Yeah, Daughters of Joy rocked New York state on Sunday!
The lovely Astria Suparak (shown above, in blue), curator of Syracuse's Warehouse Gallery, had invited Amber to screen DoJ in conjunction with the gallery's latest exhibition, COME ON: Desire Under the Female Gaze.
So Amber, Mike and I loaded into a ginormous white minivan rental and booted it to the US, buoyed along the way by the salty lyrics of the Boss. Our ride caught the attention of a border guard, who delayed us for a few sweaty minutes with a clumsy cat-and-mouse interrogation. Luckily, Mike was able to prove he's a film professor by providing the etymology of "cinema".
When we reached Syracuse, we left our stuff at Astria's loft (which she shares with her partner Brett Kashmere, an experimental filmmaker), grabbed some vegan chili dogs and checked out the exhibition. It was a phallic blast. There were some amazingly hot large-scale drawings of post-pubescent dude-on-dude action, which I totally covet for my bedroom. Stay tuned for Amber's report!
Then it was time to set up the screening, hosted at a perfectly-sized art venue called Spark. Director Frank McCauley was extremely hospitable -- thanks again, Frank!
As someone who doesn't consider herself a "serious" video-maker, it felt really odd to see 50-plus strangers streaming into a room where my stuff (among many other things) would be shown. At the Montreal event, a large portion of the audience had been friends of the artists. In Syracuse, the pieces had to stand on their own feet -- intimidating!
Mike and BrettNot to mention the diversity of this new crowd -- from first-year frat-types, to mom-ish looking people, to an older man I took for a priest until his jacket came off. I think I let the hype about US conservatism get the best of me, since the crowd was very pleasant and attentive thoughout.
Anyhoo, Amber did a fantastic job revamping the line-up. The program as a whole truly seemed to gel this time around, and there were some new and engaging found-footage works. I'm a sucker for comedy, so a new submission by Joanne Balcaen showing screaming female rock fans from the 50s and 60s was one of my favorites.
I was secretly hoping for a repeat of the angry storm-out that took place at the Montreal soirée (complete with a showy return of the individual's ticket), but the most dramatic reaction this time around was a man who got very excited (agitated?) when Janet Jackson's video for If started to play during one of my pieces. It's a rousing song, I'll grant him that.
After the screening, Amber and I did a Q&A with the audience. Amber held the floor with grace and wit, while I shuffled around beside her like a big gangles, periodically trying to escape from the harsh blue spotlight. The audience spoon-fed me a few questions (again, where were the angry Republicans brandishing the Patriot Act?), and then we scampered off to drink fresh strawberry martinis. Jealous? You should be, they were delicious.
Upon return to the loft, we all spent the next few hours foot-pumping an air mattress for me to sleep on and eating luxurious snacks. Astria and Brett really snacked us good.
After a night of endless spider-filled dreams (there was a nest in my underwear drawer -- ewww! and also what???), we hit the road early, stopping off for waffles at the notorious Funk'n'Waffles, where Amber confirmed my belief that she is indeed a giraffe.
All in all, a very enjoyable trip. Thanks to all of our gracious hosts, and Mike for his patience and stamina! (Oops, that came out wrong. I meant driving stamina.)
Tune in to our future adventures, when Amber and Neetzie take DoJ to snobby Toronto...