"This movie was collected for four years before being sprayed scattershot over 28 minutes of psychic mayhem. The line between living and dead is a frontier crossed and re-crossed here. The living are dead while the dead are animated, breathing, swimming, giving birth. Consumed by the animal life of the city, the artist undertakes a first person journey, producing diary notes from one of the most skilled lens masters of the new generation. The camera is her company in this duet of death, the instrument that permits her to see the impossible, the unbearable, the invisible."
Defiantly humorous in its tone, Delirium reflects Faber’s mother’s personal experience with what has been classified as “female hysteria.” While never reducing her mother’s condition to a single explanation, Delirium firmly and convincingly links her illness to the historically embattled position women hold in a patriarchal culture. The video layers haunting imagery and humorous iconoclasm, referencing everything from television episodes of I Love Lucy to Charcot’s 19th Century photos of female hysterics.
The police phoned. They left a message on the machine. They said he was dead. The video unwinds through stories of sex for rent, unclaimed bodies, cigarette burns, and other monuments of life’s long run from wall to wall. Cut the Parrot is three grotesque comedies in one: the stories of Gerry, Susan, and Albert. Songs of hope and heartbreak spill from the mouths of the performers. The order of impersonation rules.
Crush is the story of a man who wants to turn into an animal as told by the man himself, and one or two observers. He employs a variety of techniques to transform himself into a beast, including cutting off parts of his body, exercising, swimming; he wants to return to the water, to speed up evolution a little. Has he gone mad, or is he just tired of being human? As the narrator descends into private obsessions, we begin to perceive the distorted outlines of reason which guide his descent.
Covert Action is a stunning melange of rapid-fire retro imagery accomplishing Child’s proclaimed goal to “disarm my movies.” “I wanted to examine the erotic behind the social, and remake those gestures into a dance that would confront their conditioning and, as well, relay the multiple fictions the footage suggests (the ‘facts’ forever obscured in the fragments left us). The result is a narrative developed by its periphery, a story like rumor: impossible to trace, disturbing, explosive.”
From the point of view of the psychoananlyst's chair, we witness images that place us implicitly within the scene. The images depict two embracing men, and suggest a complex and ambiguous web of associations. The embrace is both erotic and tender, and invites questions about power relationships. The pain of love and possible rejection is exposed through the flash of a naked leg, or the vulnerability of a fleeting expression.
Illustrating the modern woman’s mantra “I shop therefore I am", Barbara Latham’s Consuming Passions examines the passion for sweets as a replacement for a sense of security and a source of erotic satisfaction.
Compromise is Episode 1 of the video art trilogy, This is More Than Love I Feel Inside, in which Jillian Peña traces a queer relationship from inception to demise. Focusing on the interior and imaginary worlds of the partners, we glimpse the ultimate impossibility of true communication or connection between the girls. The work's characters are all played by Jillian, creating a juggle between the autoerotic and homoerotic, the self-reflexive and the self-obsessed.
The Chocolate Factory is a suite of monologues in the voice of a fictionalized serial killer, one monologue for each victim. The camera, with an almost structuralist rigor, pans up and down simple line drawings of each of the seventeen victims. A Black Sabbath song, picked apart and extended, serves as punctuation and soundtrack. Reinke has described the video as, "My autobiography as Jeffrey Dahmer." But really, as the narrator says, "It's all about the victims."
In Chicken on Foot, Sobell bounces a chicken carcass as one would a child, periodically crushing eggs (fetal chickens) on her knee. A statement of the displacement of sexual desire on food and women’s bodies, and an expression of female ambivalence about motherhood.
Carole S. Vance is an anthropologist and writer and Associate Research Scientist of Public Health and Director of the Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights at Columbia University. She has written extensively on sexuality and public policy, as well as issues of gender, health, and medical anthropology. Her books include Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (1984 and 1993) and Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship (1988). Interview by Carole Tormollan. A historical interview originally recorded in 1989.
With wit and humor, seven-year-old Kendra portrays ten female stereotypes, including an ingratiating Southern belle, a motorcycle-riding tough chick, and a simpering housewife. Under the rubric of playing dress-up, the video illustrates the pervasive, prescribed personalities available to women, and the early age at which girls recognize these choices. But, as outtakes reveal, spirited Kendra’s is infinitely more complex than the cardboard cut-outs she depicts.
How I Love You is an exploration of sexuality among gay men in Lebanon. A couple and three individuals talk about their sex lives, about commitments and failures, about their relationships to their bodies, about their passions and love in a society where homosexuality is still punished by imprisonment. The video uses light to produce a white veil that obstructs seeing, hence rendering character identification almost impossible. Through this obstruction, the video locates itself within a specific social context.