Liza Johnson

Liza Johnson

Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) Auditorium, RPI Campus, Troy, NY

November 2, 2011 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

iEAR Presents!  Liza Johnson, documentary & narrative filmmaker. Please join us to see these three astonishing and critically acclaimed short films - In the Air, South of Ten, and work-in-progress Tide Comes In. This extraordinary filmmaker collaborates with her subjects using various techniques of participation, performance, and observation. Filmmaker, Liza Johnson will be on hand for a moderated discussion.

In the Air, 22 minutes

In the Air manages to evoke sadness and laughter, despair and hope, awkwardness and grace all at once. Those kids were perfect and Portsmouth was perfect."
 - Jennifer Lange, Associate Curator of Media Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts

In Southeastern Ohio, April works in a scrap yard. Daphany waits for customers in a fast food window. Lee spends the day waiting for school to be over. But the local circus school offers a departure from daily tedium and checked-out adults. Combining elements of fiction and documentary, In the Air is a portrait of a place that has endured an economic crisis for decades. The film features real people acting out scenes from everyday life and examines the force they are capable of in a de-industrialized world. In the Air is shot in the filmmaker's hometown–Portsmouth, Ohio–with the collaboration of the Cirque D'Art circus school.

South of Ten, 10 minutes

"One of the rare works of film or visual art made in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to look beyond the devastation of New Orleans, South of Ten is a small gem of a film that opens our eyes to the possibilities of other images, and other meanings, of this American tragedy. It catalogues a set of ordinary people and extraordinary actions – carrying a toilet, finding a trombone, lifting a house – by Mississippi survivors of the flooding, capturing the charmed and terrible nature of survival. Without uttering a word, South of Ten asks: after all, what does it mean to act?" – Jonathan Kahana

South of Ten has screened on the opening night of New York Film Festival, at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, Full Frame Film Festival, the Henry Art Center, the International Flaherty Seminar, alongside activist events supporting the crisis in the Gulf Coast, and at many other festivals and art venues.

Tide Come In, (A work in progress) 14 minutes

This work-in-progress, is in collaboration with anthropologist, Elizabeth Povenelli and Karrabing Indigenous Corporation.

Artist Bio:

Liza Johnson is an artist and filmmaker. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou, as well as the New York, Berlin, and Rotterdam Film Festivals, among many others. Her new fiction feature film, Return, premiered this year at Director's Fortnight in the Cannes Film Festival, and will be released in the U.S. this winter. Johnson has been a fellow of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm and the Sundance Institute, and has published a number of articles and interviews about art and film. Johnson is Professor of Art and chair of American Studies at Williams College.

The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) is located on 15th Street between the RPI Playhouse and Academy Hall.  Parking is available on 15th Street and in the Academy Hall lot on the corner of 15th Street & College Avenue.

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