Literature

2000
SEVEN (Virginia Wolf)

“And the poem, I think, is only your voice speaking.”

—Virginia Woolf, The Waves (New York: Harcourt, 1978)

This title is also available on Third Known Nest by Tom Kalin.

1977
Sirens

Taking its title from the sea nymphs in Homer’s Odyssey—the treacherous spirits whose sweet voices lured sailors to their death upon the rocks—Sirens presents four hallucinatory scenes, visual puns authored by a mischievous agent. Mocking laughter that shatters the illusion and causes viewers to doubt the assumptions implicit in their viewing disrupts stills of what seem to be unpopulated landscapes.

2000
SIX (Virginia Wolf)

"Look how the willow shoots its fine sprays into the air! Look how through them a boat passes, filled with indolent, with unconscious, with powerful young men. They are listening to the gramophone; they are eating fruit out of paper bags. They are tossing the skins of bananas, which then sink, eel-like, into the river."

—Virginia Woolf, The Waves (New York: Harcourt, 1978)

This title is also available on Third Known Nest by Tom Kalin.

2003
Some Desperate Crime on My Head

I was fourteen when I put on my first wig. It was, I believe, my sister’s idea. So she and my mother and I went – I forget where…Simmons and Co.? – some elegantish salon with gold lame drapes where they did not do such splendid work. I sat and accepted the wig. It was like having an ax driven straight down the middle of my body. Beginning at the head. Whack! Hacked in two with one blow like a dry little tree. Like a sad little New York tree.

2000
Spawn of the Pagan

The voice of Mr. V. Vale resonates over the hundreds of books and record albums that line the walls of his apartment in the North Beach section of San Francisco—an apartment that he shares with his body- and soul-mate, Ms. Marian Wallace. Together they put out the series of softcover volumes known as REsearch books. Familiar titles in the series include Incredibly Strange Films and Incredibly Strange Music. See the face and force behind these literary works, and hear the pagan pronouncements of a powerful presence in the world of literature and ideas.

1999
The Spectacular Murder of Mervyn

An adaptation of the gruesome and fantastical ending chapter of the notorious experimental anti-novel Maldoror, first published in 1868 and written by a young man (who died soon after writing it) who called himself Comte De Lautréamont. A joyful return to the necessity of Super-8 film tricks, this is part of a larger Anglo-German collaborative feature film Maldoror, shot entirely on Super-8 in sections by 15 underground filmmakers working independently. Includes Super 8 Film, model animation, photo animation and live action.

2011
Basma Alsharif, The Story of Milk and Honey

The Story of Milk and Honey is a short experimental video belonging to a larger project, which includes photographs, drawings and text, detailing an un-named individual’s failure to write a love story. Through voiceover narration that weaves together images, letters, and songs, a story of defeat transpires into a journey that explores how we collect and perceive information, understand facts, history, images, and sound and where the individual is to be found in the midst of the material.

Produced with the Fundación Marcelino Botín Grant for Visual Arts Fund.

1989
The Fairies

Based on a tale by Charles Perrault, Tom Rubnitz's The Fairies comes complete with frogs, princes, kind fairies, and evil stepsisters—all costumed à la Rubnitz. Featuring Sister Dimension as the fairy godmother, Michael Clark, and others, the tape playfully illustrates a familiar fairytale moral, as each person gets what they deserve. The evil girl spits up toads, while flowers and jewels emerge from the mouth of Matilda the Good, and a dancing prince carries her away. 

2006
The General Returns from One Place to Another

Through a concurrently indulgent and skeptical experience of the beautiful, the video draws an uneasy balance between the romantic and the horrid. A nihilistic monologue (from Frank O’Hara’s play of the same title) attempts to undercut the sincerity of the landscape, but there are stronger forces surfacing.

— Michael Robinson

2013
Very Very End

"In The Very Very End, Barber points to his medium's plastic possibility by somehow traveling into the future and the past, nodding to Neville Shute's apocalyptic 1957 novel On The Beach, while setting an end-of-days story in a 21st Century holiday resort.

1988
There Was an Unseen Cloud Moving

A fragmented, experimental biography of the 19th-century poet and writer Isabelle Eberhardt, whose brief, unusual life ended abruptly in a flash flood in the desert.

2000
THREE (Derek Jarman)

“I am a mannish / Muff-diving / Size queen / With bad attitude / An arse-licking / Psychofag / Molesting the flies of privacy / Balling lesbian boys / A perverted heterodemon / Crossing purpose with death / I am a cock-sucking / Straight-acting / Lesbian man / With ball-crushing bad manners / Laddish nymphomaniac politics / Spunky sexist desires / Of incestuous inversion and / Incorrect terminology / I am a Not Gay”

—Derek Jarman, Blue: Text of a Film (Woodstock, N.Y.: Overlook Press, 1994)

1998
Time Passes

Using a Super-8 camera, Henricks employs time-lapse photography to document the interior and exterior of his apartment. Inspired by the work of Virginia Woolf, Time Passes uses writing as a metaphor for notions of temporality and impermanence.

This title is also available on Nelson Henricks Videoworks: Volume 2.

2013
TOUCH

A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a re-cataloguer, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images that he puts before us – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.

2007
The Treasures of Creepy Hollow

A collection of literary and visual art is exhibited in the home of a noted author who displays great hospitality to the horrors and kinks of artistic expression. The viewer gets an up-close look at things best left behind the sofas of decent housing.