Elisabeth Subrin "Shulie: Film and Stills"

The Jewish Museum

poster for Elisabeth Subrin "Shulie: Film and Stills"

This event has ended.

Slipping between past and present as well as fact and fiction, Shulie (1997) is a shot-by-shot remake of an obscure documentary about radical '60s feminist Shulamith Firestone. Author of the treatise The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, Firestone was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1967 when four male directors selected her as a subject for a film about the so-called Now Generation. Shot in the style of direct cinema, the original Shulie features Firestone discussing the limitations of motherhood, as well as racial and class issues in the workplace. The directors also filmed her enduring a humiliating critique by her art school professors. Thirty years later, filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin recreated the Shulie using actors in many of the original locations. The resulting film is a nostalgic and somewhat cynical reflection on the legacy of second-wave feminism. Subrin writes, “In the compulsion to remake, to produce a fake document, to repeat a specific experience I never actually had, what I have offered up is the performance of a resonant, repetitive, emotional trauma that has yet to be healed.”

The exhibition includes four new enlarged film stills from Shulie. These color photographs not only allow the viewer to focus on thematic details of the protagonist’s activities (commuting to work, creating art), but also formal details including 16mm film grain and video scanlines. Similar to the way Subrin’s film inhabits the fuzzy area between reality and fantasy, her highly mediated printing methods involve a complex layering of analog and digital techniques.

[Image: Elisabeth Subrin "Shulie Photographing Trash"(from Shulie, 1997, Super-8/16mm/video, sound) (2010) Digital C-print from 16mm 22 x 30 in.]



from September 12, 2010 to January 30, 2011

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