BAVC Behind the Mediamaker Exhibition

Behind the Mediamaker

Filmmakers Sara MacPherson and Tricia Creason-Valencia at the Mediamaker exhibit opening on May 12th.

Curator Lauren Kitz wrote this piece about the show:

Established in 1991, BAVC’s MediaMaker Awards are training and post-production grants for independent filmmakers with a particular focus on supporting emerging artists and under-served communities. Through these awards, BAVC provides four projects annually with direct access to the latest digital media technologies, screening opportunities, and other direct resources. Established in 2008, ROHSTOFF engages our community on a different level, providing a quarterly exhibition space in our facility for local and national artists, including BAVC staff, instructors, and our community of media artists and producers.

With one of ROHSTOFF’s objectives in mind – to strengthen BAVC’s commitment to the ‘art’ in ‘media arts’ – we turned to a group who are a vital part of BAVC’s artistic fabric and whose work we wanted our community to engage with in greater depth: that of our MediaMaker Award winners.We knew that each MediaMaker film had a powerful story to tell, but also suspected that the images from these projects – film stills, behind-the-scenes moments, or archival photographs – would be powerful in their own right. We sent out a call for images to each filmmaker, and the response was remarkable. The images on display in this exhibition speak to the director’s experience with his or her subject, a split-second moment in a character’s journey, and the inspiration for the conception of a project. What they also show is that the flowing of a narrative surely tells one kind of story, but a single moment says something of its own, something which illuminates for us, the viewer, how the narrative came to be. An intimate, haunting portrait of a faceless boy sprawled on a recliner in a bare tack-room in Sara MacPherson and Tricia Creason-Valencia’s Stable Life finds its foil in a behind-the-scenes still from Banker White’s WeOwnTV, of a boy of a similar age in his Sierra Leonean house, arms stretched above his head, as he patiently waits to be filmed. Conversely, the gritty images from Chris Metzler and Lev Anderson’s Everyday Sunshine immediately convey the raw power and energy experienced at Fishbone’s punk shows, while Luke Griswold-Tergis uses the ruggedly peaceful tableau of the Alaskan wilderness to belie the inner conflict of his main protagonist in Salmon Dreams. Using these films as a starting point, this exhibition freezes the frame and ventures behind the camera to get a glimpse at the story behind the storytelling.