Body

1983
Journey to the Sun, Varble

Stephen Varble began Journey to the Sun as a series of performances with projected slides in 1978. After becoming notorious for unauthorized costume performances on Soho streets in the mid 1970s, Varble receded from his public persona at this time. Deriving from his identification with his idol, the reclusive actress Greta Garbo, and informed by the spiritual practice of Subud, Varble began writing an allegorical epic about a musician, the Grey Crowned Warbler, who undergoes tribulation and metamorphosis on a journey to transcendence.

2004
Kings of the Sky

An experimental documentary about resistance, balance and fame. Kings of the Sky follows tightrope artist Adil Hoxur as he and his troupe tour China’s Taklamakan desert amongst the Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people seeking religious and political autonomy.

2001
Barbara Aronofsky Latham, Barbara Latham Videoworks: Volume 1

The five videos featured here investigate video as a tool for storytelling and the construction of alternate identities. Ultimately Latham concludes that video is an unsatisfactory and cumbersome tool useful only for the creation of dislocated narratives.

2014

Sections 1-30 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

2016
Lessons: XXXI-LX

Sections 31-60 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

1988
Let's Play Prisoners

A haunting look at the hidden issues of erotic power relationships between women, told through the reconstructed story of two girlhood friends. In Zando’s tape, the origins of desire and domination are traced to the early stages of the childhood relation between mother and daughter, as revealed in the often fearful and cruel framework of childhood play. In the paradigm of need and dependency versus power and control, the submissive impulse is linked to the transcendent yearning to reunite with the pre-natal mother.

1999

Letter to a missing woman, based partly on memories of someone who has been a political fugitive since 1983, combines documentary "evidence" and fiction in an imaginative reconstruction of public documents and private history. This is a quiet, obsessive piece addressing the human costs and repercussions of re-inventing oneself – one’s body, memories, and future – as a living piece of propaganda. The writer/narrator of this "crazy letter" is an unreliable one, a composite of half-truths, paranoid digressions, and feelings of loss.

2012
Dani Leventhal Videoworks: Volume 1

The work of Dani Leventhal explores the complicated space that exists between decay and renewal, intimacy and disconnection and the sacred and mundane. The six pieces that comprise Dani Leventhal Videoworks: Volume 1 each examine these ambiguous emotional and psychic spaces through a use of montage that is at once both unstructured and dispassionate and lyrically sentimental.

2001
Lisa

Two women occupy one space. Without showing their faces, the camera lingers on their bodies in images that capture both from an extreme high angle. The camera distorts the female body, even creating a grotesque effect. A voice repeatedly calls for a woman: “Lisa, come here, don’t be afraid… that’s it, I won’t hurt you.” A video which explores the gaze on the female body, and the desires and violence overwhelming it.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

2011
Litany of the Seven Kisses

OverRiped words from the lips of an OverExposed boy decorates this litany in pink with purple bruises.

-- Mike Kuchar

2017
Liz/James/Stillholes (2005/2017), Liz Rosenfeld

An exploration of cruising glory holes, feminism, and general queer frustration.

2002
The Local Sky Enlarger

In this surreal experimental narrative, there’s something wrong with a patch of sky. As it travels over Southern England, objects cast up into it come down hugely enlarged, bloated. Meanwhile in London, the patch is in fact a troubling scab on a crippled old man’s head. As the scab develops, all he can do is wait, going through the changes, led on gently by the idiot-savant son with his childlike multiple identities.

1999
Locked Groove

Locked Groove is based on daily life choreography, an investigation of movements in public space - life rhythms within the context of urbanity. It features close-up shots of the most often executed movements of people with the most common jobs in the city of Hull, UK, where the video was produced. The result is a dense collage made from these different motion fragments (sometimes less than a second long). Extracted as mere gestures, they reveal hidden messages and allow possible links to other movement fragments.

2018
Arbitrary Fragments, Barbara Aronofsky Latham

The emergence of video art tools in the late 1960s and early 1970s paved the way for an extraordinary number of outstanding art works by women. Captivated by the relative accessibility, portability and immediacy of Sony’s Video Portapak recording system, a significant number of female artists began to experiment with the video format. Often taking a direct-to-camera approach, many of the resulting works reflect the burgeoning feminist movement in the U.S. at the time.

1977
Losing: A Conversation with the Parents

Treating the problem of anorexia nervosa from the parents' perspective, Rosler presents a mother and father speaking about the tragedy of their daughter's death as a result of dieting. The conversation turns toward the irony of self-starvation in a land of plenty and toward the international politics of food, where food aid is used as a negotiating tool. Confronting a serious issue, Rosler simultaneously sets into play the confessional form and the ghoulish staginess of talk show dramatics.