As part of Cinenova’s Now Showing series, Jamie Crewe presents two works from Tran, T. Kim-Trang's Blindness Series (1992-2006) from the Cinenova collection alongside their own work, Teleny (2015).
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Teleny (Jamie Crewe, UK, 2015 22mins)
A video which accompanies the works Socrates, Alcibiades, Medea and Xantippe. It is a partial adapation of Teleny, or the Reverse of the Medal, an anonymous pornographic novel published in 1893. Scenes of dialogue between the characters Briancourt, Camille and Teleny are staged, acted by an amateur cast, scripts in hand, against a set dressed with cheap flowers and green drapery. Through chroma keying these green spaces are removed, revealing scenes from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea (1969) underneath.
Aletheia (Tran T Kim Trang, USA, 1992, 16mins)
The introductory title to The Blindness Series, Aletheia presents an indexing of categories investigating different aspects of blindness as metaphor. Stylistic preference for the techniques and conventions of MTV, and American Television in general, provides the means to create connections among the categories of cosmetic surgery, sexuality, technology, language, hysterical blindness, and actual blindness.
Kore (Tran T Kim Trang, USA, 1994, 17mins)
By focusing on the blindfold, kore explores the eye as purveyor of desire, sexual fear, and the fantasy of blindness. An alternative sexuality is founded in touch-based (feminine?) pleasure as opposed to a vision-based (masculine?) pleasure. An examination of institutional blindspots towards women, and people of color, concerning AIDS expands on the issue of vision, visibility and the disease.
Tran, T. Kim-Trang was born in Viet Nam and emigrated to the U.S. in 1975. She received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and has been producing experimental videos since the early 1990s. Her work has been exhibited internationally. In 1999 Tran presented her Blindness Series in a solo screening at the Museum of Modern Art. Two of her videos were included in the Biennial exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Blindness Series was featured at the 46th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, both in 2000. Her video project, an eight-video series investigating blindness and its metaphors was completed in 2006. Tran has been nominated for a CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts and was named a 2001 Rockefeller Film/Video/Multimedia Fellow. She is currently a Professor of Art at Scripps College.
Cinenova: Now Showing began in March 2015 and runs monthly. The series intends to materialise relationships between contemporary artist moving image practice and the feminist and organising legacies present in the Cinenova collection. Now Showing future invited protagonists include: Letitia Beatriz, Olivia Plender, Charlotte Prodger and more to be announced. Past events have been with Nooshin Farhid and Lis Rhodes; Rehana Zaman and Lai Ngan Walsh & the Law Collective; Lucy Clout, Tracey Moffatt and Susan Stein; Cara Tolmie, Kimberley O'Neill and France-Lise McGurn, Judith Barry and Ruth Novaczek; Justice for Domestic Workers and Leeds Animation Co-op; Claire Hope and Judith Barry; Lucy Parker and Adriana Monti; Kate Davis, Margaret Salmon and Sheffield Film Co-op; Richard John Jones and Karen Everett; Grace Schwindt and Kim Longinotto, Evan Ifekoya, Ayoka Chenzira, Amanda Holiday, Catherine Saalfield and Julie Tolentino, Kari Robertson and Judith Barry.
Faced with closure since 2001, due to lack of funding, Cinenova has been run by volunteers dedicated to the constellation of films, histories and politics that make up the organisation. All ticket entry goes back into the running costs.