Short Review Program: TAROT Reading 1 / Week of September 1-7, 2020.
CALIFORNIA ON FIRE is a video and sound artwork by southern Californian artist Jeff Frost. It uses the catastrophic effects of climate change as a backdrop to examine the experience of grief and loss. The film’s five chapters are the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and acceptance. To create California on Fire, Frost trained as a firefighter, gained full access to more than 70 wildfires, and shot 350,000 photos over five years. It has been featured on Artnet, Time Magazine, National Geographic, PBS Newshour, and many others.
Jeff Frost is a contemporary artist living in California. He is focused on how time and sound intersects with creation and destruction. His work has been seen in many museums and film festivals such as the California Museum of Photography, Museum of Art & History Lancaster (MOAH), Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Torrance Art Museum.
59 is series of short experimental films by Leslie Foster and collaborations with: Angelina Prendergast (59.1), Madeline Merritt (59.2), Maranatha and Jackie Hay (59.5), Tatiana El-Khouri (59.7), Jacqueline Suskin (59.8), Jade Phoenix (59.9). 59 is composed of eleven 59-second films, is molded specifically by its limitations and collaborators, none of whom could be cis men and which had to be completed in eleven months. The combined works are explorations (and subversions) of the divine and the human, of ritual, celebration, and the beautifully dark.
Through his work with experimental film and installation, Leslie Foster seeks to create fleeting pocket universes and contemplative ecologies that explore Black and queer futurity through the lens of dream logic. Leslie—who will be pursuing an MFA in Design Media Arts at UCLA this fall—currently serves as the Director of Art Residency for Level Ground and fantasizes about running away with a sea-faring band of nomadic artists.
13 TEENS is collaborative documentary video by Orit Harpaz and Cassandra Campbell. Becoming a teenager is a milestone in every child’s life. Perceptions of the world around them and who they are becomes more solidified and expressed. As mothers of teenage boys, we noticed this to be particularly true. This video is a vignette of portraits and voices to get a glimpse into the thoughts and opinions of American teens.
Orit Harpaz is a documentary style portrait photographer focusing on births, babies, children and the family unit for the last 25 years.
Cassandra Campbell is an audiobook narrator with more than 800 titles to date. Winner of four Audie Awards, she was a 2018 inductee in Audible’s inaugural Narrator Hall of Fame.
GREY TO GREEN is the music video for Lydia Lee. Director Marcos Sánchez uses footage from the Prelinger Archives consisting mostly of home movies and edits and intervens it with animation (animation assistance: Simón Jarp) creating a nostalgic narrative that involves themes like growing up and independence.
Marcos Sánchez is a filmmaker and visual artist from Santiago, Chile. He works in video, animation, painting and drawing.
KHAT-E PENHAN / HIDDEN LINE is a surrealist film in which an Afghan American girl struggles to traverse the demands of her cultures, finding herself ensnared by strange, masked figures who demand her conformity.
It explores the tension between self-expression and the pressures and rewards of finding acceptance through the eyes of an Afghan American girl. Finding herself in a surreal landscape, the girl follows a mysterious green ribbon to a gathering of masked, uniform figures–her elders. These figures, their masks marked with Farsi calligraphy denoting Afghan and American status symbols, hurl judgments on her in the form of black ribbons expelled from their mouths, entangling her and preventing her escape. She finally agrees to their demand that she wear a mask. The ribbons disappear and she is able to see the figures as they see themselves, distinguished and eloquent. She joins their dance, but finds even this is not enough to satisfy their demands.
Gazelle Samizay’s films have been shown internationally, including at the Slamdance Film Festival, UT; Videoholica, Bulgaria; and the 22nd Instants Vidéo, France; and are part of the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is also a recipient of the Princess Grace Experimental Film Honoraria, NY.
DEAR MOTHER is a short documentary film created by Matthew Kaundart. This visual letter, filmed over a year, explores the relationship between a Korean adoptee (LA based performance artist Kayla Tange) and the mother she’s never known.
Writer/Director: Matthew Kaundart
Inspired by Letters by: Kayla Tange
Producers: Luka Fisher & Matthew Kaundart
Co-Producer: Kayla Tange
Cinematographer: Kyle Krupinski
Editor: Matthew Kaundart
Translation: Yong Kwon
Color: Kyle Krupinski
Re-Recording Mixer: Brent Kiser
Sound Editor: Timothy Preston
Music: Kevin Graham
Born and raised in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Matthew Kaundart is an LA-based writer/director working in both narrative and documentary, as well as a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He’s been recognized as an IFP Episodic Lab Fellow, a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and placed in the top 10% for the Academy Nicholl Fellowships. His work often features an experimental spirit and has screened worldwide, including at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, the American Documentary Film Festival, Outfest, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, as well as been featured in publications such as VICE, PAPER, i-D, Somesuch, LA Weekly, Narratively, Fast Company, AdWeek, and more.
CORTEX and RESPIRATION are two performance art video works by Ibuki Kuramochi. “Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body.” – philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Under these circumstances, all human relationships are now concentrated from seclusion to the virtual world through the Internet. Since the beginning of the quarantine, I felt misgivings about the oblivion of regular relationships with people and the oblivion of the physical body. Only when the body exists does emotion-passion exist. These works explore the task of getting inside oneself, leading to a re-encounter with the passions hidden within.
Born in Japan, artist IBUKI KURAMOCHI specializes in artworks for exhibition (paintings, media art) and also specializes in live performances combining her live painting with her Japanese Butoh dance.
Ibuki explores concepts of the body, thought and physical resonance, metamorphosis, the ideal of the Sci-Fi animation character’s body, and the uterus and fetishism. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
FORCED (a.k.a. Free Flow Information) explores the difference between freedom of the press and being oppressed by the information we are fed. As citizens of society, we long for truth, but are challenged to discern which forms of media are truthful. In a way, the relationship with consuming media can be seen as a kind of torture. With passive surrender to news of any kind, as receivers we have lost our critical stand toward the “knowledge” we obtain.
Gabrijel H. Savic Ra is curator, philosopher and multimedia artist that is dealing with social issues, redefinition of human spiritually, conceptual and philosophical interpretations of human experiences. Savic Ra exhibited worldwide and was published in many different poetry anthologies and art magazines. He was featured in many art shows including in Louvre Museum in Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art in Naples, Pasadena Museum of California Art and many others.
BLIND RITUAL by Liz Miller Kovacs is part of an interdisciplinary studio practice rooted in queer punk, post-feminism, and activist performance. Interested in the relationship between commodity, globalized society, and the human condition, Miller Kovacs explores the contrast between nature and the perceived obscenity and objecthood of the feminine. She imagines new ways to remedy the alienation of self in the new media ecology by placing the female form into relation with archetypes, synthetic situations, and extreme environments.
Born in Los Angeles, Liz Miller Kovacs is a Gyno-futurist artist working in video, photography, installation and performance. She has exhibited her works and performed in major art centers and galleries around North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. An Alumni of the San Francisco Art Institute where she completed her MFA in New Genres, Miller Kovacs also completed a Visual Arts Ph.D. at Sydney College of the Arts in Australia and was awarded both the IPRS and IPA international scholarships for the duration of her research.
SUBURBIA STORY is a short black and white experimental film that mixes performance art and painted images to create a surreal dream-like story set in a rustic suburban Los Angeles neighborhood among contemporary times. It plays with familiar iconographic images from art, history and religion – using strong tableaus to express an alternative queer narrative about expulsion and fall from grace, and which audiences are invited to interpret in their own personal way.
Writer/Director: Vojislav Radovanović
Producers: Vojislav Radovanović & Jason Jenn (Flourish Project Group)
Acts: Paul Outlaw, Kayla Tange, David Ward, Mark Amado-Kolesinski, Vojislav Radovanović
Music composer: Joseph Carrillo
Vojislav Radovanović (1982. Valjevo, former FRJ/SFRJ – Yugoslavia, Serbia) is a Los Angeles based visual artist, art director, filmmaker and video-journalist with a European background in classical painting, video, theatre, installation, performance and television. Themes of spirituality and environmentalism, as well as the experience of being a recent immigrant in America have very important roles in his art.
Joseph Carrillo is music composer who focuses his talents in the film music industry in Los Angeles. His work can be heard in numerous features, commercials, web series, and short films.