Dec 15, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Presented with Millennium Film Journal. Screening to be followed by a discussion with Faith Holland, Seth Barry Watter, and Rachel Stevens
Among the common tropes of the New Age healing narrative is that the self must be dismembered before it can be made whole. Visualization and channeling, aromatherapy and crystals are aids to that labor of self-excavation. Moulton’s deft use of the video medium has often gone far to portray such experience—to make graphically manifest the metaphysics of feeling-good. […] The riddle posed by Whispering Pines as a whole is: what’s wrong? Each episode attempts in some way to solve it. Moulton offers one clue in Whispering Pines 7 (2006) when she sings in the form of a cubistic sphinx: “Now that I’m a woman, everything is strange.” —Faith Holland & Seth Watter From Picture Plane to Astral Plane: Shana Moulton’s Whispering Pines
We are excited to host a festive evening dedicated to the latest volume of Millennium Film Journal, BODY MEMORY. In celebration, we have invited featured writers from this volume, Faith Holland and Seth Barry Watter, to unpack and walk us through their essay “Picture Plane to Astral Plane” that examines Video Artist Shana Moulton’s video performance series Whispering Pines. We will share a program of Moulton’s videos alongside Jennifer Reeder’s film A Million Miles Away, also featured in this volume of the journal to open up a conversation around contemporary feminist filmmaking perspectives and practice. Millennium Film Journal’s Editor Grahame Weinbren will be in attendance with Rachel Stevens to introduce this volume and the program. Following a presentation from Seth Watter and Faith Holland, Stevens will lead a conversation with them on the films and their work.
A Million Miles Away
34 min., 2014
Vividly shot, Jennifer Reeder’s short A Million Miles Away looks to a seemingly banal high school choir practice to suggest coming of age as a life-long process.
The Galactic Pot Healer
9 min., 2010
Inspired by the Phillip K. Dick novel by the same name, The Galactic Pot Healer is part of the Whispering Pines series, in which Moulton’s hypochondriac alter-ego navigates the enigmatic and magical qualities of her personal belongings. In this episode, Cynthia, dressed flamboyantly in a blue velvet robe with green eyeshadow and pink lipstick, follows messages received from household objects during her daily beauty and medicinal routine. These messages direct her to take her broken pot to a mysterious figure known as the Galactic Pot Healer, who, headless and draped in a pink snuggie, reshapes shattered pots with assembly-line efficiency. When the healer tells Cynthia that her pot is beyond repair, the figure offers a massage and a replacement pot is poked and pinched from the skin of her back. Here, a comic, surreal, and uncanny tale takes the form of a sardonic engagement with modern mysticism and healing practices.
Whispering Pines 4
11 min., 2007
In this episode of the ongoing Whispering Pines series, Moulton’s hapless protagonist Cynthia seeks a cure for an ailment via “Healing Hands,” a natural New Age therapy
Whispering Pines 10
“Her character takes on the Sisyphean task of mending herself through these technical objects.”
–Faith Holland and Seth Barry Watter
Shana Moulton’s alter-ego Cynthia navigates synthetic video spaces populated by objects that are at once tawdry and banal, twee, and waggishly uncanny.
Faith Holland is an artist, curator, and educator whose multimedia practice focuses on gender, intimacy, and technology. She has exhibited at venues such as The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), NRW Forum (Düsseldorf), Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen), Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (Boulder), Human Resources (Los Angeles), and DAM Gallery (Berlin). Her work has been written about in Artforum, The Sunday Times UK, Elephant, Hyperallergic, Broadly, and ArtSlant. She has been a NYFA Fellowship Finalist in Digital/Electronic Art, an artist-in-residence at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and Harvestworks, and a finalist for Fotomuseum Winterthur’s Post-Photography Prototyping Prize. http://www.faithholland.com
Seth Barry Watter is a film and media historian. His work has appeared in Grey Room, JCMS, Camera Obscura, NECSUS, and the collection Seeing Science: How Photography Reveals the Universe (2019). He lives and teaches in New York.
Rachel Stevens an editor at Millennium Film Journal, as well as an artist, researcher, and educator based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary work (sculpture, photography, video, internet archives, artist books, spatial practices, and curatorial projects) addresses her interests in ecologies and geographies, moving images and archives.
Grahame Weinbren is the Senior Editor at Millennium Film Journal and teaches in the graduate faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Millennium Film Journal