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

A Walk to Meet the Remediators

A Walk to Meet the Remediators

A Walk to Meet the Remediators

Big Marsh

A Walk to Meet the Remediators led by Nance Klehm Nance Klehm has been an ecological systems designer, landscaper, horticultural consultant, and permacultural grower for more ...

Read more

Print Viewing: Found Photography

Print Viewing: Found Photography

Print Viewing: Found Photography

MoCP

MoCP Curatorial Fellow Sophie Haslinger will lead a guided viewing of original works from the MoCP’s permanent collection selected for their incorporation of found imagery. ...

Read more

MoCP Family Day

MoCP Family Day

MoCP Family Day

MoCP

Join us for a photo scavenger hunt, take a tour of the exhibition designed specifically for children, and explore other interactive activites. This event is ...

Read more

Print Viewing with Kelli Connell

Print Viewing with Kelli Connell

Print Viewing with Kelli Connell

MoCP

Please join exhibiting artist Kelli Connell for a special, one-night print viewing and discussion of select works from the MoCP permanent collection . Connell will ...

Read more

Lectures in Photography: John Divola

Lectures in Photography: John Divola

Lectures in Photography: John Divola

Stage Two

Since the 1970s, John Divola has explored the photograph both as a document and an aesthetic object. His work examines the intersection of art and ...

Read more
Past Events

Opening Reception: re:collection

Opening Reception: re:collection

Opening Reception: re:collection

MoCP

Join us for an opening reception of the re:collection exhibition, 5-7 p.m. at MoCP. ...

Read more

Exhibition Tour

Exhibition Tour

Exhibition Tour

MoCP

Immediately prior to the opening reception, please join us for a tour of the exhibition by its organizers: Kalin Haydon, Carissa Meier, and Shawn Rowe, ...

Read more

Never Sorry Screening at Low Res Studio

Never Sorry Screening at Low Res Studio

Never Sorry Screening at Low Res Studio

Low Res Studio

Join us at Low Res Studio on Thursday, July 6th from 7:30-10PM for Doc Night! Low Res Studio Suite #203 1821 West Hubbard Street Chicago, IL 60622 We’re teaming up ...

Read more

#AiWeiwei Book Release Party

#AiWeiwei Book Release Party

#AiWeiwei Book Release Party

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Celebrate the book release of #AiWeiwei Enjoy a last look at the exhibition, hear remarks from MoCP executive director Natasha Egan, and purchase the book on ...

Read more

FIRST LOOK: 2017 MoCP Fine Print Party

FIRST LOOK: 2017 MoCP Fine Print Party

FIRST LOOK: 2017 MoCP Fine Print Party

Jazz Showcase

Image credit: Whitten Sabbatini Please join the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) Museum Council, staff, and artists for a public unveiling of four new prints that ...

Read more