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Afterimage: Leslie Thornton

Wednesday, October 15, 2014
7:00 p.m. Peggy and Fred in Hell
Leslie Thornton (US, 1985–2013)

In Conversation/Leslie Thornton and Pooja Rangan


Pooja Rangan is assistant professor of culture and media at the New School in New York, and is completing a book on the humanitarian impulse in documentary

“(Peggy and Fred in Hell) represents the most exciting work of the eighties American avant-garde that I know, a saga that raises questions about everything while making everything seem very strange.”—Jonathan Rosenbaum

In her recently completed landmark series, Peggy and Fred in Hell—worked and reworked over nearly thirty years and incorporating film and video—Leslie Thornton examines sexual differences and experiences on the edge. Peggy and Fred are two eerie children inhabiting an eerie world, the more so for its seeming familiarity. While nothing much really happens in hell—Peggy and Fred sing, dance, explore—neither does much make sense. Purposely, evocatively, Thornton creates ambiguous, puzzling images and sounds whose meanings are elusive, obscured; she presents a world where meaning is fluid rather than fixed.

• (95 mins, B&W, 16mm/Digital with Video Monitors, From the artist, BAM/PFA Preservation Print of The Prologue)