Death and Dying

2003
Moyngo, The dream of Maragareum

During a video workshop, the Ikpeng community decides to act out the myth of the origin of the tattooing ceremony. The mythical hero, Maragareum, dreams about the collective death of the villagers of his friend’s Eptxum’s village. Arriving in this village, he finds, in fact, that everyone is dead. As night falls, he hides in the hut, and observes and learns the Moyngo ceremony from the spirits of the dead.

Directed and photographed by Karané, Kumaré, and Natuyu Ikpeng; edited by Leonardo Sette.

In Ikpeng with English subtitles.

2016
Dana Levy: Museum Intervention Works

“Levy's work is both ramified and momentous, addressing environments of many kinds, and filled with stories in which human behavior has played a decisive role.”

 — Noam Gal, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

1975
My Father

In this classic personal elegy, Kubota mourns her father's death and recounts the last days of his life. Reflecting on Kubota's use of the video medium, the television emerges as the link between Kubota and her father, with the melodramatic crooning of Japanese pop singers providing a backdrop for Kubota's real-life tragedy.

This title is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

2016
My Mother, Artist and Teacher

My mother's life and death were both extraordinarily epic. A painter who art therapized herself out of depression. Her resiliency could have rewarded her with a Badge of Courage; alchemizing trauma into art, activism and humor. Modeling these gifts for me, I look at our lives which could have been charted and copied page for page, letter by letter, and I recognize that I have imitated her style, not missing a beat.

— Linda Montano

2013
Paweł Wojtasik, Nascentes Morimur

Nascentes Morimur grew out of a series of works on autopsy — an earlier video and a number of still images — that were exhibited together as Like a Shipwreck We Die Going Into Ourselves. In an interview on that body of work Wojtasik said: “In the end, doubt has been raised. One starts to look around the room at the living and the dead and question how real one’s own and others’ identities are. At the same time, one may be filled with simultaneous wonder and dread at the sheer fact of being alive in the body.”

-- Kustendorf Film and Music Festival

1987
Not a Jealous Bone

Invoking a biblical story of life coming from dry bones, Condit constructs an experimental narrative about an older woman’s confrontation with her own mortality after the death of her mother. The bone represents the promise of youth and hope—a promise jealously coveted by the young, but needed more by those grown old. Inverting cultural values, Condit represents feminine youth as a mannequin, and seeks humanity in the form of the older woman, who is reborn by overcoming her fear of death.

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

2007
O'Malley's Head #2

In 1998 I made a sculpture of a decapitated head. I featured it in a photo and video. I thought of the head as a character whose adventures would be documented. The name O’Malley was inspired by Chicago’s Irish heritage (I was living in Chicago then). O’Malley’s Head Part 1 was a photo of the head placed on top of the garbage cans in the alley behind my apartment building. I lived right by an exit ramp from the Kennedy Expressway, one of the last before you reached downtown from O’Hare Airport. Sometimes people would exit there and dump things.

2017
Anne McGuire "Oh Hi Anne"

Made using voicemails the Kuchar brothers left on her home answering machine, the artist reveals George and Mike in all their candid honesty leading up to and following George’s untimely death in 2011. McGuire floats their voices along a river of digital scribbles and her own voice in singer/songwriter mode. The beauty of the piece lies partly in how the voicemails, used as-is and chronologically, contain an entire narrative about love and loss in a DIY style reminiscent of the Kuchars.

1982
On Death and Dying

Three nuns in dark sunglasses sit at a table playing cards while a nurse is inteviewed about "what death looks like” on the soundtrack. As the nurse speaks, in medical detail, of death as a natural process, the nuns sit with party hats on their heads and light birthday candles stuck in bananas. On Death and Dying is a mocking and macabre look at the institutions of death—how hospitals and religions “manage” death. The tape resolves in the conclusion that “death is a job that you do by yourself.”

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.

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.

2006
Paul and the Badger: Episodes 1 to 4

The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrfice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.

2010
Paul and the Badger: Episodes 5 to 8

The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrifice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.

2002
Perfect Spot

A daughter leads her mother on a rope while they take a walk, looking for a place where the mother can bid her final farewell. Before she leaves, they have a picnic, she sings a song, and they chat about the family. An absurd domestic drama played out against the background of a summer’s day by the seaside.