Mental Landscape

1990
Marx: The Video

Kipnis describes this tape as "an appropriation of the aesthetics of both late capitalism and early Soviet cinema—MTV meets Eisenstein—reconstructing Karl Marx for the video age.” She presents a postmodern lecture delivered by a chorus of drag queens on the unexpected corelations between Marx’s theories and the carbuncles that plagued the body of the rotund thinker for over thirty years. Marx’s erupting, diseased body is juxtaposed with the “body politic", and posited as a symbol of contemporary society proceeding the failed revolutions of the late 1960s.

2011
Midnight Carnival

Revelers at a masquerade ball enter an UnderWorld of guilt, vice, pain, chaos and redemption.

-- Mike Kuchar

2014
The Natural Look, Steve Reinke

There is no future in reproduction. I have no concern with any species extending itself through time. You think you have given birth to a baby, when really you have given birth to a bus driver, or tax collector. Instead I'm interested in the placenta, the real mother of us all, forgotten discarded. The softest machine, all lipids and blood, that blooms and rots like any vegetal/floral martyr. That umbilical cord did not connect you to your mother. It connected you to that most partial of objects — the placenta — part you, part mom, all martyr and garbage.

2013

...Night is upon them and God was asleep.

2017

They walk through 'life,' sometimes with no 'compass' in hand and become 'lost.'

1998
Nocturne

 The woman has perhaps murdered her lover and is living in an unstable world when he returns to her at night, in her dreams and into her arms, as witness to the subversive violence of nature, corporeality and desire.

With Anne Kugler, Bradley Eros and Karen Sullivan. Additional cinematography by Robert Fenz.

This title is only available on Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh.

2010
Not Torn (Asunder from the Very Start)

The archive is not a repository of cultural memory, but of dreams, a bank of dream material. Both memory and archive embrace death, but from contrary positions. The archive is a mausoleum that pretends to be a vast garden. Memory is an irradiated zoo in which the various animals are mutating extravagantly and dying slowly.

-- Steve Reinke

1997
On a Shore Beneath the Sky

Be careful when you go out into the surf in a skimpy thong... the current can be treacherous and turbulent as is the human heart!

2002
One Mile per Minute

Take a joyride through comfortable suburbia—a landscape molded by seductive television and corporate America (and keep in mind: disaster is another logo for your consumption...). This is the age of the "culture jammed" consumer preened with Friends hair, Survivor courage, and CNN awareness. A generation emptying their wallets for the most important corporate product of all: lifestyle. The psychological road trip across a slightly battered America travels at One Mile per Minute.

2007
The Only Ones Left

The Only Ones Left (three-channel video installation*), featuring actor Jim Fletcher, weaves film noir and mafia genre references with CEO diatribes, while also exposing the conventions of the feature film climax. The three channels of video depict all plot points of the Hollywood film climax concurrently. The channels are arranged chronologically from left to right. This simultaneity draws attention to the familiarity of the subject matter and the inevitability of the violent consequences awaiting the characters.

2006
Operation Atropos

Operation Atropos is a documentary about interrogation and POW resistance training. Director Coco Fusco worked with retired U.S. Army interrogators who subjected her group of women students to immersive simulations of POW experiences in order to show them what hostile interrogations can be like and how members of the U.S. military are taught to resist them. The group of interrogators is called Team Delta, and they regularly offer intensive courses that they call "Authentic Military Experiences" to civilians.

1976
Out of the Body Travel

A "young woman who finds herself surrounded by the relics of Western culture" is the subject of Richard Foreman's formal tableaux. The narration centers on a young woman's struggle to find a relation between her body and her self as mediated by language. The text is a poetry of formal relations that carries personal and historical implications, including the desires of the woman paradoxically voiced by a male narrator. The title suggests the vivid virtuality of dreaming; scenes repeatedly refer to both reading and sleeping.

2014
Mary Patten, Panel

PANEL originated as a performance-based, multi-channel video/sound installation, drawn from a transcript of a discussion at “Schizo Culture,” the notorious conference on schizophrenia and radical politics organized by Sylvère Lotringer at Columbia University in 1975.

2003
Papillon d'amour

By subjecting fragments from the Akira Kurosawa’s film Rashomon to a mirror effect, Provost creates a hallucinatory scene of a woman’s reverse chrysalis into an imploding butterfly. This physical audiovisual experience produces skewed reflections upon Love, its lyrical monstrosities, and a wounded act of disappearance.

1999
Petit Jesus

Christmas Eve. A man alone finds someone he can talk to.

"Pétit Jesus, a man speaks in his native French about his loneliness, his desperate need for love. The content of his speech is a poem of his own creation which he holds in his hand (off-camera) and from which he recites. With tears and snot pouring from his face, and a voice wracked with sobs, his "performance" is compelling in its rawness, its stark honesty."

--Scott McLeod, Curator, Moving Stills, Gallery 44, Toronto, 2000