1084 N MILWAUKEE, CHICAGO

Ism, Ism, Ism: Umbrales

Experimental Women Filmmakers from Latin America

Wednesday, November 13th, 7 PM, FREE

Ism, Ism, Ism
Umbrales: Experimental Women Filmmakers from Latin America
(Various Artists, 1955-2003, Various Countries, digital and 16mm, 79 min total)

This program showcases female filmmakers who sought to carve out a place within the male-dominated world of Latin American independent audiovisual production. Key works, such as Argentine filmmaker Narcisa Hirsch’s Come Out (1971), exemplify the defiant position toward gendered and essentializing aesthetics expected of Latin American women filmmakers. This program includes pioneering Uruguayan filmmaker Lydia García Millán’s Color (1955), one of the first abstract experimental films from Latin America; the politically charged Super 8 experiments by Puerto Rican underground artist Poli Marichal; and a recent video essay by Mexican artist Ximena Cuevas.

Come Out
(Narcisa Hirsch, Argentina, 1971, 11 min.)

Color
(Lydia Garcia, Uruguay, 1955, 4 min.)

Desnudo con alcatraces
(Silvia Gruner, Mexico, 1986, 2 min.)

Popsicles
(Gloria Camiruaga, Chile/US, 1982-1984, 5 min.)

Umbrales
(Marie Louise Alemann, Argentina, 1967, 19 min.)

Paracas
(Cecilia Vicuña, Chile/US, 1983, 19 min.)

Devil in the Flesh
(Ximena Cuevas, Mexico, 2003, 5 min.)

Copacabana
(Vivian Ostrovsky, Brazil, 1983, 10 min.)

Blues Tropical
(Poli Marichal, Puerto Rico, 1982, 4 min.)

About the Ism, Ism, Ism Series:
Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine experimental en América Latina) was organized by Los Angeles Filmforum as part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Ism, Ism, Ism surveys Latin America’s vibrant experimental production from the 1930s through today. www.ismismism.org

Ism, Ism, Ism is accompanied by a bilingual publication, Ism, Ism, Ism / Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza, editors, University of California Press, 2017) placing Latino and Latin American experimental cinema within a broader dialogue that explores different periods, cultural contexts, image-making models, and considerations of these filmmakers within international cinema. Available worldwide, https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520296084.

Lead support for Ism, Ism, Ism is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. Significant additional support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

This program is produced in partnership with The Block Museum, Filmfront, and Comfort Station.



Filed under: experimental, feminism, film, Free Screening!, social justice, video

Mary Curtis Ratcliff of Videofreex

Celebrating Videofreex’ 50th anniversary

Wednesday, July 31, 7 PM, $7-10 suggested donation – cash only

Mary Curtis Ratcliff in person!

The Nightingale is thrilled to welcome Mary Curtis Ratcliff, a founding member of the collective Videofreex, to Chicago to screen three videos made from 1969-1970, on the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary. Mary Curtis Ratcliff—visual artist, videomaker, and political activist—participated in the creation of these tapes both on an off camera as videographer, interviewer, and interviewee. Chicago Travelogue: The Weatherman (1969), Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago (1969), and Curtis’s Abortion (1970) provide a window into the political movements and ideologies that are as important today as they were fifty years ago.

The Videofreex began in 1969 as part of the Manhattan video scene and eventually moved to upstate New York to operate a community video center and the first pirate television station in the U.S. on Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY throughout the 1970s. Since 2001, the Videofreex archive has been held at the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Shortly after founding the collective, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, and David Cort were hired by CBS to produce video footage of the emerging youth culture in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for a television pilot called Subject to Change. Though the program never made it to the air, the interviews that they recorded helped inspire the wave of political video documentaries now known as “Guerrilla Television.”

In an interview with the Videofreex, media artist Ralph Hocking once said that “99.99% of videotapes produced are boring as hell to 99.99% of the people who watch them.” What makes the Freex unique is that somehow so many of their tapes fit within the .01% that speak to more than just “video people.” They belong to that slim percentile of video that is essential: they capture the reality of the past and confront us with the urgency of our present.

Program Notes:

Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen, 1969, 22:30

David Cort and Mary Curtis Radcliff interview participants after the “Days of Rage” protest organized by the Chicago-based Weathermen in October of 1969. The Videofreex question the destructive methods of the new group but allow the students to speak about the personal importance of their radical experiences.

Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago, 1969, 24:00

Mary Curtis taped Parry Teasdale and David Cort’s interview with the twenty-one year-old deputy chairman of the Black Panther Party of Illinois just months before he was murdered by the Chicago Police. Members of the Videofreex reportedly broke into CBS offices to rescue the master copy of the interview after their pilot was canceled, and screenings of the video were instrumental in organizing the campaign for a civil case against the CPD.

Curtis’s Abortion, 1970, 22:59

Fellow Videofreex Nancy Cain and Carol Vontobel speak with Mary Curtis about her experience with recently legalized abortion in New York. The participants’ thoughtful conversation turns the informational tape into an unexpectedly warm document of friendship and the women’s rights movement.

All videos will be screened digitally, and were preserved and digitized by the Video Data Bank. Programmed by Zach Vanes and Emily Eddy.



Filed under: anniversary, archival, artist in attendance, autobiography, collaboration, documentary, documentation, feminism, social justice, urban, video

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