Currents Program 4: Vital Signs
Q&As with Mary Helena Clark, Joshua Solondz, and Jordan Strafer on Oct. 7 & 9
Mary Helena Clark, 2022, U.S., 19m
Pivoting between two stories of women and their relationships with objects—a Swedish woman’s marriage to the Berlin Wall, and a suffragette’s hatcheting of Velásquez’s The Toilet of Venus—Mary Helena Clark’s Exhibition is a maze-like tour through images and artifacts, a dense cryptography of the forms and objects that hold us in.
Remembrance: A Portrait Study
Edward Owens, 1967, U.S., 16mm, 6m
As a gay African-American 18-year-old filmmaker, Edward Owens was a marginal figure in the New York avant-garde of the late 1960s. One of his four completed films, Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967) depicts the filmmaker’s mother and her friends, arrayed in feather boas and pearls, drinking beer, smoking, gossiping, and posing leisurely in Owens’s ethereal chiaroscuro frames and extravagant superimpositions. A program of Edward Owens’s films will also screen in the Revivals section.
Restored by Chicago Film Society, The New American Cinema Group, Inc./The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, and the John M. Flaxman Library at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with the support of the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant Program and the Film Foundation. Funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.
PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER
Jordan Strafer, 2022, U.S., 21m
A private jet over the Atlantic Ocean, in which a family transports their ailing patriarch, becomes the stage, alternately, for ebullient musical theater and morbid fantasies. With its opulent production design, sinister soundscapes, and its flair for the grotesque, Jordan Strafer’s PEAK HEAVEN LOVE FOREVER is a psychodrama in miniature.
Joshua Gen Solondz, 2022, U.S., 35mm, 7m
Accumulated over three years, Joshua Gen Solondz’s film is a crowded collage of gurgling paint, jagged splices, errant sprocket holes, and puzzling images that conjure the densely material frames of the late queer avant-garde filmmaker Luther Price. A messy assemblage in purples and oranges, NE Corridor is at once a visceral explosion of color and a tortured object.
Please note: NE Corridor features strobe effects and flashing lights that may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.
Qualities Of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold
James Richards, 2022, Germany, 18m
James Richards’ Qualities of Life: Living in the Radiant Cold is a descent into a maelstrom of images and objects—from glitched medical optics, photos from the archive of Horst Ademeit, who documented the impact of radiation on his body, to Richards’ own collection of erotic objects, drug paraphernalia, and other ephemera that swim in a dark techno-pharmacological miasma.