No Place Like Home #1
January 16, 2017
How did you find out about Joanie 4 Jackie and how old were you at the time?
The curator Astria Suparak invited me to be included. She saw my movie in a gallery in NYC. I was around 34.
What interested you about the project?
I loved the idea behind Joanie 4 Jackie and Astria’s interests and enthusiasms.
At the time you participated in Joanie 4 Jackie did you consider yourself a filmmaker? What was your relationship to making movies?
No I didn’t consider myself a filmmaker. I thought of myself as an artist which now I allow as a more inclusive way of being, encompassing the work I put towards inquiries in drawing, animation, video, painting, etc. I guess I thought of myself as a gallery artist. I painted, drew and made animations but it all existed within the gallery. The tape and screenings brought me into a world of experimental filmmaking which really felt like home.
Do you have any specific anecdotes or memories associated with your movie?
This was only the second puppet animation I’d made and I had a very Ed Wood attitude towards filmmaking. I wanted to make a movie about Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, specifically about her denial of reality. I felt this was represented by the sparkling ruby slippers so when I was making the animation model, I thought, why make the whole figure if the focus is on the clicking of heels. Somewhere close to the end of the model construction I realized the power and other strangeness of this new character – a woman that only exists from the waist down.
What did you think/feel about the Joanie 4 Jackie at the time? And now, in retrospect?
It was so very inclusive and non judgmental. Compared to the art world, there was no money involved which allowed for a kind of freedom and mutual support. Having my movie get outside of a gallery and reach so many more people in their bedrooms or in theaters was exciting. The intimacy of the structure really suited my subject matter and ideas. Still does. In retrospect I wish I’d I’d known about it sooner. It’s a great structure for communication and distribution.
If you attended a screening, can you tell us where and when it was and anything else you remember about it?
I remember the “I Saw Bones” screening at the 2000 New York Underground Film Festival where I met Miranda and she had a really present and outward energy on stage for the Q&A afterwards. After Astria screened “Sex on the Fritz” at the festival, a precursor to “Some Kind of Loving” that came out a few months later, one person asked if it was pot rolling around in my animation – it was a representation of tumbleweeds on the open plain – a super crude representation. I don’t remember many things from my past but that question sticks with me.
What institutions, groups, people, publications and movements were inspiring you at the time of your participation in J4J?
I was inspired by old films and other artists. I remember Sue Williams, Bruce Nauman was huge to me and I regularly went to Theater 80 and the Film Forum.
What do you do now – professionally and otherwise? Are you still involved in filmmaking?
I’m still an artist and I teach film at Johns Hopkins University. I now spend much more time making experimental movies than I did back then but I still draw, paint and make things. The structure of my movies has influenced how I put my ideas together with things I make. I can definitely trace what I do now and my freedom in filmmaking (structures and treatment of subjects) to the Joanie 4 Jackie tape. It got me thinking about the moving image and introduced me to amazing women thinking about movies and ideas and making weird and wonderful films.