Radical Videos and Performances by Miss Reading and Miss Recognition


April 11th, 2009

The Intelligence Community Presents: THE FREE TRANSLATORS
Reminiscent of the DIY approach of the Riot Grrrl movement, this Spring two feminist provocateurs are taking their multimedia show on the road. Mary Billyou and Sabine Gruffat are hailing from Brooklyn, NY and Madison, WI to present “The Free Translators,” with their program of radical videos and performances.

The Free Translators are inspired by widely accessible texts and produce meaning through Free Association, Free Verse, Free Jazz, and Free Mumia! The artists perform in many of their own videos, sometimes enacting the news, dictating words written by the Marquis de Sade, and excerpting from Virginia Woolf’s anti-war essays. By interpreting the texts for the audience, the videos explore notions of feminist identity, the quality of attention in the midst of multiple authorial sources, and the diminishing space of communication around the monologue of mass media.

In between video screenings, The Free Translators present two live tactical translations: The Romance of Infidelity and Dance Craze. Through matching headsets, Miss Reading and Miss Recognition simultaneously communicate and educate through their expansive library of text, sound, and image.

HEADLINES: BAGHDAD (TRT 3:00, silent, Dir: Sabine Gruffat)
The films in this trilogy were made by cutting up The New York Times newspaper articles. The semi-automated animation process resulted in sentence combinations that sometimes make sense while randomly emphasizing certain words and images.

PERHAPS THE SINGER IS DEAD (TRT: 6:00, sound, Dir: Mary Billyou)
A series of close-ups from indy and foreign films are pieced together with a rich soundtrack of words and waves, accusing its audience, “You’d make a terrible witness.”

HEADLINES: BOMB PARTS (TRT 3:00 silent, Dir: Sabine Gruffat)

THE WONDER OF IT ALL (TRT 19:00 sound, Dir: Mary Billyou)
AP photographs are placed, one on top of another, of war, conflict, and border crossings. Over these is the sound of a nine-year old reading aloud from Virginia Woolf’s anti-war essays. This video is grounded strictly within the American amnesiac arenas of cash money and the rat race.



TO THE SOUTH WAS 72 (TRT 11:00 sound, Dir: Sabine Gruffat)
“A personal guided tour of the largest prehistoric city north of Mexico…” This experimental documentary disorders and recasts an audio tour of a prehistoric site that is visited, preserved, and endlessly repeated via prescribed routes and prerecorded narratives. The footage captures the remnants of a lost civilization identifiable only by humble signposts that use an alienating system of letters to mark the space.

HEADLINES: BROKEN (TRT 3:00 silent, Dir: Sabine Gruffat)

CASE STUDY #8 (TRT 7:30 sound, Dir: Mary Billyou)
A documentation of the story of A., a young female subject, who is an artist. The video describes a dialogue that took place one afternoon, during which A. reveals her frustration in her inability to communicate, and the lack of interest she finds within her relationships with her parents and friends.

Filed under: performance, video