Jan 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Gone to Earth
Conversation following the program with Jessica Bardsley, Elvia Wilk & Mathilde Walker-Billaud.
“I want to dissolve into sulfide and magnesium” Jessica Bardsley wishes silently, as a stranger enters the hot spring where she bathes naked. How do female figures walk within, threaten to become landscape? The narrator finds herself absorbed by the plants, animals, and minerals around her: Is this ability to merge with nature a death trap, or a possible future?
In a series of short films and live presentation, real and fictional travelers take risks and cross gender-delineated territories. Through these acts of transgression, and the educational experiences of fear, solitude, and desire, new horizons come into relief, revealing the complex and often rigid relationships between bodies, patriarchy and landscape.
This event is part of “Women in Public”, a series of events curated by Kara Oehler, Courtney Stephens and Mathilde Walker-Billaud around the figure of the female traveler. It is co-presented and supported by Brooklyn Falls for France, a cultural season organized by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and FACE Foundation in partnership with Brooklyn venues.
For more information please consult:
Death by Landscape
25 min., 2019
Death by Landscape is the title of a Margaret Atwood story in which a young woman disappears into a forest. She is gone, but there is no evidence she has died; it appears she has become the landscape. Her disappearance is unexplainable and fundamentally weird. The weird, in the words of Mark Fisher, is an “outside space that lies beyond standard perception, cognition, and experience.” This outside might include the world of the nonhuman: plant, animal, mineral, alien. Or it might be a complex system of humans and nonhumans: forest, internet, financial capital, climate. Weird stories are what happens upon encounter with this outside, when the categories we have for describing the planet fall short. Mystical encounters with the divine and the cosmos provide a historical framework for contemporary stories about weird outsides. Like mysticism, such fictions defy genre categorization. In the zone of weird fiction, “death” is not the death of a human or humans, but the death of a kind of story: the kind of story with the human at the center of the world.
16 min., 2019, 16mm
Goodbye Thelma synthesizes footage from the 1991 film Thelma & Louise and footage of the author’s own making to create a mysterious, and at times disturbing, auto-fictional exploration of the joys and terrors of traveling as a woman alone.
Passing as a Great Grey Owl
6 min., 2017
Found footage of a female biologist mimicking the call of the male Great Grey Owl is counterposed with video of the legs of women as they urinate in various wildernesses. The collision of these activities in landscape points towards an exuberant queer territoriality. This work includes a passage from of I am (for The Birds), the final text in the book Here is Information. Mobilise: Selected Writings by Ian White.
Jessica Bardsley is an artist and PhD Candidate in the Film and Visual Studies program at Harvard University, where she is also a Film Study Center Fellow. Her academic work explores the relationship between elemental philosophy, artist cinema, and time, history, and the archive. Her films have screened across the U.S. and internationally at venues such as CPH:DOX, Visions du Réel, European Media Arts Festival, Kassel Dokfest, RIDM, True/False, and Flaherty NYC. She is the recipient of various awards, including a Princess Grace Award, Grand Prize at 25FPS, the Eileen Maitland Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Best Short Film at Punto de Vista. She received an MFA and an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her films are distributed through Light Cone.
Elvia Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York. She often contributes to publications like Frieze, Mousse, Metropolis, and Artforum. From 2012 to 2016 she was a founding editor at uncube magazine, and from 2016 to 2018 she was the publications editor for transmediale and a contributing editor at Rhizome. Currently, she’s a contributing editor at e-flux journal and writes a monthly column on ethical quandaries for Monopol magazine. She’s finishing a masters at the New School for Social Research and has taught at the University of the Arts Berlin, Eugene Lang College, and City College of New York. Her first novel, Oval, was published in June 2019 by Soft Skull press. She is the recipient of a 2019 Andy Warhol Arts Writers grant and a 2020 fellow at the Berggruen Institute.
Mathilde Walker-Billaud is a curator and cultural producer based in New
York City. She worked as an editor, programmer and manager for Centre
National de la Danse, company nora chipaumire, Cultural Services of the
French Embassy in New York, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain,
UnionDocs, and Villa Gillet (a center for fiction and non-fiction based in
Lyon, France). Walker-Billaud programs and hosts at UnionDocs an ongoing
interdisciplinary series of events about spectatorship entitled “What You Get
Is What You See”. She co-curated the 2019 Fall Flaherty NYC: Surface
Knowledge and won the 2019 BKH Curator Award. Her writing and voice
have appeared in BOMB Magazine and the podcast Benjamen Walker’s
Theory of Everything.
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