Sunday, December 9, 2007

Travel So Far

Ellen Zweig's China Tapes

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Ellen Zweig’s HEAP forms a series of portraits of Westerners who have studied, imagined, loved and misunderstood China. The five videos in the collection use documentary and narrative strategies, emerging as metaphoric explorations of the multiple misunderstandings and rare moments of connection across cultures. With footage shot in China and images of an invented China, the power of our imagination to travel beyond truth and fiction becomes palpable. In one portrait, (the origin of bitterness) Joseph Rock, reflections of personal remembrances surface from implausible sources, while some mysteries remain unsolved. In another, (a surplus of landscape), collages landscape views to a polygraph interview with filmmaker Leslie Thornton. The HEAP series also includes (tongue tongue stone) G.W. Leibnitz; (flick flight flimsy) Ernest Fenollosa, and (unsolved) Robert van Gulik. Also on this program: Zweig’s precarious, which provides a bridge between Zweig’s HEAP and her relationship with her father. (Caroline Savage)

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