The Blindness Series | Chicago Reader

The Blindness Series

Vision and its impairments are explored in these five experimental videos by the artist who calls herself Tran, T. Kim-Trang. The least subtle is Operculum (1993), in which Tran consults several cosmetic surgeons about altering her eyelids; as the doctors chatter about different types of Asian skin folds, a text crawl recounts lobotomy procedures once used to treat hysteria, a juxtaposition implying that the desire to look Caucasian is a neurotic response to racism. Hysterical blindness is the subject of the most moving video, Ekleipsis (1998), about a Long Beach group of sightless Cambodians who survived the Khmer Rouge. Tran's most provocative short is Ocularis (1997), which considers the pervasiveness of video surveillance, from spycams that monitor babysitters to security cameras that record crime but do little to deter it. 82 min.

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