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Destiny Manifesto

Myth Labs

Triumph of the Wild

Alternative Visions

Tuesday, December 2, 2008
7:30 p.m. Martha Colburn’s Collage Animations
Martha Colburn (U.S., 1995–2008)

Martha Colburn in Person

Martha Colburn’s labor-intensive, low-tech collages draw on a dizzying array of educational footage, medieval manuscripts, magazine ads, and detritus of popular and underground culture. With daunting obsessiveness, she cuts out images, hand-paints footage, and mixes in her own flat puppets and drawings with a dash of punk rock poetry by friends. Whether reworking a religious text or critiquing current events, Colburn combines politics and play, paint and puppets with inventiveness and perversity. While the fast pace and edginess of her work is immediately apparent, there are also moments of beauty. Jonas Mekas characterized her work: “The uniqueness of Martha Colburn, to me, is the explosive energy and craft with which she brings up-to-date, and pushes further, the film form of found-image-collage established by Stan Vanderbeek and Dick Preston in the sixties. She has invented her own techniques and language that permits her to fuse the grotesque images of our popular civilization as produced by our image industries, to make film songs of (the) universal sadness of our times. Bordering on the outrageous, (with) crackling frame energy, Martha Colburn films are naked testimonials of our times, and of her generation.”

—Kathy Geritz

Presented in conjunction with the BAM exhibition Bending the Word.

Asthma (1995, 2.5 mins, 16mm). What’s On? (1997, 1.5 mins, 16mm). Spiders in Love: An Arachnogasmic Musical (1999, 2.5 mins, 16mm). Cosmetic Emergency (2005, 8 mins, 35mm). Wrong Time Capsule (Music video for Deerhoof, 2005, 3 mins). Meet Me in Wichita (2006, 8 mins). Destiny Manifesto (2006, 8 mins). Don’t Kill the Weatherman! (2007, 4 mins). Myth Labs (2008, 7 mins). Triumph of the Wild (2008, c. 10 mins)

• (Total running time: 55 mins, Color, Digital video unless otherwise indicated, From the artist. Presented with support from the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Endowment.)