Shorts Program 7: Looking at the 28th annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival will include works by Lynne Sachs, Lorenzo Gattorna, Richard Tuohy, Lynne Siefert, and Bill Brown & Sabine Gruffat.
Five works that allow the viewer to loose themselves in a calm space of looking. The artists in this program are listening to their influencers, and making a comment on what it is to think, look, and make.
CAROLEE, BARBARA & GUNVOR (Lynne Sachs, 2018, 8 min, US/Sweden)
From 2015 to 2017, filmmaker Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Sachs shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.
ANCHE IN PARADISO NON È BELLO ESSERE SOLI (Even in Paradise it’s Not Good to be Alone) (Lorenzo Gattorna, 2017, 8 min, Italy/US)
In memory of Nonno Pierino.
PANCORAN (Richard Tuohy, 2017, 9 min, Australia/Indonesia, 16mm)
Jakarta traffic moves with the harmonious chaos of complex self organising entities everywhere. Through contact printer matteing techniques this mass transport becomes denser and denser until only the fluid futility of motion/motionlessness remains. Jakarta traffic stands as proof of the paradox of motion.
THE OPEN WINDOW (Lynne Siefert, 2017, 7 min, US)
Like restless waiting missiles, pillars of industrial machinery send us to desolate lunar surfaces.
AMARILLO RAMP (Bill Brown and Sabine Gruffat, 2017, 24 min, US)
Perhaps best known for his monumental Utah earthwork ‘Spiral Jetty,’ American sculptor Robert Smithson profoundly shaped how we understand landscape and land use. This experimental Super-16mm film documents Smithson’s final earthwork, ‘Amarillo Ramp,’ located in the Panhandle of northwest Texas. Employing filmmaking strategies that are both responsive to the artwork’s environmental context and informed by Smithson’s own art-making strategies, Gruffat and Brown encounter Smithson’s Ramp as an index of the Capitalocene, T.J. Demos’ critical term for our current geological epoch, marked by the unprecedented degree to which capitalist interventions have altered the earth’s ecosystem. Surrounded by the infrastructure of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), adjacent to a significant wind power transmission corridor, and set atop the rapidly depleting Ogallala Aquifer, Amarillo Ramp is an observatory where human interventions and land uses and human scales of space and time are set against geological and cosmic scales.
TRT: 56 minutes; All Digital Projection, except where noted
Opening Night: Ouroboros
Program 1: Growing
Shorts Program 2: Moving
Shorts Program 3: Touching
Shorts Program 4: Thinking
Incense, Sweaters & Ice
Shorts Program 5: Sensing
Shorts Program 6: Listening
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers:
Onion City is one of the premiere international festivals exclusively devoted to experimental film and video.
Onion City was founded in the 1980s by the Experimental Film Coalition and run by them for many years. Chicago Filmmakers assumed responsibility for the festival in 2001, and expanded the size and opened it up to video work as well as film. It is generally 8-10 programs over four days and features roughly 60-70 works from around the world. Aside from the competition programs, there are occasional special presentations of new or old films of note or guest presentations. Screenings take place at Chicago Filmmakers and other venues around mid-June.
The mission of Onion City is to provide local and regional audiences with an opportunity to view a wide variety of contemporary experimental works, focused on artistic excellence but also with an eye towards representing differing styles, forms, and nationalities.
Chicago Filmmakers is a not-for-profit media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation, and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact. Chicago Filmmakers’ twofold mission is to serve independent film and digital video artists by supporting the creation and dissemination of new media arts works and to serve Chicago audiences by screening artistically innovative, socially relevant, and diverse films and videos.
Chicago Filmmakers nurtures the development of aspiring filmmakers of all ages by offering classes, workshops, and summer camps; empowers artists to create new work through production grants, equipment access, fiscal sponsorship, and other services and resources; and encourages the professional advancement of media artists through seminars, panel discussions, lectures, rough-cut and open screenings, as well as networking events and other opportunities for artistic exchange. Chicago Filmmakers develops diverse audiences through its year-round weekly film and video exhibition programs and its two annual film festivals, Reeling the Chicago LGBTQ International Film Festival and The Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival.