MFA Student, Alumni, and Faculty Films in the New York Film Festival’s “Views from the Avant-Garde”

Still from Lisa McCarty's "Every Filter in Final Cut Pro," Digital Video, 2013

Still from Lisa McCarty’s “Every Filter in Final Cut Pro,” Digital Video, 2013

Work by Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Art alums Marika Borgeson (’13), Lisa McCarty (’13, and 2013-14 CDS Exhibitions Intern), and Talena Sanders (’13), and by current student Erin Espelie (’14), was selected for the 51st New York Film Festival and is screening as part of the Views from the Avant-Garde section, an annual celebration of the best and boldest experimental film and video from around the world. Duke film faculty members Shambhavi Kaul and Josh Gibson as well as MFA Visiting Artist Deborah Stratman will also show work at Views, which is curated by another MFA Visiting Artist, Mark McElhatten. See synopses of MFA|EDA alumni, student, faculty, and Visiting Artist films below.

Views from the Avant Garde screenings are October 3–7 and include works in Super-8, 16mm, and 35mm film as well as digital formats. This section of the New York Film Festival is perhaps the most important and prestigious venue for artist-made moving image work in the United States. Along with the Toronto International Film Festival’s Wavelengths program and the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival Experimenta section, it is one of the three agenda setters for the coming year in artists’ film and digital moving image. For all works screening at Views and a searchable schedule, click here.

The Starry Messenger. Marika Borgeson, USA, 2013, 15 min
The title, The Starry Messenger, comes from Galileo Galilei’s treatise of the same name. It is a treatise that deals indirectly with the light of the sun and marked Galileo’s creation and first use of the “spyglass.” This film could be viewed as an inverse of Galileo’s process. Instead of starring up into the sky to see the effect of the sun’s light on other celestial bodies, the film brings the sun to earth to witness its very direct interaction with the filmstrip and image making process.

True-­Life Adventure I, II, & III. Erin Espelie, USA, 2012-2013, 16 min
In this series, Nature wrote the screenplays, as Roy Disney once said, and the following places and periods were documented in the same vicinity of Gold Run Creek in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado: 3 square feet in 3 hours on the summer solstice, 30 square feet in 3 hours on the winter solstice, 0.3 square feet over 30 days in late summer.

The Sea Seeks Its Own Level. Erin Espelie, USA, 2013, 5:04 min
The snotgreen, scrotum-tightening sea. An empty bay: history is to blame, unhating. They are coming, waves, white-maned seahorses, wind brindled. Drowning they say is the pleasantest. See your whole life in a flash.
Salt green death, spiked and winding cold seahorn, music everywhere. No, that’s noise….

Every Filter In Final Cut Pro. Lisa McCarty, USA, 2013, 9:55 min
Please refer to the title.

Liahona. Talena Sanders, USA, 2013, 68 min
Liahona is an experimental documentary examining the culture, history, and lived experience of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The film creates a portrait of Mormonism through documentation of LDS cultural dominance in Utah, the suppressed history of folk magic in the early church, accounts from the settlement of the American west, landmark Mormon life experiences, and my own history and connection to the church.

The Relief Mining Company. Talena Sanders, USA, 2013.
Acting on a mix of spiritual confirmation and the witness of a handful of vindicated prophecies, a small group of investors have built and continue to anticipate fulfillment from a goldmine in central Utah. As believers await their day of validation, they maintain their convictions through digital correspondence.

Nile Perch (35mm version). Josh Gibson, USA/Uganda, 2013, 16:47 min
Economic in style and subject, Nile Perch is an austere, contemplative apologue of Lake Victoria fishermen in Uganda. In flickering black and white, a fish is tracked from a fisherman’s line to export commodity.

Mount Song, Shambhavi Kaul, USA/India, 2013, 8:49 min
A current runs underneath. It creeps under the door, makes its way into the cracks, revealing, obfuscating or breaking as clouds in the sky. Mountain, cave, river, forest and trapdoor; martial gestures, reiterated, stripped and rendered. A storm blows through. A parrot comments from a flowering branch. Here, the surfaces of set-constructions are offered for our attachments.

Immortal, Suspended. Deborah Stratman, USA, 2013, 5 min
The idea of suspension is evoked on shifting registers – as levitation, cessation, anticipation, preservation – and located in sites whose identities slip as we track through a space within a space.

The three founding units of the MFA|EDA program are Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and the Program in Arts of the Moving Image.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Reply