Video Playlist: A Space For The Thing I Am Given

Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Video Playlist: A Space For The Thing I Am Given

Video Playlist: A Space For The Thing I Am Given
Curated by Jennifer Reeder

Featuring work from:

Hu Wei
April Simmons
Sinziana Nicola
Kirsten Stoltmann
Chema Garcia Ibarra
Vladimir de Fontenay

 

Video playlist is a reoccurring series of one-night public video screenings guest curated by artists whose practice engages with topics connected to MoCP exhibitions.

The title for this program comes from a poem by Sylvia Plath called "Thalidomide". This poem, like so many others written by Plath, is maternally oriented and presents a complicated view of motherhood. "Thalidomide" tells the story of a pregnant woman torn between feelings of disgust for her atypically formed fetus--“your dark amputations crawl and appall”--and the deep love she has for the tiny life growing within her—“all night I carpenter a space for the thing I am given”.

Plath’s poetry is often analyzed under the provisions of “women’s writing,” a term coined by French feminist Helene Cixous. Cixous describes women's language as cyclical, non-linear and emotionally funded. She suggests that this approach is an active resistance to a phallocentric structure—the masculine, the paternal. Cixous further asserts that "Woman must write her self: must write about women and bring women to writing, from which they have been driven away as violently as from their bodies." This theory is accurate for Plath who is so closely identified with her own aesthetic of “writing with milk and blood”.

A similar theory can be applied to the seven films in this program, which seem crafted with a kind of maternal sensitivity and bodily awareness. The filmmakers, both men and women, take on motherhood in ways that disrupt our expectations of how we are accustomed to seeing mothers portrayed cinematically. These are stories about loss, regret, pathos and coping among other subjects and the perspective shifts between the internal and the external. The films, which come from all over the world including Spain, Romania and Tibet, present rich and impactful narratives about something we all have in common, the maker of milk and blood, the mother.

Jennifer Reeder is a filmmaker and visual artist from Ohio.  She constructs personal stories about relationships, trauma and coping. Her award-winning narratives are unconventional and borrow from a range of forms including after school specials, amateur music videos and magical realism. She has made over 40 film/video projects and written 12 scripts. Her work is shown consistently around the world. Her most recent short movie, "A Million Miles Away", premiered at the 2014 Rotterdam Film Festival and was nominated for a Tiger Award. In addition to her many exhibitions and awards she has also recently founded a social justice initiative called Tracers Book Club.

 
Still from Mysterio, Chema García Ibarra. Courtesy of the artist.

Upcoming Events

Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity

Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity

Dandy Lion: (Re) Articulating Black Masculine Identity

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Dandy Lion: (Re)Articulating Black Masculine Identity seeks to distinguish the historical and contemporary expressions of the Black Dandy phenomenon in popular culture. The first ...

Read more

Ekphest: Eric Elshtain and Mikey Peterson at MoCP

Ekphest: Eric Elshtain and Mikey Peterson at MoCP

Ekphest: Eric Elshtain and Mikey Peterson at MoCP

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Ekphest : A Festival of Art + Word invites the public to participate in Ekphest, a program of poetry and spoken word events that features ...

Read more

Lectures in Photography: Broomberg and Chanarin

Lectures in Photography: Broomberg and Chanarin

Lectures in Photography: Broomberg and Chanarin

Stage Two

Collaborative team Broomberg and Chanarin use wit and irony, appropriate images, and manipulate scenes and materials to interrogate assumptions and traditions in photographic representation. Their ...

Read more

Manifest at MoCP

Manifest at MoCP

Manifest at MoCP

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Visit the MoCP during Manifest's Urban Arts Festival to take part in a photobooth session with stylish props inspired by our exhibition, Dandy Lion: (Re) ...

Read more

Video Playlist: Rashayla Marie Brown

Video Playlist: Rashayla Marie Brown

Video Playlist: Rashayla Marie Brown

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Rashayla Marie Brown presents a night of videos and performance featuring a new installment of her ongoing series The Unholy Trinity of Me, Myself, and ...

Read more
Past Events

Film Screening: Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Film Screening: Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Film Screening: Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Goethe-Institut Chicago

Thirteen European directors explore the theme of Sarajevo; what this city has represented in European history over the past hundred years, and what Sarajevo stands ...

Read more

Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Featuring work by: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz Loretta Fahrenholz Nicholas Boone Shambhavi Kaul Larissa Lewandowski The imagination not only acts as an escape from the real world, it can also open ...

Read more

DARKROOM

DARKROOM

DARKROOM

A Private Club

MoCP 2015 Benefit Auction 5:30 – 6:30pm Reception honoring Barbara Crane with the Silver Camera Award 6:30 – 8:30pm Benefit Auction and Party You're invited to join the MoCP ...

Read more

You and Me

You and Me

You and Me

Museum of Contemporary Photography

The MoCP, in partnership with the Goethe Institutes of Chicago and Sarajevo, has commissioned German artist team Oliver Sieber and Katja Stuke to produce a ...

Read more

What Remains

What Remains

What Remains

Museum of Contemporary Photography

What Remains registers the profound connection between human identity and place through artworks made by artists who are physically dislocated from their home or community. ...

Read more