Narrative Explorations

Screening of new works by Nelson Henricks and Deborah Stratman

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 @ 7PM
EMMEDIA Screening Room
Admission is FREE

As part of our Narrative Explorations Series, EMMEDIA presents a screening of new works by Nelson Henricks and Deborah Stratman, that explore and interrogate conventions of identity and narrative construction. This screening is presented in conjunction with “1000 Words exactly” A writing workshop by David Garneau on November 27 – 28th, 2009.

Nelson Henricks (Montreal)
Failure, 2007 7:00 minutes

Images of beauty rituals – both masculine and feminine – focus on the removal of body hair. Scenes of adolescent embarrassment are played out in adult life. Gender confusion lurks behind the curtain. Impoverished aesthetics. Popular music.

Nelson Henricks was born in Bow Island, Alberta and is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art (1986). He moved to Montréal in 1991, where he received a BFA from Concordia University (1994). Henricks lives and works in Montréal, where he has taught at Concordia University (1995 – present), McGill University (2001- 2003) and Université du Québec à Montréal (1999, 2003). He has also taught at the University of Toronto (2003). A musician, writer, curator and artist, Henricks is best known for his videotapes, which have been exhibited worldwide. A focus on his video work was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as part of the Video Viewpoints series (2000). His writings have been published in Fuse, Public, Coil magazines, and in the anthologies “So, To Speak” (Editions Artexte, 1999), “Lux” (YYZ Press, 2000) and “Caught in the Act” (YYZ Press, 2004). With Steve Reinke, Henricks coedited an anthology of artist’s video scripts entitled “By the Skin of Their Tongues” (YYZ Press, 1997). Henricks was the recipient of the Bell Canada Award in Video Art (2002) and the Board of Govenors’ Alumni Award of Excellence from the Alberta College of Art and Design (2005).

Deborah Stratman (Chicago)
O’er The Land, 2008 51:40 minutes

With the excuse of freedom, we lose so many things. – Silvio Barile
A meditation on the milieu of elevated threat addressing national identity, gun culture, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence. Of particular interest are the ways Americans have come to understand freedom and the increasingly technological reiterations of manifest destiny. While channeling our national psyche, the film is interrupted by the story of Col. William Rankin who in 1959, was forced to eject from his F8U fighter jet at 48, 000 feet without a pressure suit, only to get trapped for 45 minutes in the up and down drafts of a massive thunderstorm. Remarkably, he survived. Rankin’s story represents a non-material, metaphysical kind of freedom. He was vomited up by his own jet, that American icon of progress and strength, but violent purging does not necessarily lead to reassessment or redirection. This film is concerned with the sudden, simple, thorough ways that events can separate us from the system of things, and place us in a kind of limbo. Like when we fall. Or cross a border. Or get shot. Or saved. The film forces together culturally acceptable icons of heroic national tradition with the suggestion of unacceptable historical consequences, so that seemingly benign locations become zones of moral angst.

Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Her films, rather than telling stories, pose a series of problems – and through their at times ambiguous nature, allow for a complicated reading of the questions being asked. Many of her films point to the relationships between physical environments and the very human struggles for power, ownership, mastery and control that are played out on the land. Most recently, they have questioned elemental historical narratives about freedom, expansion, security, and the regulation of space. Stratman works in multiple mediums, including photography, sound, drawing and sculpture. She has exhibited internationally at venues including the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, the Pompidou, Hammer Museum and many international film festivals including Sundance, the Viennale, Ann Arbor and Rotterdam. She is the recipient of Fulbright and Guggenheim fellowships and she currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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