Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Chicago's Own: New Work by Jennifer Reeder and Sterling Ruby

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Jennifer Reeder, who burst onto the art scene in the mid-90s playing White Trash Girl in her aggressive video series of that name, has taken a contemplative turn in her work, even while preserving the sense of displacement that marked her debut. In the best of these four pieces, The Ex-Boyfriend and Other Impossible Pleasures (2002), austere images that evoke solitude--a view of a highway through a windshield, a zoom away from an out-of-focus male head--are interspersed with rolling titles recounting a wistful fantasy about an ex-boyfriend having great sex with someone else. Skin Job (2002), identified by Reeder as a response to Laura Kipnis's theoretical writings on pornography, gives out-of-focus glimpses of a female android. Teenage Sex Angel and the Avalanche of Sorrow (2002) reverses the male gaze with a long, fetishizing shot of a male guitar player, a title in which Reeder writes about dating guitarists, and multiple superimpositions of the player's hand, which seem to turn chords into caresses. Also on the program: two videos by Sterling Ruby. 66 min. Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, Saturday, March 8, 8:00, 773-293-1447.

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