Untitled presents a non-linear montage of archival and pop footage to conjure up the passionate activism sparked by the early years of the AIDS crisis. Unspooling at multiple levels, the narrative flies between scenes of tragic brutality and kitschy humor, arch clips of laughter and ironic surprises while shredding traditional chronology. CAMH Director Bill Arning will introduce this 2010 video created by artist Jim Hodges and filmmakers Carlos Marques da Cruz and Encke King, which is being screened in conjunction with Donald Moffett: The Extravagant Vein. Structurally, Untitled melds together video, film, and music from more than 45 sources including archival activist footage, mainstream network news broadcasts, artists’ documentation, and popular TV and film. By juxtaposing fractious scenes from the last few turbulent decades, Untitled presents a powerful and provocative reflection on an era when political protest and personal existence converged.
Originally distributed for 2011 World AIDS Day/Day With(out) Art by Visual AIDS.
Running time: 60 minutes.
Co-sponsored by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Glassell School of Art, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston, and Blaffer Art Museum.
Invited in 2010 to lecture on the billboard project of Felix Gonzalez‐Torres at San Antonio's Artpace, Jim Hodges joined forces with filmmakers Carlos Marques da Cruz and Encke King for Untitled. While many references ‐- the title, short excerpts from Golden Girls and Dynasty, popular songs, and contemporary issues ‐- nod toward Felix Gonzalez‐Torres’ oeuvre, the film is not an attempt to portray the artist, but rather to place the viewer “in his room.” In this way, the framing of the artist becomes a means to project any number of people, endlessly.
By juxtaposing fractious scenes from the last few turbulent decades, Untitled presents a powerful and provocative reflection on an era when political protest and personal existence converged. At the same time, the film draws history nearer by representing the pressure and hopelessness created by regimes of power from New York to Los Angeles, New Orleans to Guantánamo, and beyond, and the brave women and men who in times of crisis stood up for themselves, for their communities, and for humanity.
The soundtrack makes use of Nancy Sinatra, Crystal Waters, The Smiths, and Yoko Ono to point to resistance, the ethics of care, and to the love the filmmakers’ consider a function of art.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Jim Hodges has created a broad range of work exploring themes of fragility, temporality, love, and death in a highly original and poetic vocabulary. His works frequently deploy different materials and techniques: from ready‐made objects to traditional media, such as graphite and ink. He has been the subject of many solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe and has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial. He currently lives and works in New York City.
Carlos Marques da Cruz works with artists, performers, and filmmakers in Lisbon, Paris, Venice, Rome, Genoa, Spoleto, Naples, Milan, Palermo, Madrid, Brussels, London, and New York.
Encke King is a film and video producer, editor, and writer based in New York.
ABOUT VISUAL AIDS
Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy because AIDS is not over. Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to HIV prevention and AIDS awareness through producing and presenting visual art projects, while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS. Day With(out)Art was founded by Visual AIDS in 1990. Since then, museums, galleries, schools, universities, cultural and grassroots organizations have observed December 1/ World AIDS Day with programs, exhibitions, and discussions about HIV/AIDS.