5973 Miles Away: Women’s Exorcisms of Loss

August 6th, 2023
2220 Arts + Archives, Los Angeles

Los Angeles to Seoul is 5973 miles, but the distance of a loved one lost is so much further. When my father was mentally and physically suffering while I was in California and he was across the ocean, I learned that the idea of “grief” is neither simple nor easily dismissed. The feelings of sadness, anger, and guilt – in the face of pressure to “move on,” – get imprinted in the body and in one’s interactions with the world.

These women filmmakers have attempted to find corollaries in filmic spaces, ways of exorcizing some elements of the profound grief each has faced. These works invite us to the deep space of the body where emotional understanding is prioritized over intellectual thinking.  The works that resonate with me the most are those that investigate a continuous process of grieving, not destined to have any type of resolution.

The program centers around British experimental filmmaker Sarah Pucill's work, Stages of Mourning, which exhibits her attempts to physically reenact and represent her partner who passed away from anorexia. Onyou Oh's Pyrotechnics elongates a discourse on cinema and loss of theater experience during the global pandemic by utilizing different forms of cameras with celluloid film. Celeste Olliveir’s FATHER utilizes reenactment to exorcize the embodied pain coming from an intense father-daughter relationship. Jeong Yoon Ahn’s I have never met you uses extreme close-up shots on photographs taken by her late sister, emphasizing the tactility of emotional pixelation and visual noise, from a sister which Ahn can no longer reach. Xiao Zhang’s Tongue Film showcases loss of liquid from the female body. Water, directly associated with aliveness, the work brings ghostly souls on screen. The selected films' haptic realism imprints gestural memories and fades out the tormented marks on women's bodies. The film program will be accompanied by a poetry reading at its conclusion. abbi page will present a short reading of their several works, which center on black femme suffering and tie back to what each film is discussing.

View on Los Angeles Filmforum↗

Curated by Seokyoung Yang

Poster Designed by Jaemin Lee