Cecilia Dougherty

1998 | 00:11:25 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Artist Portraits, City, Documentary, Feminism, Interview, LGBTQ, Literature

Laurie was inspired by Laurie Weeks’ uncanny ability to simultaneously embody her characters and write them from a clear distance. The text in question is just a few paragraphs from a draft of the novel Zipper Mouth, more than ten years in the making, and published by the Feminist Press. The character is Weeks the addict, but the substance of her continual addiction is not the heroin of the story, but the real junk of a life of refusal — refusal to be a girl and not relinquish a girls true insight and desires; refusal to participate in our corrupted cultural heritage yet be a witness, an embedded journalist, a chronicler of a more authentic culture. The video is a bit romantic, a portrait of a character more than of the author herself. As Laurie does in her writing, I conflate the persona of the writer with that of her characters, creating a portrait that is both real and fantasy, and creating a fantasy that is, at its roots, a true story. 

One of my own goals was to work intuitively, and to shoot and edit the piece with as little interference as possible. I wanted to work with blinders on, to not listen to the voices of an imagined audience, and to make the piece for Laurie. This allowed me freedom to go into and out of narratives — the one I was creating about the author, the one we were both creating about the fantasy of the author, and the one that is the story in the quoted text—to foreground impressions an to visualize the strength of the writing in Zipper Mouth.

-- Cecilia Dougherty

This title is only available on The Writers Series.

Exhibitions + Festivals

Anthology Film Archives, NY, 2012

Yale Film Study Center, 2012

Hammer Museum, 2012

Participant, Inc., NY, 2011

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