Monday June 9, 7PM
In Context: Matt Town Presents…
w/ works by: Tracey Moffat, Gerard Holthuis, Santiago Sierra, Marlon Riggs, and Matt Town
suggested donation $6

Still from Tracey Moffat’s Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1989) © courtesy of the artist

Microscope is pleased to present a special screening of works curated by Matt Town as the closing event for his exhibition SOAP. For the program, Town has chosen works from his personal archive by an international array of artists – Tracey Moffat, Gerard Holthuis, Santiago Sierra, Marlon Riggs  – that have inspired him in various manners such as artistic approach or tone, cinematography, or the use of family, race, and other social issues as subject matter.

The short performative, poetic, and documentary works include Moffat’s 1989 “Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy”, dealing with the relationship between an Aboriginal daughter who is the sole caretaker of her dying white mother; Holthuis’ “Hong Kong (HKG)”, an hypnotic immersion of take offs and landings amongst high-rises at the dangerous Kai Tak airport completed in 1999 a year after its closing; Sierra’s work “10 Inch Line Shaved on the Heads of Two Junkies Who Received A Shot of Heroin As Payment” (2000), filmed in Puerto Rico and just as described. A 20-minute excerpt from Marlon Rigg’s now classic 1987 documentary “Ethnic Notions” concludes Town’s program.

We are also adding two recent and related works on video and on 16mm b&w film by Town into the mix. “Troubling Motives” contemplates a murder through the use of actual home movies of the young artist learning to skateboard at the site where the teenage perpetrator dumped the body that same year. “Grandpa” involves an intense reenactment of treasured family photo and a dark history hinted at within.


Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (Tracey Moffat, 1989, video, 19 mins)
A short experimental film shot totally in a studio, it is about the relationship between an Aboriginal daughter and her white mother. The daughter, now the sole carer of her dying mother, dreams of far away places.

HKG (Gerard Holthuis, 1999, 35mm to digital, 13 mins 44 secs)
Poetic film records Boeings landing and taking off amid the skyscrapers in the heart of Hong Kong at Kai Tak airport, which closed in 1998. The film is a longer version of the short film Kowloon City One.

(Santiago Sierra, 2000, video, 5 mins 49 secs)
Two men rest their head on each other and have a ten inch line shaved across. Two other men stand above them, one does the shaving, the other measures and then gives them heroin.

Troubling Motives (Matt Town, 2012, HD video, 5 mins 25 secs)
“Trying to get ahold of an inmate serving a life sentence for murder was just as difficult as trying to understand what my motivation was to do the project. The video focuses on fantasies of violence and empathy.” –MT

Ethnic Notions (Marlon Riggs, 1986, video, 20 minute excerpt from the 57 minutes film)
Ethnic Notions is a 1987 documentary film directed by Marlon Riggs. It examines anti-Black stereotypes that permeated popular culture from the ante-bellum period until the advent of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

GRANDPA (Matt Town, 2013, b & w 16mm, 9 mins 55 seconds)
“An elaborate photograph of my Dad’s Dad, which I inherited, is re-enacted. The fabrication, as well as the mental spectrum, involved with the stasis of an image is discussed, oscillating between the interior of a home and an anterior space. The work is a continuous tracking shot, using an entire 400-foot roll of film in one take focusing on one small space. This process expands on my use of slow motion, which this film is also shot in, providing even more time for analysis. As a loop there is a sense of infinity attached to the stasis.” –MT

MATT TOWN was born in Sarasota Florida in 1989 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Town’s works have been featured at Microscope previously this year in the group exhibit “No Show” and solo screening event “Race Films: Images, Bodies, and Ideologies in Motion”. Town’s work has also exhibited at Salomon Arts Gallery, NY and The Harn Museum of Art, The Display Gallery, and Grinter Gallery in Gainesville, FL among others. Town graduated in 2013 summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Film & Media Studies).

Still from Matt Town’s Troubling Motives (2012) © courtesy of the artist

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