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This programme brings together a number of recent videos that explore the jaded sensibilities of the post-nuclear 21st century family. Smaller and Easier to Handle (2003, 7:28 min.) by Kristin Lucas is an incisive take on techno-culture presenting a hallucinatory set-piece in which a nuclear family assumes the roles of a mutant operating theater, with surgeon, assistants, and a half-human, half-animal patient. Employing outrageous costumes, surveillance footage, and a propulsive soundtrack, Lucas crafts a spooky parable for our fast-forward society.
The Star Eaters (2003, 24:00 min.) by Peggy Ahwesh is a melancholy portrait of a woman as she attempts to trace her memories and make sense of her life amidst the faded glamour of Atlantic City’s seaside resort. Ahwesh continues to explore a mix of fictive and documentary styles, with the aim of producing work that she has called “narrative-like.”
Gone (2001, 35:00 min.) is a twin-screen video based on Episode No. 2 of An American Family, the landmark 70s PBS veritÃ© documentary series about the Loud Family of Santa Barbara, California. Dougherty has created a free-form variation on the theme of parental visits to wayward queer children by mapping the dialogue and plot onto a contemporary community of artists and writers in New York today. Ultimately, Gone is an homage to the art underground, the Chelsea Hotel, and New York City itself. The soundtrack features music by Le Tigre and Mike Iveson.
“Dougherty tests new limits of digital video technologies in her latest work. Partially a re-staging of one episode from 70s proto-reality-TV series An American Family, Gone presents elaborate and intricate new possibilities for narrative through the use of double-screen projection, evoking complex themes of nostalgia, history, memory and loss. Pixelated, popping with lush colors, and elaborately sound-designed, Gone recombines low fidelity with high concept to create a unique vision of inner and outer life on the margins of culture.” (Ed Halter)
by Cecilia Dougherty
by Peggy Ahwesh