“Each one is one and there are many.”
“WITH IT WHICH IT AS IT IF IT IS TO BE, a new film by Eve Fowler, rises and falls to the tune of this line, written by Gertrude Stein in her 1910 short story “Many Many Women.” [The 33-minute 16mm film] is a lovingly made collective portrait of female artists at work in the studio….Fowler has directed her camera, through the cinematography of the artist and filmmaker Mariah Garnett, toward the intimate spaces of women’s art work. The film’s title is a line from Stein’s text which is read as voiceover by eight writers and artists….[each lending] a personal tone and inflection to the text, accentuating the subjective dimension of each artist’s individual labor and technique.
“WITH IT WHICH IT AS IT IF IT IS TO BE documents the practices of over twenty artists based primarily in Los Angeles and New York, paying special attention to their process, their work with materials, their contemplative approaches, their manipulations. Shots cut from one studio to the next, and oscillate between focused close-ups of process-based activities and more casual portraits, where an atmosphere of trust and friendship clearly lies behind the screen. In one, the sculptor Daphne Fitzpatrick walks around her studio, a dog in tow—the feel is familiar, the portrait honest. In another, the painter Nicole Eisenman climbs atop a wooden scaffold to reach the upper portion of her large-scale canvas. There, she picks from an array of brushes before getting to work on one of her own complex, group portraits, which turns scenes from the everyday into the stuff of contemporary history painting. In yet another, the choreographer Taisha Paggett performs movement work as the camera attentively follows the gestures and modulations of her expressive body.” — Rachel Valinsky*
WITH IT WHICH IT AS IT IF IT IS TO BE, Thursday, July 27, at 7 pm.
MOCA GRAND AVENUE, 250 South Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles.
*Rachel Valinsky is an independent curator, writer, and translator, and the quote here is from her review originally published in Millennium Film Journal, Issue 65, Spring 2017. Valinsky is the translator of Whites Jews and Us: Toward a Politics of Revolutionary Love by Houria Bouteldja (with a foreword by Cornel West), which Semiotext(e) will publish as part of their Intervention Series in September, 2017.
Image credit: With it which it as it if it is to be (2016), directed by Eve Fowler. 16mm film, sound, transferred to video, 33:02 minutes.