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Microcinema: Your Best Efforts Have Failed - Short Films by A. Moon / performance by Thorn Collaborative

Thursday November 7 * 7pm * $10 * TICKETS

Join us the first Thursday of each month for Rhizome's MicroCinema. This month, Baltimore's A. Moon will be there in person to screen her films and answer questions. Huge thanks to Stephanie Barber for helping to curate this film series. Films and Q&A followed by a performance by Thorn Collaborative as part of their week-long residency.

A. Moon is an experimental film and video maker whose work has screened in 13 countries on three continents. She has been the recipient of awards from the Princess Grace Foundation and numerous film festivals. In recent years, she has also been a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow (2014/15), a fellow with the Center for Asian American Media (2014), a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award winner (2010, 2013, 2019), a Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Rubys grantee for media (2015, 2018), and a Sondheim Prize Semi-Finalist (2011, 2013, 2018).


Your Best Efforts Have Failed - Short Films by A. Moon
The featured short films investigate absent persons, missing knowledge, and impossible subject positions, laying bare the devastation—and enduring potential—of that which is unrealized, unreconciled, and unlived. Incorporating a range of traditional celluloid filmmaking techniques, the films enmesh the poetic and the mundane, always operating with acute self-awareness and an unswerving commitment to a forbidding formal logic. TRT: 62 minutes

I Am Learning to Abandon the World (2016) 16mm. Color. Silent. 10 min.
This found footage film strings together a series of unrelated shots from a trove of vintage films found at a Baltimore salvage house with new intertitles to create an elusive anti-narrative of absence, self-loss, and hidden threats.

Dream of Me (2007) 16mm and Super 8 film on digital video. Color. Stereo. 10 min.
Using images and testimony far-removed from the life of its ostensible subject, the documentary attempts to imagine, a sister, a relationship, and mixed-race identity.

I Am a Tree (2019) 16mm and Super 8 film on digital video. Color and B/W. Silent. 6 min.
A meditation on the condition of being a representation of a tree.

One Storey (2011) 16mm and Super 8 film on digital video. Color. Stereo. 13 min.
Moving from city to city, the unnamed narrator attempts to find the space wherein she can exist and both subject and object of desire.

Even Lovers Have Still Lives (1999) 16mm. Color. Mono sound. 18 min.
The film co-opts and intertwines the stories of several historical and fictional "forbidden" love affairs in order to investigate whether narratives limit our imagining of desire.

How Do They Do It? (2019) 16mm found footage on digital video. Color. Silent. 5 min.
How do they roll with the punches?


Thorn Collaborative (Erin Ethridge and Colleen Marie Foley) questions ideas of shared or composite identity, memory and body. We view these as fundamentally fluid in nature, and strive to incarnate that mutability. We engage both the fictional and the real as equal counterparts, weaving together our actual journeys with story and myth. Taking our relationship as subject and tool, we negotiate separation and intimacy in pursuit of their limits. Our attempts to overcome the obstacles that these poles present are continually frustrated. This struggle highlights a paradox inherent in relationships: distance is a wound that can’t be healed because closeness is never complete, but intimacy threatens the sovereign self. We find pleasure and pain in our separateness and in our union. We began working together as Thorn in 2015 while in graduate school at Alfred University where Erin studied sculpture and Colleen studied electronic arts. Combining our skill sets, we employ sculptural processes such as wax and resin casting, metal work, sewing, and electronic media such as video, animation, and sound.

Stages of Soft is a series of four performances over four days drawing from various types of episodic transformations. Taking cues from insects, alchemists, and ancient mythology, Thorn will posit bodies as sites of transformation and instruments for communication. Each day’s performance will leave traces and artifacts, transforming the space throughout the exhibition. The installation and performances together will be a meditation on softened boundaries of the body, intimacy and distance, and ritual metamorphosis.