Sunday June 24, 8pm
Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano
Elegy for Jean Genet
Expanded cinema performance
Q&A w/ the artists following the performance

Tessa & Ela Expanded Cinema
Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano – Image courtesy of the artists

“Role playing, leather fetish, blooming red roses, languorous smoking, pink rubber corsets, lacquered nails, dark movie theaters, belt buckles as mirrors all abound.”
– Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano

Microscope is very pleased to present an evening of works by Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano including the first performance in over twenty years of their collaborative work “Elegy for Jean Genet” (1994-1997) a live expanded cinema performance dedicated to the writings of the French playwright, poet and filmmaker, and based upon a musical composition by John Zorn.

The work – which debuted in the Knitting Factory in Manhattan in 1994 and later appeared at the 10th Anniversary of the MIX Festival (1996) and toured Europe with Zorn’s Tzadik record label in 1997 – involves multiple projections of Super 8mm film, 16mm film, and 35mm slides, combining original imagery with found imagery, including of 1970s gay, S&M porn, auto-erotic pleasure, and pop culture. The visual score is improvised to the four tracks of Zorn’s “Elegy” composition: “Blue”, “Yellow”, “Pink” and “Black” and footage manipulated by the artists through the use of colored gels, mirrors and other materials.

“Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano’s Elegy for Jean Genet (1994-1997) takes the expanded cinema proposed by The Exploding Plastic Inevitable to new potentialities, written in collaboration with the master of musical bricolage, John Zorn, it is one of the best examples of the multi-media experience.” – Jack Sargeant, Cinema Contra Cinema, 1999

Tessa Hughes-Freeland and Ela Troyano have been collaborating on live multiple projection cinema and produced countless performances, most notably for musician John Zorn. Their collaboration with Zorn, “Playboy Voodoo” was performed at The Whitney Museum of American Art as part of the exhibition “No Wave Cinema”. For Roulette TV, Hughes-Freeland and Troyano in 2002 presented an Expanded Cinema Performance with Zorn’s “Godard”.

The film “Playboy Voodoo” (1991), also a collaboration between Hughes-Freeland & Troyano with soundtrack by John Zorn, will precede the performance. Q&A with the artists follows.

General admission $10
Members or students w/ ID $8



Playboy Voodoo (1991)
by Tessa Hughes-Freeland & Ela Troyano
music by John Zorn
16mm film, 11 minutes

“[…] Utilizes visual collage, superimposition, double exposure, slide dissolves and other optic effects scored by a fluid soundtrack of merging audio effects and music ranging from jazz to classical, etc. to create a shifting, hallucinatory invocation of sensuality anchored in the public sex culture of The Street.” – Jack Stevenson

Elegy for Jean Genet (1994-1997)
by Tessa Hughes-Freeland & Ela Troyano
music by John Zorn
16mm film, Super 8mm film, 35mm slides
approx. 30 minutes

Tessa Hughes-Freeland works in a variety of formats and mediums, and her films have been shown in diverse venues, ranging from internationally prominent museums to seedy bars in gritty neighborhoods. Her work is best described as “confrontational, transgressive, provocative and poetic”. Her films have screened internationally in North America, Europe and Australia and in prominent museums and galleries, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin. Most recently a program of her films was included in the “No Wave–Transgressive” Film Series at The Museum of Modern Art.

Hughes-Freeland has been a juror for several festivals, and has programmed extensively, most recently curating a series of film programs in connection with the exhibition “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983” at MoMA, New York. She has also published articles in numerous books, including “Naked Lens: Beat Cinema” and “No Focus: Punk Film”.  

Ela Troyano is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, director and producer, born in Cuba and based in New York City. Her projects bring together different aesthetic histories and genres: downtown New York avant-garde film and performance, queer cinema and Latinx film and video. Throughout her 35-year career, her films and performances have straddled the worlds of fiction and documentary, installation and live action.

Recent and upcoming performance in 2018 include Performance Tour at Los Angeles County Museum of art; Alien Skins at UCR ARTSBlock and Hecha y Derecha a new performance based on Ana Mendieta’s work for the Radical Women exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, all with her sister, performance artist Carmelita Tropicana. Select film screenings include her feature film Latin Boys Go To Hell at the Downtown Independent in LA, Carmelita Tropicana Your Kunst Is Your Waffen (Your Art Is Your weapon) at GHOST in Rotterdam and early films at MoMA for the Club 57 exhibit.

Select awards include Creative Capital, Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, Independent Television Service, New York State Council on the Arts, Rockefeller Media, Theo Westenberger and United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowships.

From “Elegy for Jean Genet”(1994-1997) by Tessa Hughes-Freeland & Ela Troyano – Image courtesy the artists

Microscope Gallery Event Series 2018 is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

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