Video Work by Jennifer Reeder


The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
March 24th, 2012

Jennifer Reeder’s experimental narrative work invokes our deep tv memory. Her eccentric and emotionally insightful stories are a mix of afterschool special and observational cinema. Using sophisticated and subtle sound mixing, disjointed plots, and wry humor, Reeder builds an inventive world of dreamlike familiarity. The Nightngale is delighted to be showing a program of her work to kick off a series of screenings exploring Reeder’s work that will continue through the summer.

Program Details:
This piece features a dramatized sequence from a day in the life of teenage boy. The scenes unfold slowly. We are able to watch the figures move across the screens stumbling beautifully. They are portraits of a type of youth-youth remembered, denied, embraced and rejected simultaneously (referring to the title perhaps) and seem to offer an alternative to the uncomplicatedimages of, Middle American youth contemporarily produced for popular consumption. Here, the audience is asked to contemplate and fetishize both and equally. Soundtrack by Aix Em Klem

SEVEN SONGS ABOUT THUNDER (2010, 20 min, HD video)
When A young woman with remarkable and hilarious coping skills finds the dead body of a teenage girl in the woods she is forced to reconcile her greatest fear–her fantastically failing life. This is a dark comedy about a mother, a daughter, a liar and her therapist. SSAT is a short adaptation of FOREVERING (80 pages in progress), an original feature length script, which was considered for inclusion in the 2009 and 2010 Screenwriter’s lab at the Sundance Institute and won the screenwriting competition at the 2009 Canada Film festival.

A professional sign language interpreter becomes very unprofessional as she suffers a sincere but hilarious emotional breakdown during a gathering for hearing impaired physics enthusiasts whose motto is “Let’s Get PhysicScal”. TCRHTIW is also an adaptation from Forevering and a companion to Seven Songs About Thunder. These two shorts are from a series which will eventually include 3-5 additional shorts to complete the feature length story.

This is a personal tape about heartache, regret and transatlantic travel. A cautious driver alone on the highway remembers the first and the last time she had sex at midnight. We are lonely and coping. This piece features music by Savath and Savalas, Stars of the Lid, Autopoieses and Kit Clayton.

NEVERMIND (1998, 18 min, video)
This non-narrative post-punk aria is part one of a three part series and was significantly inspired by Steina Vasulka’s Let it Be (video, 1971). This project is about the manifestation of gender and rebellion in media culture. It threatens the power of the hero in Rock music and features me lip-syncing to Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

1000 WAYS TO SKIN IT (2011, 6 min, Tyco video)
This short music video is a reprise to a well-known piece from 2000 called NEVERMIND in which the artist is lip-syncing to Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This film features two 13 year old girls dressed as Black Metal Brides lip synching to a mash-up of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Bootylicious” (by Destiny’s Child). The two tiny performers appear lost in the woods, alone with their boom-boxes. This video was shot with a Tyco toy camera.

TWIN DECKS (2001, 6 min, Digital Video)
Two young white men lift weights in a basement. The scene unfolds very slowly to a drifting soundtrack. Twin Decks is both a very simple montage sequence and a quiet, but complicated question about desire, power and gender. These are the men you want to become, the men you want to pummel and the men you want to ignore. Equally, these are the men you want to date, the men you want to dump, and the men you cannot ignore. This piece features music by Biosphere.

Jennifer Reeder lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. She received her M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. She is currently the chair of the graduate studies department for the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois Chicago, where she is also an associate professor of moving image. She was nominated for the 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008 Rockefeller Grants for Film/Video/New Media as well as a 2001 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award for visual art and a 2004 Richard H. Dreihaus Foundation Award. She is an Efroymson Family Fund Fellow. Other events include a solo screening at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm Sweden and group screenings and exhibitions at: The New York Video Festival, at The Lincoln Center; Double Heart/Hear the Art, at the Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna, Austria; The 2000 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art; In the Middle of Nowhere at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Generation Z at P.S.1, New York; The 48th International Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy.

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