The Remake Show


Friday the 19th of January at 7:30 in NYC, NY at 16beavergroup

Wednesday the 24th of January at 9:30 in Providence, RI

This remake show is not the same old same old re-dressed for 2007. It’s about something different, it’s about how remaking, reframing and revising can lead to reconsiderations and revelations, to clarifications and complications.  Without the slightest fear of redundancy, all of tonight’s videos concern themselves with the act of repetition. They remake a range of documents including a socialist home movie, a Vietnam-era documentary film, one of Patty Hearst’s missives, and a series of secret files from the not so distant past. These videos focus on the process of literal recollection and they call our attention to the role that memory and media play in the re-presentation of history.  These videos illustrate how re-vision and re-voicing can produce spaces in which resonances between the past and the present can be made visible and audible.

FEATURING: What Farocki Taught by Jill Godmilow (30:00, video, 1998), Intervista by Anri Sala (26:00, video, 1998), Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Screed #29 by Sharon Hayes (3:00, Video, 2003), Telegraph by Jesal Kapadia (3:30, video, 2005), It’s Not My Memory of It: Three Recollected Documents by Speculative Archive (25:00, video, 2003), Notes by Jenny Perlin (3:20, 16mm, 2006)


What Farocki Taught by Jill Godmilow (30:00, video, 1998) What Farocki Taught, is literally and stubbornly a remake—that is, a perfect replica in color and in English, of Harun Farocki’s black and white, 1969 German language film, Inextinguishable Fire. Taking as its subject the political and formal strategies of Farocki’s film about the development of Napalm B by Dow Chemical during the Vietnam War, Godmilow’s unabashedly perfect copy reopens Walter Benjamin’s discussion of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. What Farocki Taught thus becomes an agit-prop challenge to the cinema verité documentary’s representation of information, history, politics, and “real” human experience.

Intervista by Anri Sala (26:00, video, 1998) In the process of moving, Anri Sala, an Albanian art student, discovered a twenty-year-old 16mm newsreel film, containing images of a congress of the Albanian Communist Party. In the film a young woman, a leader of the Communist Youth Alliance, is seen making a speech, and later giving an interview. But Anri could not make out what she was saying, because the sound had been lost.  This film traces Sala’s attempts to find the lost sound and what happens when he presents the synced footage to his mother, the woman depicted in the original film.

Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Screed #29 by Sharon Hayes (3:00, Video, 2003) On February 4, 1974, Patty Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California by a radical political organization called the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). From February to April 1974, the SLA and Patty Hearst made four audio-tapes in which she addresses her parents on the subject of her kidnapping, the SLA’s ransom and the family and the FBI’s actions during the ordeal. In the last tape, Hearst renames herself Tania and announces that she is joining the SLA in their struggle. From June 2001 to January 2002, Sharon Hayes performed a re-speaking of each of the four audio-tapes. In each instance, Hayes partially memorized the transcript of the audio-tape and spoke the text in front of an audience to whom she gave a transcript of the text. She asked them to correct her when she was wrong and to feed her a line when she needed it.

Telegraph by Jesal Kapadia (3:30, video, 2005) Telegraph is a counter-documentary that depicts a letter of protest and complaint that was written by the sex-workers organization called DMSC (based in Calcutta, India).  The letter was drafted in response to the global acclaim of the film Born Into Brothels and addressed to the editor of the local newspaper The Telegraph. Retrieved from the labyrinthine archives of the Internet, this letter is re-delivered to the video screen in an attempt to interrupt the process of communication and to re-contextualize the letter for a different audience with a different kind of attention.

It’s Not My Memory of It: Three Recollected Documents by Speculative Archive (25:00, video, 2003) It’s Not My Memory of It is a documentary about secrecy, memory, and documents. Mobilizing specific historical records, the tape addresses the expansion and intensification of secrecy practices in the current climate of heightened security. A former CIA source recounts his disappearance through shredded classified documents that were painstakingly reassembled by radical fundamentalist students in Iran in 1979. A CIA film -recorded in 1974 but unacknowledged until 1992 – documents the burial at sea of six Soviet sailors, in a ceremony which collapses Cold War antagonisms in a moment of death and honor. Images pertaining to a publicly acknowledged but top secret U.S. missile strike in Yemen in 2002 are the source of a concluding reflection on the role of documents in the constitution of the dynamic of knowing and not knowing. These records are punctuated by fragments of interviews with information management officials from various federal agencies, who distinguish between “real” and “protocol” secrets, explain what it means to “neither confirm nor deny” the existence of records on a given subject, and clarify the process of separating classified from unclassified information.

Notes by Jenny Perlin (3:20, 16mm, 2006) Harry Gold, codename “GOOSE,” was convicted in 1951 for passing secrets of the atom bomb from physicist and spy Klaus Fuchs to Soviet agents. The animations in this film are copies of Gold’s absentminded drawings, scribbled over drafts of his resume and cover letter to the Atlantic Refining Company, Personnel Department, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1948.