ANYTHING TO DECLARE?: GRAHAME WEINBREN AND A LEGACY OF DISPLACEMENT
This program presents three challenging documentaries by former students of media artist Grahame Weinbren at the School of Visual Arts: Mayu Mohanna's The Photo of Luzmila, Christy Pessagno's gaymotherfuckers, and Rachel Shuman's Negotiations. Just as Weinbren's own work breaks down classic narrative construction, in parallel fashion these three video documentaries challenge traditional notions of identity. Weinbren's own creative process was the subject of a documentary film, Frames, shown at Tribeca in 2004. Through his interactive cinema installations, Weinbren has called into question cinema's over-reliance on linear narrative, and has asserted in both his works and in his writings the pervasive influence of random access as an organizing principle of our modern technological world. Presented in this program are the world premieres of two of his one-minute interactive essays, entitled Letters, in which the viewer clicks on a letter of the alphabet in order to access the artist's mixed media ruminations on diverse subjects ranging from animals in water to beards worn by Afghan men during the Taliban regime. The impending direct-to-video release of these three personal documentaries, engineered by Weinbren, suggests that he continues adroitly to negotiate the communication tools of our global culture to represent issues of displacement to a much wider, DVD region-free, international audience. Presented in association with the M.F.A. Photo, Video & Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts.