By Liz Blood
The four video works in Remember This position remembering as both a personal and collective act.
To a soundtrack of classic rock, Renee Green explores Kent, Ohio in “Partially Buried” (1996) as a means of interpreting what the culture chooses to remember and one context in which her life sits—in relationship to the 1970 Kent State shootings.
Taja Lindley’s video, “This Ain’t A Eulogy: Ritual for Re-Membering,” (2017) begins with names of black Americans killed by police, painted in white on black trash bags. Lindley, clothed in trash bags in the video, dances among piles of more. Here, re-membering—suggestive of putting the body (of memory) back together—is seen as the responsibility of the living.
Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin screen home videos from their respective 1970s childhoods side-by-side in “a small world…” (1999-2001). Scenes of Christmas and Hannukah, birthday parties, Disneyland, children playing pianos, and big hair and patterned couches show American lives memorialized in their similarities and differences.
In Crystal Z Campbell’s “Go-Rilla Means War,” a damaged roll of 35mm film found at Brooklyn’s now-demolished Slave Theater plays with a voice-over by Campbell, who offers a speculative memory of the Slave. The semi-fictional history tells of gentrification and how the historic theater and its founder came to be no more.
Each work considers the contract of memory. Others are affected by what we recall and represent. Who else will say the names of the dead?
Image credits: (Photo credit all to Liz Blood)
“This Aint A Eulogy: A Ritual for Re-Membering,” Taja Lindley, film and trash bags, 9:58 min., 2017
“a small world…,” Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin, single-channel video projection, 6:30 min., 1999–2001
“Go-Rilla Means War,” Crystal Z Campbell, diptych video projection: salvaged 35mm film transferred to digital, digital video with archival images, original stereo sound, directional sound panel, paint, and custom benches, 19:03 min., 2017–18