[TypicalGirls] Vivienne Dick at Artists Space
weaselw at juno.com
Wed Oct 20 14:30:33 EDT 2010
great. this is hot on the heels of the no wave cinema showings by the
people who made blank city . . . this is a great time to catch these
rarely seen works!
btw, blank city is really awesome and blows all other no wave related
movies away (not too hard to do . . . ). it's beautifully made,
comprehensive and free of bullshit agendas like pushing bands that have
nothing to do with the movement.
On Wed, 20 Oct 2010 13:40:05 -0400 Thomas Beard <thomasbbeard at gmail.com>
38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY
Beginning as an Irish expat in drop-dead New York, Vivienne Dick was
among the most celebrated and influential filmmakers to emerge from the
downtown No Wave scene. Obsessed with exhuming repressed traumas, voicing
beaten-down identities, and generally meandering through a complex matrix
of bad vibes, Dick has created an ever-evolving body of work that
constitutes one of the major corpuses of Super-8 cinema. The critic J.
Hoberman once referred to her as a quintessential narrow-gauge
filmmaker, noting how, in her films, urban documentary,
confessional-psychodrama, ironic spectacle, and home-movie dailiness
are fused, thereby totalizing the prevailing genres associated with the
Her first film, Guérillère Talks, with its single-reel portraits of Pat
Place, Ikue Mori, Lydia Lunch and others, plays as proto-riot grrrl
ethnography. Place and Lunch reappear in She Had Her Gun All Ready, a
threadbare narrative about two friends that speaks the contemporary
unspeakable: woman's anger and hatred of woman at the crucial moment of
overpowering identification and obsessional thralldom, as one writer
observed in the pages of Idiolects. For Beauty Becomes the Beast, Dick
sets a baby-faced Lunch against the decaying, rubble-strewn corners of
the city, invoking a backstory of parental abuse through music choices
like the Shangri-Las heart-torn lament I Can Never Go Home Anymore and
a wry shot of a subway ad reading HELP DESTROY A FAMILY TRADITION. Full
of dirty dolls and impromptu rug-cutting, it's a Freudian meltdown, but
feels like a party. Dicks intertwining of fact and fiction continues in
Libertys Booty, a film that examines the daily routines of middle-class
call girls in New York through snapshot-like images taken in their
apartments, using off-the-cuff interviews and staged scenarios to look at
how womens lives become enmeshed in tightly-wound circuits of money and
Visibility: Moderate obliquely engages with Dicks own return to Ireland
by imagining the vacation movies of an incongruously glam new waver
traveling to touristy spots like the Blarney Stone, expressing Dicks own
love-hate distance with disjointed bleats of punk and space jazz over
ancient megaliths. The subtexts of these earlier works become more
explicit in her video essay A Skinny Little Man Attacked Daddy, which
uses handheld footage of her familys happy gatherings as counterpoint to
reminiscences like her parents coldness toward each other or a sister
dying of cancer in apartheid-era South Africa, digging up still-potent
artifacts from the wet bogs of memory. Here and elsewhere, Dick
obliterates the vernacular idiom of the home movie, reconstituting it
anew from what remains of its battered totems.
Friday, October 22
1978, Super-8, 24 mins
1978, Super-8, 5 mins
She Had Her Gun All Ready
1978, Super-8, 28 mins
Followed by a conversation with the artist and Amy Taubin.
Saturday, October 23
Beauty Becomes the Beast
1979, Super-8, 41 mins
1980, Super-8, 48 mins
Followed by a conversation with the artist and Thomas Beard.
1981, Super-8, 45 mins
1985, 16mm, 8 mins
A Skinny Little Man Attacked Daddy
1994, video, 28 mins
Followed by a conversation with the artist and Ed Halter.
Tickets - $5, available at door. Free for members.
Organized by Thomas Beard, Ed Halter, and Treasa OBrien as part of an
ongoing series of screenings curated by Beard and Halter for Artists
Special thanks to Stuart Comer, Tate Modern.
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