April 2nd – April 8th
With work by David Croix Henderson, Kelly Spivey, and Stella Marrs
As part of Squeaky@x0
As the Kuleshov effect continues to show us a century after Lev Kuleshov first presented it, a face can be “trust-worthy,” “mischievous,” and any number of emotions that we want to “read” from it. Much like how our dreams and desires are shaped, and given color and sound by the cinema, they can also be haunted and populated by the faces therein. The human face, echoing our contract of believability with the photographic image, promises revelation. We continue to look to the eyes.
This week’s installation focuses not only on the faces, but the actions, deeds, and lives of four people. Daniel Croix Henderson’s Unscripted shows us the theater director, founder of the Ujima Company Inc and teacher Lorna C. Hill, and the immense impact that she has had on the Buffalo community. Stella Marrs’s Divya Victor and Joey Yearous-Algozin at Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery compliments and illustrates the two poets and their work, which is already wrapped in the scripts of our collective unconscious. Finally, Kelly Spivey’s The Liberation of Helène Aylon documents the life and work of a vital feminist artist from the 80s. Showcasing a variety of media, documentation of her performances, and contemporary interviews – a portrait emerges of the artist, and the communities through which she travels. We become acquainted with ideas that have animated her life and could inspire ours. We come to know the histories beaming behind her eyes. – Ekrem Serdar
Program length: 53 minutes
Daniel Croix Henderson
15 min, HDV, USA, 2010
Unscripted is a documentary about Lorna C. Hill, a theater director and teacher who has greatly influenced the Western New York Arts community.
Divya Victor and Joey Yearous-Algozin at Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery
11:30 min, DV, USA, 2013
Divya Victor and Joey Yearous-Algozin are poets who apply specific filters to the collective archive (in this case, the Bible, Hollywood blockbuster scripts), suggesting the ways in which culture and language are mutually constituted. The piece places each of them in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery, juxtaposing their readings against associative imagery: rambling shots of Memorial Day activities in the cemetery and the forward thrust of automobiles. – SM
The Liberation of Helène Aylon
26 min, HDV, USA, 2015
The Liberation of Helène Aylon is an intimate film portrait that explores how one Jewish Orthodox woman became a contemporary feminist artist. Aylon’s life literally transforms, due to several factors not the least of which was the US feminist movement of the seventies. Still an active artist today at 84, Helène Aylon was engaged to a rabbi at age 17 and didn’t venture towards becoming an artist until her 40s. In 1982, Alyon’s groundbreaking activist art project “The Earth Ambulance” a women cross-country crusade to “rescue” earth from nuclear testing sites. In other art pieces, Aylon attempts to liberate G-d.
Helène Aylon is a living artist who is often overlooked by the larger art world even though her work has garnered some attention from feminist art critics, Jewish scholars, museums curators, and environmentalists. Her work gained some critical notice in the nineties due to the increasing awareness of an emerging public art movement that was politically challenging and strove to move outside the studio and gallery to engage with a larger public audience. Artist and critic Suzanne Lacy and prominent critic Lucy Lippard have written extensively about the role of public art within the larger contexts of burgeoning and otherwise critically ignored movements of conceptual, activist, and public performance. Their critical attention laid much of the groundwork for an appreciation for the kind of projects that Aylon pursued. Aylon’s work incorporates everything from process painting, performance art, collaborative public art, installation and video art. There is a need to better understand her work and her role as an artist, especially in terms of feminist art during the eighties. The film The Liberation of Helène Aylon brings attention to Aylon’s life and work so that the next generation of women artists and others may learn about the work of this earlier feminist artist. – KS