Rites of Return at Light Industry on Sunday (2/15)

From: Thomas Beard (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Feb 13 2009 - 09:53:05 PST

Light Industry

Rites of Return

Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:30pm
220 36th Street, 5th Floor
Brooklyn, New York
Whether it is the bones immured in the Syrian fortifications, a word whose
form or use reveals a custom, a narrative written by the witness of some
scene, ancient or modern, what do we really mean by document, if it is not a
³track,² as it were ­ the mark, perceptible to the senses, which some
phenomenon, in itself inaccessible, has left behind?
 - Marc Bloch, The Historian¹s Craft

Little by little, belief became polluted, like the air and the water. The
motive energy, always resistant but manipulable, finally begins to run out.
People notice at the same time that no one knows what it is.
 - Michel de Certeau, ³Believing and Making People Believe²

This evening features three artists whose work is linked by its situation on
the ever-shifting border between documentary investigation, aesthetic
contemplation, and critical play. Formed by travels in war-torn and
storm-ravaged sites beyond the ken of CNN, the film, video, and visual art
of Liza Johnson, Julia Meltzer and David Thorne, and Michael Rakowitz offers
a compelling vision of contemporary history between dreamworld and
catastrophe. The recent and in-progress work presented tonight retrieves
real and imagined artifacts from these ruins, creating, in the process,
gestural and memorial ruins of another kind. And they testify to the enduing
power, in a secular age, of the rituals of ³believing and making people
believe,² a power that haunts and inspires the work of documentary art in
the age of mechanical destruction.

Works to be presented in whole or in part include:

Searching Ruins on Broadway for Dead Bodies, Galveston
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., producer, Albert E. Smith (USA, 1900)

Morro Castle, Havana Harbor
Thomas A. Edison, Inc., producer and cameraman, William Paley (USA, 1898)
"The photograph is excellent; and in view of a probable bombardment, when
the old-fashioned masonry will melt away like butter under the fire of
13-inch guns, the view is of historic value." - Edison film catalogue

It¹s Not My Memory of It: Three Recollected Documents
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne (USA, 2003)

there is no time like the present
Julia Meltzer and David Thorne with Rami Farah, (Syria/USA,

South of Ten
Liza Johnson (USA, 2007)
³One of the rare works of film or visual art made in the wake of Hurricane
Katrina to look beyond the devastation of New Orleans, South of Ten is a
small gem of a film that opens our eyes to the possibilities of other
images, and other meanings, of this American tragedy. It catalogues a set of
ordinary people and extraordinary actions - carrying a toilet, finding a
trombone, lifting a house - by Mississippi survivors of the flooding,
capturing the charmed and terrible nature of survival. Without uttering a
word, South of Ten asks: after all, what does it mean to act?² - Jonathan

Michael Rakowitz (USA, 2006)

The invisible enemy should not exist
Michael Rakowitz (USA, 2007)
The invisible enemy should not exist unfolds as an intricate narrative about
artifacts stolen from the National Museum of Iraq, Baghdad, in the aftermath
of the US invasion of April 2003; the current status of their whereabouts;
and the series of events surrounding the invasion, the plundering and
related protagonists. The centerpiece of the project is an ongoing series of
sculptures that represent an attempt to reconstruct the looted archeological
artifacts. The exhibition¹s name comes from the direct translation of
Aj-ibur-shapu, the ancient Babylonian processional way that ran through the
Ishtar Gate. Reconstructions of the artifacts are made from the packaging of
Middle Eastern foodstuffs and local Arabic newspapers, moments of cultural
visibility found in cities across the US. This exhibition extends a
commitment to recuperate the 7,000+ objects whose whereabouts remain
Plus other works...

To be followed by a discussion with the artists and Jonathan Kahana.

Liza Johnson is an artist and filmmaker. Her work has been exhibited
internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the
Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou,
as well as the New York, Berlin, and Rotterdam Film Festivals, among many
others. She has been a fellow of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm and the
Sundance Institute, and has published a number of articles and interviews
about art and film. Johnson is Associate Professor of Art at Williams

Jonathan Kahana is Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at New York
University, where he is co-director of the graduate Certificate program in
Culture and Media. He is the author of Intelligence Work: The Politics of
American Documentary (Columbia UP, 2008), and of articles on documentary and
avant-garde film, cultural theory, and American film and television history,
published or forthcoming in Afterimage, Camera Obscura, Film Quarterly,
Millennium Film Journal, and Social Text. He is the editor of a forthcoming
anthology on the history of documentary film, and of ³What Now? Re-enactment
in Contemporary Documentary Film, Video, and Performance,² a dossier of
critical work forthcoming in Framework: The Journal of Film and Media.

Michael Rakowitz is a Chicago-based installation and public artist. His work
has appeared in venues worldwide including P.S.1, MoMA, MassMOCA, Castello
di Rivoli, Sharjah Biennial 8, Tirana Biennale, National Design Triennial at
the Cooper-Hewitt, and Transmediale 05 in Berlin. He has had solo
exhibitions at Lombard-Freid Projects in New York, Alberto Peola Arte
Contemporanea in Torino, and Stadtturmgalerie/Kunstraum Innsbruck. He is the
recipient of a Sharjah Biennial Jury's Award, a New York Foundation for the
Arts Fellowship, the Dena Foundation Award, and the Design 21 Grand Prix
from UNESCO. Rakowitz is an Associate Professor in Art Theory and Practice
at Northwestern University.

Julia Meltzer and David Thorne produce videos, photographs, and
installations. From 1999 to 2003, their projects centered on secrecy,
history, and memory. Current works focus on the ways in which visions of the
future are imagined, claimed, and realized or relinquished, specifically in
relation to faith and global politics. Recent projects have been exhibited
at Steve Turner Contemporary (Los Angeles), the Walraff-Richartz Museum
(Köln), Argos Center for Art and Media (Brussels), the Wexner Center
(Columbus, Ohio), the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the 2006 California Biennial,
Akbank Sanat Gallery (Istanbul), Apex Art (New York), and as part of the
Hayward Gallery's (London) traveling exhibition program. Video work has been
screened at Homeworks IV (Beirut), the International Film Festival
Rotterdam, The New York Video Festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival, and
the Toronto International Film Festival, among many others.

Tickets - $7, available at door.

Support for this event was provided, in part, by the Experimental Television
Center's Presentation Funds Program, which is supported by the New York
State Council on the Arts, a public agency.

About Light Industry
Light Industry is a new venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New
York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project has
begun as a series of events at Industry City in Sunset Park, each organized
by a different artist, critic, or curator. Conceptually, Light Industry
draws equal inspiration from the long history of alternative art spaces in
New York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and other intrepid
film exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and
lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of
time-based media and foster an ongoing dialogue amongst a wide range of
artists and audiences within the city.

About Industry City

Industry City, an industrial complex in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, is home to a
cross-section of manufacturing, warehousing and light industry. As part of a
regeneration program intended to diversify the use of its 6 million square
feet of space to better reflect 21st century production, Industry City now
includes workspace for artists. In addition to offering studios at
competitive rates, Industry City also provides a limited number of low-cost
studios for artists in financial need. This program was conceived in
response to the lack of affordable workspace for artists in New York City
and aims to establish a new paradigm for industrial redevelopment--one that
does not displace artists, workers, local residents or industry but instead
builds a sustainable community in a context that integrates cultural and
industrial production.

For more information, please visit http://www.industrycityartproject.org

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.