Marxism

2001
comunista!

"You are invited to Jim’s party! Snake optional."

--Cinematexas Festival (Austin, 2001)

"Three more sing-alongs, this time with swans, a snake, and the Red Army Chorus."

--L.A. Freewaves Festival

This title is also available on Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 1.

2013
Encounters with Your Inner Trotsky Child

Another chapter in the parallel-leftist-universe of Jim Finn, this video appears to be part of a communist self-help videotape series made in the early 1990's. The series author, Lois Severin, was responding to the move from mass sociopolitical engagement of the 60's and 70's to the personal fulfillment fantasies of the 80's – the Jane Fonda-ization of the Left. But these tapes were not merely a desperate attempt for Trotskyites to stay relevant in the neoliberal era. They were mimicking the Christian fundamentalist activists who organized in churches and community centers in the 70's.

1995
Manifestoon

Displaying a broad range of Golden Age Hollywood animation, Manifestoon is an homage to the latent subversiveness of cartoons. Though U.S. cartoons are usually thought of as conveyors of capitalist ideologies of consumerism and individualism, Drew observes: "Somehow as an avid childhood fan of cartoons, these ideas were secondary to a more important lesson—that of the 'trickster' nature of many characters as they mocked, outwitted and defeated their more powerful adversaries.

1990
Marx: The Video

Kipnis describes this tape as "an appropriation of the aesthetics of both late capitalism and early Soviet cinema—MTV meets Eisenstein—reconstructing Karl Marx for the video age.” She presents a postmodern lecture delivered by a chorus of drag queens on the unexpected corelations between Marx’s theories and the carbuncles that plagued the body of the rotund thinker for over thirty years. Marx’s erupting, diseased body is juxtaposed with the “body politic", and posited as a symbol of contemporary society proceeding the failed revolutions of the late 1960s.

1984
Craig Owens: An Interview

Craig Owens (1950-1990) was a critic who wrote and lectured extensively on contemporary art. He showed particular interest in the issues of photography, postmodernism, feminism, and Marxist thought. A former associate editor for October and senior editor for Art in America, as well as professor of art history at Yale University and Barnard College, his writings were collected in Beyond Recognition: Representation, Power, and Culture (1994). Owens died of an AIDS-related illness in 1990.

2013

46+ years after Debord wrote "...the heart of the unrealism of the real society...," a nine-year-old child is instructed to repeatedly recite thesis #6 from The Society of the Spectacle. The recitations are re-mixed at one-second intervals forming a fragmented, discursive, strangely optimistic and melancholic chant. Additional audio is provided by the child's playing a Call of Duty: Back OPS game.

1984
Martha Rosler: An Interview

Martha Rosler (b.1943) received her BA from Brooklyn College in 1965 and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 1974. Rosler has produced seminal works in the fields of photography, performance, video, installation, criticism, and theory. Committed to an art that engages a public beyond the confines of the art world, Rosler investigates how socioeconomic realities and political ideologies dominate everyday life. Rosler's work has entered the canon of contemporary art through a process of steady, stealthy infiltration. Lacking commercial gallery representation until 1993, her endeavors as a prolific essayist, lecturer, and political agitator enabled her agenda to trickle down through critical channels.

1999
Sharambaba

A young communist girl named Sharambaba resists her suitor in a carriage. She speaks of what he calls her "fantasy world". All of the dialogue is played backwards with accommodating subtitles.

This title is also available on Jim Finn Videoworks: Volume 1.

2009
Strike Anywhere

Strike Anywhere is a video essay that takes as its point of departure Swedish "Match King" Ivar Kreuger, whose privatization of financial crisis management strategies bears a direct relation to late-20th Century policies implemented by the IMF and WTO. Between 1917 and 1932, Kreuger capitalized on shifts in global financial markets to control over 200 companies and establish matchstick monopolies in at least 34 countries. At the height of his success, Ivar Kreuger was worth approximately 30 million Swedish kronor (the equivalent of 100 billion USD today).

2007
La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo

La Trinchera Luminosa del Presidente Gonzalo is a recreation of one day at the Canto Grande prison in Peru, following women guerrillas from the Maoist Shining Path movement, from their morning marches to their bedtime chants. Kept isolated in their own cellblocks, the guerrillas refused to acknowledge that they were imprisoned. Their cellblocks were just another front in the People’s War: “shining trenches of combat”. This film shows the intense indoctrination and belief system of the brutal Latin American insurgency.

2014
Jim Finn, Zinoviev's Tube

The movement’s founder Lois Severin, a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife, was responding to the move from mass sociopolitical engagement of the 1960s and '70s to the personal fulfillment fantasies of the 80’s—the Jane Fonda­ization of the Left. While right­wing activists prepared the ground for the Reagan Revolution, the Inner Trotsky Child movement was an attempt to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self­-help scene and prepare the ground for a 21st Century revolution of the mind.