Abigail Child: MirrorWorld, Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7 pm

Please join us at Counterpath (7935 East 14th Ave., Denver) on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, 7 pm, for a screening of the work of Abigail Child, including MirrorWorld. Child will also give a reading from her new book, Mouth to Mouth (winner of the 2017 Lamda Award). The evening opens with readings by Carolina Ebeid and Serena Chopra, as well as a screening of Still Raining, by Phil Solomon. The event is free and open to the public. MirrorWorld will be on display through November 28.

On Mirror World: “Child’s cutting techniques reconfigure sensory/cinematic perception altogether. She often splits the screen down the middle, creating a mirror image: in Mirror World a woman’s body gets carved into slivers that recombine along the middle seam to create dancing hairy vulvas. Or a typical Bollywood group dance scene takes on an additional visual shimmer. When the screen splits during a subtitled scene in To and No Fro we are catapulted into a theater of spectacle and sound. Scenes with cameras and other tools of the cinema remind us that Child is constructing our view, but with gleeful humor (the Mirror World film loop “ends” with the main woman character tossing her head back in a long laugh). Child stops short of noise and confusion: a slight back beat (a cymbal; a tabla) steadies first one soundtrack, then another; a Strauss waltz builds in intensity and we slip into familiar territory…at least until Child rocks our world once again by turning the footage of the dancers on a slant, or sideways, and even almost (but never predictably) upside-down, before veering off into another quasi-plot. Breathless yet? Hints of narrative are suggested (a glance, a movement, a chord, a subtitle or syllable), intensified (through arrhythmic repetition, intercutting, juxtaposition), and finally thrown overboard (or at least in every conceivable direction). Hindi overlaps with Spanish, English, many styles of music, and sound effects, and the aesthetic of interruption is itself interrupted with steady long shots of landscape and gesture. Child’s writings occasionally appear, like less didactic, more evocative versions of Jenny Holzer’s maxims (“as if to myself”; Every person’s story starts with some other person”; “All humans are unreal”; “Think of me as the self-willed beauty…that is what the world thinks I am”). Child, a self-declared “maximalist,” creates a poetic condensation of contemporary society within the space of one small room.” —Karen Schiff

On Mouth to Mouth: “Even while running culture through a linguistic sieve of structures and styles and sampling Internet snippets, her humor is unfailing and her heart is all-too-human.”  —Charles Borkhuis

Abigail Child has been at the forefront of experimental writing and media since the 1980s, having completed more than thirty film/video works & installations, and written 6 books. An acknowledged pioneer in montage, Child addresses the interplay between sound and image, to make, in the words of LA Weekly: “brilliant exciting work…a vibrant political filmmaking that’s attentive to form.” Her films rewrite narrative, creating the cult classics PERILS, MAYHEM and COVERT ACTION (1984-87). Other productions borrow documentary to poetically envision public space including B/Side (1996) and SURF AND TURF (2011). Child’s re-constructed home movie THE FUTURE IS BEHIND YOU (2004) served as inspiration for UNBOUND: Scenes from the life of Mary Shelley shot as imaginary home movies. In recent years, Child has expanded her vertical montage to multiple-screen installation with MIRRORWORLDS and THE MILKY WAY. Recently completed ACTS AND INTERMISSIONS, the second in her trilogy on Women and Ideology, circling around the life of Emma Goldman and a history of protests, just premiered at The Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight.

Child is the principal director, cinematographer and editor on her films. Cultural displacements, mostly urban ones, have been at the heart of her concerns. Her work involves intimate collaborations, with poets: Monica de la Torre (To and No Fro), Gary Sullivan (Mirror World), Nada Gordon (Ligatures) and Adeena Karasick (Salomé) as well as with notable downtown composers including John Zorn (The Future Is Behind You), Ikue Mori (B/side, 8 Million), Zeena Parkins (Unbound, Mayhem), Christian Marclay (Mayhem, Surface Noise) and Andrea Parkins (Vis A Vis and Acts and Intermissions) .

Her films, compulsive visual and aural legerdemain, have been widely awarded and shown internationally. Child has been honored with a Rome Prize Fellowship (09-10), as well as a John Simon Guggenheim, Radcliffe Institute and Fulbright Fellowships. She is winner of the Stan Brakhage Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, LEF Foundation, Mass Arts Council, and Art Matters. Child’s film and media works have been exhibited worldwide, in venues including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Biennial Exhibitions (1989+1997); Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Rotterdam International Film Festival; New York Film Festival; CAPC Musée, Bordeaux; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley; and festivals in Oberhausen, Locarno, Berlin, Toronto, Brazil, Mexico City and Seoul, among many others. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York and Centre Pompidou among others. Harvard University Cinematheque has created an “Abigail Child Collection” which will preserve and exhibit her films.

Child is also a writer with more that 5 books and numerous chapbooks. Her critical study, THIS IS CALLED MOVING: A Critical Poetics of Film (2005) is the only critical book written by an active American artist/filmmaker in over two decades. Her newest book of poetry MOUTH TO MOUTH came out this spring (2016) courtesy of Eoagh Press and was just honored with a review in the Brooklyn Rail October 2016 and won the 2017 Lamda Award. Child is Emeritus Professor of Media at Tufts University, the SMFA, and lives and works in New York City.

Carolina Ebeid‘s work appears widely in journals such as The Kenyon Review, Crazyhorse, jubilat, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Poetry, and others. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers, and has won awards and fellowships from the Stadler Center for Poetry, CantoMundo, The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Academy of American Poets. She was awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry for 2015. She is a PhD candidate in the University of Denver’s creative writing program, where she serves as Associate Editor of the Denver Quarterly. Her first book, You Ask Me To Talk About The Interior, was published by Noemi Press in 2016 as part of their Akrilica series. Poets & Writers Magazine selected You Ask Me To Talk About The Interior as one of the ten best debut collections in 2016. She is currently at work on a book project entitled Hide. Carolina grew up in West New York, NJ, and now lives in Denver. Her fellow travelers include the poet Jeffrey Pethybridge and their son Patrick; together they edit Visible Binary.

Serena Chopra is the author of Ic (Horse Less Press, 2017), This Human(Coconut Books, 2013) and the chapbooks, Penumbra (Flying Guillotine Press, 2011) and Livid Season (Free Poetry, 2012). She is a 2016-2017 Fulbright Scholar, working on a novel informed by her research with Maya For Women, a queer women’s support organization in Bangalore, India. She is a multidisciplinary artist, working as a professional modern dancer and company member with Evolving Doors Dance, as well as a visual artist, serving as a 2011-2013 resident artist at the RedLine Gallery in Denver. She is a co-founder and actor in the poet’s theater group, GASP, and she recently worked with Splintered Light Theater on a shadow/light production of Ic, for which she composed the soundscape. Her ongoing text/image collaboration, Memory is a Future Tense, with artist Lu Cong, can be found at memoryis.net. She lives and works in Denver. SerenaChopra.com