Selected Video Works presents four videos by Mariah Garnett made between 2010 and 2014. These works represent the early cornerstones of her experimental documentary practice. In all four films, the relationship between subject and filmmaker is foregrounded, calling into question the power dynamics at play in representational art practices.
“Garbage, The City, And Death” uses a Fassbinder text to reframe a real-life relationship between long-lost siblings as a romantic rivalry. It was Garnett’s first attempt to mix theatricality with a real relationship between herself and her subject.
“Picaresques” takes its inspiration from Lieutenant Nun, the autobiography of a transgender conquistador at the turn of the 17th century as its inspiration and abruptly becomes a portrait of Garnett’s own friendship with a 9-year-old tomboy from Santa Monica. It is an attempt to look to the past and future for heroes of a similar gender to the artist’s own.
“Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin” moves through phases of idolization, anxiety ending in a touchdown in reality in a conversation between the artist and Berlin himself. This is the first film in which Garnett used impersonation as a strategy for representing her subject.
Finally, “Full Burn” marks a shift in Garnett’s practice away from overtly queer themes to the geopolitical. It is a portrait of four U.S. war veterans who have continued to use their own physicality to earn a living, three as stunt men and one as a massage therapist. It is a meditation on masculine duty, trauma and re-enactment.
Mariah Garnett is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in American civilization and an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in film/video. In 2019 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video for her feature film, Trouble, which premiered at the London Film Festival and was named one of the best documentaries of the year by Sight + Sound. Her work has screened and been exhibited internationally at venues including The New Museum, The Hammer Museum, Tate Belfast, REDCAT, SFMoMA and her exhibiting gallery, Commonwealth + Council. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and her work has been featured in Bomb, Artforum and Reverse Shot.
Sarah McAnulty, Ph.D., assistant research professor at the University of Connecticut, will give a talk titled “A Tale of Two Symbioses: Development and Maintenance of Bacterial Partnerships with the Hawaiian Bobtail Squid.”
McAnulty is a squid biologist and the executive director of the science communication nonprofit Skype a Scientist! In her talk, she will cover her research on the Hawaiian bobtail squid and its relationship with the bioluminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri and how the immune system plays a role in these interactions. She will also speak on the symbiosis within the female squid’s reproductive system, the accessory nidamental gland. In addition to discussing her science, she will discuss the many ways that scientists can get involved in their communities, both local and online.
Lila Abu-Lughod is the Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. A leading voice in the debates about culture, gender, Islam and global feminist politics, her award-winning books and articles have been translated into 14 languages. Her most recent book, published by Harvard University Press in 2013, is titled Do Muslim Women Need Saving?.
Abu-Lughod’s scholarship, mostly ethnographic and based on long-term fieldwork in Egypt, has focused on the power of cultural forms, from poetry to television soap operas; the politics of knowledge and representations of cultural “others”; violence and memory; and the question of liberalism and global projects of human and women’s rights. She has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Carnegie Scholar, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow. Sponsored by the Center for Humanistic Inquiry Feminist Thought Working Group.