A selection of films by the artist and filmmaker Jo Ann Kaplan followed by a Q&A with Gary Thomas of Animate Projects. Kaplan's film works are marked by an extraordinary diversity of forms which include animation, dance film, fiction, documentary and experimental film. In her interdisciplinary practice Kaplan continuously used the body as a metaphor and challenged the male gaze in cinema. The screening presents her most personal search and observations through drawing, text, image, sound.
Invocation: Maya Deren (1986, 53 mins, 4:3)
The story of a brief but remarkable life of Maya Deren, nee Eleonora Derenkowsky, the American avant-garde filmmaker of the 40s/50s. Her seminal body of cinematic work has influenced and formed the beginnings and subsequent direction of American independent and artists' film-making practice. Narrated by Helen Mirren, with original recordings of Maya Deren, this film is an homage composed of interviews with those who knew her and worked with her: Hella Hammid, Sasha Hammid, Amos and Marcia Vogel, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas and Joseph Campbell.
Story of I (1997, 23 mins, 4:3)
A woman sits alone in a bare, white-tiled bathroom, reading Georges Bataille's Story of the Eye. The bizarre events described by the text provoke a series of fantasies in which the room becomes a stage and the woman the lead protagonist. As her dreams unfold, she becomes the 'eye' of the story, and her own body and the object of its gaze. With a feminine hand, Story of I plucks Bataille's central metaphor from its original context and re-invents its erotic vision.
Watching Paint Dry (2010, 18 mins, 16:9 FHA)
A work in progress which the artist continued filming until her death. Painted, filmed and edited by Jo Ann Kaplan, documenting and reflecting on the film maker's own ageing.