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

Video Playlist: Ten Toes Down

Video Playlist: Ten Toes Down

Video Playlist: Ten Toes Down

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Guest-curated by filmmaker Cameron Granger, Video Playlist is a recurring series of one-night public video screenings programmed in response to MoCP exhibitions. Granger, whose work ...

Read more

Special Teen Workshop: Afrofuturist Art + Writing

Special Teen Workshop: Afrofuturist Art + Writing

Special Teen Workshop: Afrofuturist Art + Writing

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Partnering with 826CHI, this interdisciplinary workshop aimed at teens and college students will ask participants to use creative writing strategies to engage with the works ...

Read more

Post Now and Post New: Afrofuturist Themes in Contemporary Art Practice

Post Now and Post New: Afrofuturist Themes in Contemporary Art Practice

Post Now and Post New: Afrofuturist Themes in Contemporary Art Practice

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Jennifer Scott will lead a discussion with D.Denenge Duyst-Akpem and Ingrid LaFleur on Afrofuturist themes in contemporary art and how they inform artistic practice in ...

Read more

Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

Lecture in Photography: Lesley A. Martin

Ferguson Lecture Hall

Lesley A. Martin is creative director and publisher of The PhotoBook Review at Aperture. Her writing on photography has been published in Aperture, American Photo, ...

Read more

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

Beyond Black Panther: Celebrating Sci-Fi in Books and Comic Books

Museum of Contemporary Photography

In conjunction with Columbia College Chicago’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival, MoCP will host an interactive celebration of science fiction in books and comic books. Stop ...

Read more

FIRST LOOK: 2018 MoCP Fine Print Party

FIRST LOOK: 2018 MoCP Fine Print Party

FIRST LOOK: 2018 MoCP Fine Print Party

Untitled Supper Club

Please join the Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) Museum Council, staff, and artists for a public unveiling of four new prints that will be added ...

Read more
Past Events

Artist Talk: Alun Be

Artist Talk: Alun Be

Artist Talk: Alun Be

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Exhibiting artist Alun Be will discuss his Edification series on view in In Their Own Form as well as his broader artistic practice. ...

Read more

In Their Own Form: Opening Reception + Artist Talk

In Their Own Form: Opening Reception + Artist Talk

In Their Own Form: Opening Reception + Artist Talk

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Opening Reception + Artist Talk: Ayana V. Jackson Following the opening reception for In Their Own Form, join exhibiting artist Ayana V. Jackson for a talk ...

Read more

Lecture in Photography: Jennifer Blessing

Lecture in Photography: Jennifer Blessing

Lecture in Photography: Jennifer Blessing

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Jennifer Blessing is senior curator of photography at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Throughout her career, she has curated many photography-based exhibitions, ...

Read more

Lunch and Learn: Socially Engaged Art with the Dammeyer Fellow

Lunch and Learn: Socially Engaged Art with the Dammeyer Fellow

Lunch and Learn: Socially Engaged Art with the Dammeyer Fellow

600 S. Michigan Ave.

Bring your lunch and join us for a dynamic discussion on the topic of socially engaged art and the power of engagement and healing for ...

Read more

DARKROOM 2018

DARKROOM 2018

DARKROOM 2018

610 S. Michigan Ave.

DARKROOM Thursday, March 1 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., VIP Reception 6:30 – 9 p.m., Benefit Auction and Party Venue Six10 610 S. Michigan Ave. Join the MoCP for our annual benefit ...

Read more