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Laura Parnes
TRT 01:24:15 | 2012-2018 | 16:9

Excerpts from Tour Without End
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Laura Parnes | 2018 | 01:32:00 | United States | English | Color | 16:9 | HD video

Four excerpts form Laura Parnes' genre-bending music documentary Tour Without End.

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Excerpts from Tour Without End
Video Details
Laura Parnes | 2018 | 01:32:00 | United States | English | Color | 16:9 | HD video

Four excerpts form Laura Parnes' genre-bending music documentary Tour Without End.

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County Down
Video Details
Laura Parnes | 2012 | 01:09:08 | United States | English | Color | 16:9 | HD video

This feature-length rotoscope narrative takes its viewers on a dangerous trip through a drugged-up, far-out, strange and magical suburban teen fantasy.

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The work of video and media artist Laura Parnes refuses conventionality in form and genre, creating a unique and striking cinematic style all her own. Working in varied channels, including documentary, horror, narrative, and experimental video, Parnes captures an inherently feminist style, tweaking and queering the concept of storytelling through moving image.

Two works that showcase Parnes' versatility are included in this program: County Down (2012), and four excerpts from Parnes’ newest feature-length piece Tour Without End (2018). County Down, a rotoscope animation, tells a fantastical story of drug-addicted suburban teenagers. The drug in question, Quix, a bubblegum pink liquid distributed in baby bottles, seems to be creating an anxiety-free apocalypse in an otherwise average gated community. Ken Johnson of the New York Times called County Down a "blatantly ridiculous and yet weirdly compelling soap opera; Night of the Living Dead meets Pretty Little Liars.” (New York Times “Art In Review”, 2013)

While following in Parnes' whimsical style, Tour Without End takes a much different approach in form and content, combining documentary and narrative fiction to describe the contemporary punk scene through the lens of the current political climate. The four excerpts included in this program feature conversations with Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), Kathleen Hannah (The Julie Ruin), Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), and Eileen Myles, as well as performances by Kate Valk (founder of The Wooster Group) and Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater).

Viewed together, these two works describe Parnes’ fiercely unique cinematic style: simultaneously bellicose, punk, femme, otherworldly, and made for TV.

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Still from Laura Parnes - County Down

 

About Laura Parnes:

Laura Parnes’ critically acclaimed moving image works and installations address counter-cultural and youth-culture references where music is integral to the work. Her work engages in strategies of narrative and experimental film and video art to craft loose narratives of trauma and repressed memory around mass-culture experiences and youthful rites of passage. Using historical, literary and popular culture based references, she addresses issues related to cultural production and societal malaise.

Laura Parnes has screened and exhibited her work widely in the U.S. and internationally, including Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art (Athens, Greece); LOOP Video Art Festival (Barcelona, Spain); Light Industry (Brooklyn, NY); Kunsthalle Winterhur (Switzerland); Overgaden Institute for Contemporary Art (Copenhagen, Denmark); iMOCA (Indianapolis, IN); Cinematexas (Austin, TX); Contemporary Art Center (Vilnius, Lithuania); Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid, Spain); Whitney Museum of American Art, 1997 Whitney Biennial (NY); Dunedin Public Art Gallery (New Zealand); PS1 Contemporary Art Center MoMA (NY); Miami Museum of Contemporary Art (FL); and Brooklyn Museum (NY).

Featured titles

Tour Without End, Laura Parnes

Tour Without End is an experimental hybrid feature-length video work that casts real-life musicians, artists, and actors as fictional bands on tour; the piece evolves into a cross-generational commentary on contemporary culture and politics in the Trump era. Shot over the course of four years between 2014-18 at over 15 DIY music spaces in and around NYC, Tour Without End functions as a time capsule — made more apparent by the shuttering of many of its locations due to NYC’s rapid gentrification.

The work’s multitude of characters are legendary performers in the downtown NYC arts scene, including: The Wooster Group founder Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher (New York City Players), Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), Kathleen Hanna (The Julie Ruin), Brontez Purnell (The Younger Lovers), Eileen Myles, Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater), Nicole Eisenman, K8 Hardy, Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre) Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), JD Samson (MEN), Gary Indiana, Kembra Pfahler (Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black), Rachel Mason, Tom McGrath, Matthew Asti (MGMT), Becca Blackwell, Christen Clifford, Alessandra Genovese (Crush), Rogelio Ramos (Love Pig), Kenya Robinson (Cheeky LaShae), and Neon Music (Youth Quake).

Laura Parnes, County Down

County Down is a cross-platform, episodic, digital video, exploring an epidemic of psychosis among the adults in a gated community, coinciding with a teenage girl’s invention of a designer drug. A rave-culture period-piece that harnesses the unwarranted optimism of the 1990s, County Down presents a society so obsessed with novelty and consumerism that it euphorically sews the seeds of its own destruction. Tracking the genesis of our current political climate, the ensemble cast banks on cultural appropriation and a constant din of micro-aggressions. These characters seem to have no inner life, their actions guided by clever quips lifted from horror and science fiction. Mentored by video games and coming-of-age films, they enact an addictive world of depressive excess.

The multigenerational cast of downtown performers and artists includes: Chloe Bass, Becca Blackwell, Ellen Cantor, Patty Chang, Marti Domination, Nicole Eisenman, Jim Fletcher, Andy Haynes, William Powhida, Emily Roysdon, Kate Valk, Stephanie Vella and Sacha Yanow. The soundtrack and musical arrangements are by Johanna Fateman of Le Tigre, and also includes music by JD Samson, Wynne Greenwood, Long Hind Legs, and Lesbians On Ecstasy. Costumes and Styling are by GGrippo.