Conversations at the Edge – Sept. 23

Have to Believe We Are Magic: Videos by Kent Lambert and Jesse McLean

Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6pm

By turns haunting and hilarious, the works of Chicago artists Kent Lambert and Jesse McLean remix the banal debris of television culture into striking meditations on our highly mediated public sphere. In Security Anthem (2003),Hymn of Reckoning (2006), and Sunset Coda (2006), Lambert culls footage from Lost, his own home movies, and the vocal stylings of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to explore the vagaries of national security in this current age of international terror. In her Bearing Witness trilogy, comprised of The Eternal Quarter Inch (2008), The Burning Blue (2009), and Somewhere Only We Know (2009), McLean considers the possibility for genuine human connection within a blur of televised emotion. This evening also features a brand-new collaboration between the two, as well as the North American premiere of McLean’s Magic for Beginners (2010), among others. Kent Lambert and Jesse McLean, 2003-10, USA, multiple formats, ca. 80 min (plus discussion).

KENT LAMBERT (1976, Colorado Springs, CO) lives and works in Chicago. His videos have been screened at festivals around the world and at such venues as Other Cinema in San Francisco and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. His pop band Roommate will release its third album, titled Guilty Rainbow, in early 2011.

JESSE MCLEAN (1975, Philadelphia, PA) grew up in Pennsylvania, studied art at Oberlin College, and received her MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She was the winner of the Barbara Aronofsky Latham Award for Emerging Experimental Video Artist at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Besides Ann Arbor, she has shown her work at the Venice Film Festival, Dallas VideoFest, San Francisco International Film Festival, Onion City Film and Video Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Migrating Forms at Anthology Film Archives, Art Chicago, PDX Festival, FLEX, and the Director’s Lounge in Berlin. She lives and works in Chicago.