Projections, Portraits, and Picaresques:
Works by Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss

 

Thursday, April 23, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss in person

Artists Mary Helena Clark, Mariah Garnett, and Latham Zearfoss (BFA 2008) self-reflexively play with portraiture and autobiography in a cultural landscape dominated by selfies and shifting social media platforms. In Home Movie (2012), Zearfoss engages with the contemporary urge to capture personal moments for online public consumption, whether or not they are of real interest to others. Garnett's Encounters I May Or May Not Have Had With Peter Berlin (2012) questions the dependability of film by using hand-painted celluloid, drag, and intimate conversation to reveal and obscure the reality of her relationship to the 1970s porn star. Clark’s The Dragon is the Frame (2014) meditates on a world shaped by missing persons by linking landmarks from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) with the persistent online presence of the late artist Mark Aguhar. Each artist articulates personal identity in relation to aesthetic and community, fiction and truth.

2011–14, US, multiple formats, ca 70 min + discussion

Mary Helena Clark (b. 1983, Santee, SC is a filmmaker based in California. Her films explore genre tropes, the materiality of film, and the pleasure of tromp l'oeil. Bringing together observational, appropriated, staged and abstract footage, they operate on dream logic until disrupted by moments of self-reflexivity. Clark received her MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Anthology Film Archives, New York; and Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Mariah Garnett (b. 1980, Portland, ME) mixes documentary, narrative, and experimental filmmaking practices to make work that accesses existing people and communities beyond her immediate experience. Using source material that ranges from found text to iconic gay porn stars, Garnett often inserts herself into the films, creating cinematic allegories that codify and locate identity. Garnett holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Film/Video and a BA in American Civilization from Brown University. Her work has been screened internationally, including at REDCAT, Los Angeles; White Columns, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Venice Biennale (Swiss Offsite Pavilion).

Latham Zearfoss (b. 1980, Xenia, OH) is an artist and cultural producer living and working in Chicago. His artwork often centers on reclaiming historical and mythological texts, and revising them to incorporate radical notions of love and sex, possibility and probability. Zearfoss graduated from SAIC with a BFA in 2008 and the University of Illinois at Chicago with an MFA in 2011. His commitment to art and activism has also manifested in the creation of sporadic, temporary utopias like Pilot TV and Chances Dances.