Herb Shellenberger
htshell.org

Magic for Beginners
October 15, 2015
Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London)
London, UK


mig #4: MAGIC FOR BEGINNERS
A screening of artist moving image works that explore the occasional and ephemeral flashes of genius, brilliance and obsession that come with youth.

Vogue Boy, Robert E. Jeffrey, 1991, US, digital, 4’
Beauty's where you find it, not just where you bump and grind it.

Magic for Beginners, Jesse McLean, 2010, US, digital, 20’
Magic for Beginners examines the mythologies found in fan culture, from longing to obsession to psychic connections. The need for such connections (whether real or imaginary) as well as the need for an emotional release that only fantasy can deliver are explored.

Dirty Girls, Michael Lucid, 2000, US, digital, 18'
Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls in Los Angeles who were socially ostracized at their school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called "dirty girls," and meanwhile the "dirty girls" themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus. Music: "Batmobile" by Liz Phair.

A Million Miles Away, Jennifer Reeder, 2014, US, digital, 28’
An adult woman (the conductor) on the edge of failing and a pack of teenage girls (the choir) simultaneously experience a supernatural version of coming-of-age. The transformation is equal parts tense and tender. It unravels patiently to the infectious beat of an 80s era heavy metal anthem rearranged as a lamentation.

Jesse McLean is a media artist utilizing collage both aesthetically and conceptually. Her video work employs highly recognizable appropriated material alongside more elusive sources and material generated by the artist. Motivated by a deep curiosity about human behavior and relationships, her work is concerned with both the power and the failure of the mediated experience to bring people together. She has presented her work at museums, galleries, and film festivals worldwide, was the recipient of an International Critics Prize, (FIPRESCI Prize) at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen and was a featured artist at the 2014 Flaherty Seminar.

Jennifer Reeder is a filmmaker and visual artist from Ohio. She constructs personal stories about relationships, trauma and coping. Her award-winning narratives are unconventional and borrow from a range of forms including after school specials, amateur music videos and magical realism. She has made over 40 film/video projects and written 12 scripts. Her work is shown consistently around the world, including recent retrospectives at the London Short Film Festival and International Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen.

mig (Moving Image Group) is a student-run screening programme and discursive platform at Central Saint Martins. Started in spring 2015 and led by students in the the MRes Art: Moving Image course, the series is intended to develop interdisciplinary discussion and debate around significant works of artist film and moving image. It is open to all UAL students, but especially directed at MRes and MA students. Wine and snax included.

Thanks to Jesse McLean and Jennifer Reeder for screening permissions.

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