Radical Closure | Chicago Reader

Radical Closure

Abina Manning of Video Data Bank and Lebanese video artist Akram Zaatari curated this program of short works, most of them from the Middle East. Elia Suleiman's Homage by Assassination (1992) is apparently concerned with a Jewish family once based in Iraq but now scattered among several countries; it proceeds, not very coherently, by ellipsis and indirection, using sirens, fragmentary news reports, and phone calls that never connect to create a sense of disconnection and dislocation. In Hatice Güleryüz's The First Ones (2000) slow movements and flickering imagery of regimented schoolkids are accompanied by the Turkish national anthem, imagery that suggests they've been forced into passivity. Lisa Steele displays her various scars and intones their causes and histories in Birthday Suit With Scars and Defects (1974), though neither the camera nor her movements demonstrate any real artistry.

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