Join e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, October 14 for Overburden, for a two-part screening program of the films of Patty Chang and David Kelley followed by an in-person conversation with the artists.
Overburden is a term borrowed from mining that refers to the material (rock and ecosystem) that lies above valuable ore aimed for economic exploitation, and that needs to be removed before extraction can occur. It can also refer to an excessive load that a person carries. The films of Patty Chang and David Kelley, spanning over twenty years, evoke the effects of development and extraction, both emotionally and physically, on people and the environment.
The first program starts at 4pm with three films by Patty Chang, followed by a reception, and the second program starts at 6pm with three films made collaboratively by Patty Chang and David Kelley, followed by a conversation.
The first program presents three works by Chang: Milk Debt (2020), In Love (2001), and We Are All Mothers (2022). The emotional and physical labor of care unites these disparate works. Milk Debt presents a chorus of mothers pumping breast milk in public spaces while reciting collectively sourced lists of fears. For In Love, Chang performs the ritual of eating with her mother and father. We Are All Mothers, a New York premiere, is a lament on the life and death of a young porpoise.
The second program presents three works that Chang and Kelley produced together in China, Laos, and North America: Shangri-La (2005), Spiritual Myopia (2018), and Route 3(2011). These films each perform differently in the marginal spaces of nations where tourism, industry, and development remake the landscapes and communities in their wakes.
Patty Chang is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator who uses performance, video, installation, and narrative forms when considering identity, gender, transnationalism, colonial legacies, the environment, large-scale infrastructural project,s and impacted subjectivities. Her most recent collaborative project, Learning Endings, is a multi-part interdisciplinary research that has surfaced amidst the overlapping contexts of climate crisis, threatened ocean ecosystems, and challenges to scientific expertise. In addition to numerous awards and fellowships, her work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.
David Kelley is an artist working with photography, video, and installation. His recent projects draw attention to the effects of global capitalism, resource extraction, and shifting physical and political landscapes. Influenced by a range of visual traditions, Kelley draws upon elements of experimental documentary, ethnography, performance, and avant-garde cinema. By working at the intersection of these strategies, he encourages an understanding of his subjects that is simultaneously direct and speculative. His work has been shown in galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Fotofest Biennial, Houston. Other exhibitions include Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles, The Bank in Shanghai, the de Cordova Biennial in Boston, BAK in Utrecht, MAAP space in Australia, and the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California, and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at University of Southern California.