Chicago's Own: Biographies, Portraits, and Confessions

This collection of personal films and videos by Chicago women displays the virtues and limitations of autobiographical art. The strongest, Erika Mijlin's Lineage, uses sound and imagery of the Apollo 11 moon landing as a metaphor for quest, yet Mijlin gently undercuts our heroic image of the landing by presenting it in fragments and combining it with references to Vietnam and Chappaquiddick, suggesting skepticism toward all great ambitions. In her moving Guidelines for Accepting Reality Devorah Heitner uses tunnel-vision images like a close-up of a pill bottle?s interior to capture the narrowed vision of the depressive. But Kelly Crawford's 4508 Clarewood, Jenny Perlin's The Whole History of That, and Eleftheria Lialios's I Had This Dream Last Night . . . mistakenly assume that personal content—a childhood home, the search for a great-grandmother, a daughter's death—is inherently interesting to the viewer and fail to give meaningful form to their material. On the same program, Kirsten Stoltman's True Confessions of an Artist and Lialios's Autobiography of a Greek Woman.

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