Sunday, March 20, 1994

Dis-Integrated Circuits of the Mind

Films by Nina Fonoroff

San Francisco Art Institute

New York filmmaker Nina Fonoroff is one of the medium’s most courageous and imaginative investigators of the fragmentation of body and mind. Fonoroff will show Empathy (1980, Super-8, 10 min.), A Knowledge They Cannot Lose (1989, Super-8, 17 min.), and The Accursed Mazurka (1994, 35 min.), about which she writes: “Dramatic recitations, clinical reports, and obsessive journal entries make up a dense collage around the occasion of mental breakdown, as reconstructed by a woman who has for a time lost her ‘reason,’ her body, and her sense of personal identity. At first she attributes her illness to repeated hearings of a certain piece of music on the radio…she must endure the sense that she is ‘a conductor of electrical current, a direct feedback loop, a dis-integrated circuit of mind and body.’ On the road to recovery, she concludes that the search for a cause is as futile and romantic as the myth of origins, and that ‘health’ is merely an elaborate yet intangible survival apparatus, necessary but elusive.” Also: Audio collage, 5 min., the remnants of the mazurka.