At the Limits of Cinema—A Leslie Thoron Retrospective

Supported in part by the Regional Art & Culture Council

May. 22 + 23 + 24 - 7:30 pm
$6 Suggested Donation
New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny St

About This Screening

Thornton’s place in cinema history has already been assured for the sole reason that she is the author of Peggy and Fred in Hell." —Bill Krohn, Cahiers du Cinéma? ?Over the span of thirty years, Leslie Thornton has created one of the most stunningly original bodies of media arts work. Constantly evolving, her films and videos explore issues of feminism, representation, semiotics, history, and colonialism. Her work is steeped in a thoughtful and conceptual analysis of images, how they are made, and why we look at them. Technically she is an astute editor, culling much of her material from a vast library of found footage; she uses this material to turn the narrative on end, to make new meanings and contexts. This three-part retrospective will present a cross-section of Leslie’s work across a period spanning more than twenty years. Night one features two works about the life Isabelle Eberhardt, a 19th century writer who converted to Islam and traveled throughout North Africa passing as a man. Thornton uses this figure to examine the notion of biography and the contradictions inherent in history and documentation. The second night focuses on work that employ the found image as their main material. These films address Orientalism, the ethnographic gaze, terror, and war. The last night of the retrospective features the current incarnation of her life-long project Peggy and Fred in Hell. This piece is an ongoing and ever changing sequence of work that maps the journey of two children through artifacts from history, culture and media amidst a backdrop of a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Program Details

May 22
  • There Was An Unseen Cloud Moving
    1988, video, color, sound, 60 min.
  • The Haunted Swing
    1998, video, color, sound, 16 min.
May 23
  • Adynata
    1983, 16mm, color, sound, 30 min.
  • Oh China Oh
    1983, 16mm, color, sound, 12 min.
  • Another Worldly
    2000, video, b&w, sound, 22 min.
  • Chimp for Normal Short
    1999, video, b&w, sound, 7 min.
  • Let Me Count the Ways Minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6
    2004-05, video, color, sound, 22 min.
May 24
  • Peggy and Fred in Hell
    1985-2005, 16mm/video, color, sound, 95 min.

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