia.

2004
Public Lighting

How do we tell the story of a life? What cruel reduction of an image will stand (in the obituary, the family photo album, the memory of friends) for the years between a grave and a difficult birth? Public Lighting examines the current media obsession with biography, offering up “the six different kinds of personality” (the obsessive, the narcissist) as case studies and miniatures, possible examples.

2010
House Hold, Guy Ben-Ner

This first program deals with stories of captivity. To start, Hostage: The Bachar tapes by Walid Raad presents us with an imagined hostage presumably held in custody along with the American hostages in Lebanon during the 1980’s. Raad’s work reflects on the invention and communication of stories about abduction, insisting on the families’ unity in the face of threats, and reads through the fears and sexual fantasies of the kidnapped Americans who are held in the same cell with a Lebanese man.

1987
Rainy Season

Thanksgiving in California is the setting in which the viewer experiences "the depression inherent to festive occasions. There were many things bothering me at this time, or maybe it was one thing that broke into many pieces.

This title is also available on The World of George Kuchar.

1988
Return to the House of Pain

Return to the House of Pain documents my walking through the turf and sludge of the Big Apple and many worm holes... I chomp my way back west and gnaw on all that sinks stomachward and beyond in vertiginous aching.

2014

Steve Reinke has long been lauded for his irreverent, philosophical, and often acerbic works, which typically adopt the form of personal essays to wryly bend and reread wide-ranging topics, from pop culture, to sex, to theories of visual perception and beyond. Reinke’s video, included in the 2014 Biennial, Rib Gets in the Way, is narrated in the first person by Reinke, and addresses mortality, the body, the archive, and the embodiment of a life’s work.