Family

2012
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.

1999
Cumming, Donigan: Four Short Pieces

Four short pieces: three featuring anecdotes and conversations, the fourth an icy landscape.

2007
Currents of Destiny

In this video, made soon after the death of his mother Stella, we accompany George to the wake, and on to a trip to Albert Maysles holiday home on Fisher's Island.

"Deep waters flow around the living, dead and inanimate objects that bring this picture to life on the wide screen tapestry of electronic reality. Come and join the young and old of eastern energies as they bask in the sun and shadows of past sins and future fortunes. See how the other side lives and devours the fruits and nuts that pepper this great nation with neon nutrients worthy of Broadway and beyond!"

2012
John Smith, Dad's Stick

Dad’s Stick features three objects that my father showed me shortly before he died. Two of these were so well-used that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third object seemed to be instantly recognizable, but it turned out to be something else entirely.

1987
Danny

This video is a moving personal documentary about Danny, a friend of Kybartas who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1986. This powerful work explores the reason for Danny’s return home and his attempts to reconcile his relationship with his family members who had difficulty facing his homosexuality and his imminent death. Retracing Danny’s memory of his once-high lifestyle in the clubs and gyms of Miami, Danny avoids sentimentalizing its subject as it juxtaposes images, text, and voice-over to build a sense of the psychological struggle brought on by Danny’s impending, premature death.

2007
The Disappointment: Or, The Force of Credulity

The Disappointment: Or, The Force of Credulity is a documentary about the search for four lost treasures buried on a single farm in Missouri. These treasures include a Spanish explorer's gold, silver from the Civil War, mysterious stone carvings, lost texts, and a wife's attempt to heal her husband and protect herself and her children. Part personal documentary and part historical essay, The Disappointment traces the patterns of cultural forgetting etched in the landscape of the Austin Farm.

2001
Double Sigh

Double Sigh is a video in which my mother reenacts a moment from my adolescence. In confronting the viewer directly, my mother's anger, frustration and sadness are imposed on the audience.

-- Julia Hechtman

This title is only available on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

2008
A Dream of Roses

A House Wife's hum-drum world dissolves away into a thorny Passion Play of miraculous visions.

1980
Duality Duplicity

This arresting early work conveys a tension that emanates from what Tanaka posits as life's basic dualities: male/female, past/present, known/unknown. By focusing issues of identity, doubt, wonder, and awareness through the body, and the bodies of her ancestors, Tanaka succeeds in creating a work with both personal and political power. Tanaka creates a unique voice that speaks of her experience of maturing into womanhood, repeating the refrain, "I my mother." An experimental video, this work contains one of the first examples of flicker editing.

2010
Dust Studies

A domestic portrait rendered at miniature scale, Dust Studies brushes along the edge of what can be seen. Staying close to the ground to collect what gathers there, the film looks deeply for everyday things and finds them drifting in the pleasant, meandering headwaters of a young child's language.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

2009
The Elektra/Vampyr Variations

A fantasia that makes twisted use of elements from the Elektra myth and vampire stories. Imagine a woman listening to Richard Strauss's Elektra while watching Carl Dryer's Vampyr and the dream she might then have that night. The protagonist imagines herself as Elektra. She has an unhealthy obsession over her dead father Agamemnon. She also passionately despises her mother Clytemnestra, as she is the one who murdered her father. Elektra exhumes the ax used to kill her father in his bath.

2006
Epilogue: The Palpable Invisibility of Life

Epilogue: The Palpable Invisibility of Life is the final chapter in The Blindness Series, a body of eight videos on blindness and its metaphors that was begun in 1992. The inspiration for the series came from a 1990 exhibition Jacques Derrida curated for the Louvre Museum, titled Memoirs of the Blind.

1993
Everyday Echo Street: A Summer Diary

Filmed in Susan Mogul’s Los Angeles multi-ethnic working class neighborhood, Highland Park, Everyday Echo Street: A Summer Diary, is an insider’s view of how home and neighborhood are constructed in everyday relations. Composed of conversational and anecdotal portraits of neighbors and merchants, Susan ruminates about the past and the present, as she looks out her apartment window. Struggling to arrive at a new definition of “home,” she ponders loss, middle age, and living alone.

2011
Evil Eyes, The

An homage to the death of the soap opera, The Evil Eyes is a 1960's era story of a grandmother faced with her mortality, a mother in mid-life crisis, and a son realizing his sexuality - a dysfunctional family whose unspoken angst manifests in the latest episode of their beloved supernatural soap opera, Before Dawn.

1997
Excerpts from Songs

Made from silent black and white tube camera footage of the artist taken by her father in the early 70s, this series of loops—through the examination of particular moments and gestures— is evocative for what it reveals and conceals about their relationship.

This title is also available on Helen Mirra Videoworks: Volume 1.