Body + Camera

Saturday, September 23, 2017

888 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306

Suggested Admission $10


Doors Open

Embodied: Short film screenings

Digital Shards: Live-streamed performance by Ghada Da, Farah Al Sharie, and Nidal Morra

The Dolls: Live performance by Claudia Hart

Transmutation: Late night film screenings (on loop)

Live DJ set

Mana BSMT and Mana Contemporary Chicago Present: 

Body + Camera

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Mana BSMT is pleased to present the second iteration of Mana Contemporary Chicago’s inaugural Body + Camera festival, an annual event featuring films, installations, and live performances that explore the intersection between the body and the moving image. The festival at Mana BSMT will include highlights from Chicago’s presentation, as well as new work by BSMT artists-in-residence and guest artists from UAE.

Body + Camera festival at Mana Contemporary Chicago, May 21–22, 2017, was developed in partnership with Chicago Dancemakers Forum and Montom Arts. To learn more, visit


Embodied: short film screenings
Eight short films that explore the confines of our physical, emotional, and imaginary worlds.

France | 14:14 min.
Twenty-four dancers perform an excerpt of Boris Charmatz’s choreographic piece, Levée des conflits, on top of a slag-heap in Germany. Charmatz and filmmaker César Vayssié capture the footage through their helicopter camera.

GARY ZHEXI ZHANG, The Kernel Process
United Kingdom | 09:50 min.
The Kernel Process examines the material and metaphorical sensorium of the body. Imagining an excision of the sensory faculties, the narration dreams of subterranean architecture, skins and surfaces, lizards, latex, and Bataille’s infamous description of lingchi torture.

J. MAKARY, This Is Where Wool Comes From
California, U.S. | 07:15 min.
The choreography and mise-en-scène of This Is Where Wool Comes From brings transgender identity, womanhood, and the dynamics of sex to bear on intimate, physical material that is often seen as neutral in the context of sheep shearing.

Texas, U.S. | 03:10 min.
Casa Iceberg explores the idea of displacement, both physical and mental, as a result of longing a renovated perspective on one’s existence. The social isolation produced by a specific place evokes the need for movement and transformation to a territory that could revert such condition.

ELISABETH HOGEMAN, And You the Bell: Two Channel Motion Study
Illinois, U.S. | 07:12 min.
And You the Bell encompasses a series of short, narrative, and experimental moving-image works centered around a single woman at home carrying out elements of her daily routine. Thinking of the camera and editing strategies as tools for research, this “Two Channel Motion Study” iteration tracks her repetition of habit, and explores her undulating relationship to her environment.

California, U.S. | 02:13 min.
a mark is about the choreography of reality. It’s about the way everything moves and is interconnected to create beauty. Each small, choreographed scene can be appreciated for itself, but on subsequent viewings, takes on a separate meaning.

ALEX MYUNG, Ode to Footwork
Illinois, U.S. | 02:12 min.
This short film was made to coincide with the publication of Kevin Coval’s book of poetry A People’s History of Chicago. Featuring dancer Litebulb from The Era Footwork Crew and a poem about black dance history by Coval, Ode to Footwork builds upon the work of The Era Footwork Crew to mix poetry, footwork dancing, and dance history through everyday contexts like a convenience store.

Israel | 03:13 min.
PINK features colorful remnants of the artist’s previous installation works, as well as the artist’s own body. Hiding and discovering, inventing new shapes or destroying others, the color is used to delete/erase, as well as to unify and connect the flesh of his body with that of the artworks.

Digital Shards: A live-streamed performance
Ghada Da, Farah Al Sharief, and Nidal Morra will broadcast simultaneous live performances from three different locations around the globe: New York City, USA; Düsseldorf, Germany; and Sharjah, UAE. Collapsing time and geography through technology, the artists’ digital entities act as one collective body, reflecting on the value of community and open dialogue as an extension of our physical representation in contemporary society.

The Dolls: A live performance by Claudia Hart
The Dolls is a media ballet by Claudia Hart inspired by the philosophical idea of the “eternal return.”  This is the notion that history endlessly renews itself through a process of decadence, decay, and rebirth. To embody this, Hart has molded mathematical cycles into visual form, creating rhythmic, animated patterns from the historical heraldry of collapsed empires out of world history.

Transmutation: Late night film screenings
Eight films that flirt with the nature of sexuality, identity, and the body. (Sexually explicit content.)

LIZ MCCARTHY, Wet and Dirty MF w/ Clay Materials
Illinois, U.S. | 05:31 min.
This video references a pulling clay method that could be used for coil pot building. In making this video, the artist was thinking about her body as an ever-changing mutable material, subject to fashion, history, culture, power, etc.

Texas, U.S. | 14:00 min.
Borderhole takes place on a mythical border between Colombia and the United States and investigates the relationship between North and South America through the lens of the American Dream. The work explores imperialism, globalization through pop music, the gender mutant in an international context, and the choreography of women’s bodies in relation to socio-political ecosystems.

THE ERA, In the Wurkz
Illinois, U.S. | 03:10 min.
This music and dance video is set to the song In the Wurkz, the title track of The Era’s new concept project known as “footworking with words.” The Era are among Chicago’s best footwork dancers, and this video sees them translating footwork into a new way of telling stories, using lyrics and self-produced videos. In the Wurkz was shot and directed by The Era on the South Side of Chicago.

MADSEN MINAX, (No) Show Girls
Vermont, U.S. | 04:12 min.
Under strict instructions a striptease is performed in silence. The performance fails to reveal genitals. Perspective oscillates to position the engagement with the performer, revealing the consensual exchange of power and a shared desire to imagine what a trans gaze could look like.

YOUNG JOON KWAK & KIM YE, Where I Am My Own Other, Where My Mother Is Me
California, U.S. | 15:03 min.
Where I Am My Own Other, Where My Mother Is Me complicates the tension between the psychological interior and exterior, performative action and documentation, fantasy and trauma, and the narrativization of gender transition.

JAN BRUGGER, By the Seaside
Illinois, U.S. | 4:29 min.
In By the Seaside, the artist uses technology to transform herself into versions of the magician David Copperfield (circa 1992), his Assistant, and Venus, representing cyborg conflations between human, myth, and the digital.

LOONG WAH, keajaiban/miracle
Malaysia | 13:00 min.
A drag queen from a night club disco bar and some younger drag queens and dancers come to perform at the club—at the same time searching for happiness.

MOTHERTONGUES, Untitled (Owl Experiment #101)
Los Angeles, USA | 05:46 min.
A single-channel video in which the artists abstract their bodies through obfuscation and costume exchange to explore the physics of pleasure through a DIY purple vibrating owl. Set in a mundane space, the bodies cultivate intimacy on their own, placing themselves outside of both romantic and pornographic contexts, in lieu of a more honest expression of pleasure and climax.

Live DJ set


WILLS GLASSPIEGEL, Inevitable Shift Fear
Illinois, U.S.  | 05:59 min.
An experimental film that takes us on a journey of Chicago Footwork, a local dance that has lasted nearly three decades in Chicago. The film was scored by South Side footwork music producer DJ Earl from the collective Teklife.

HILLA BEN ARI, Rethinking Broken Lines—A Tribute to Heda Oren
Israel | 28:38 min.
A comprehensive research into the work of veteran Israeli choreographer Heda Oren (1935–2008). Through this dialogue she draws out possible genealogies of proximity and difference as well as affinity and tension between genders and generations, as expressed in the relationship between the feminine body and its locus of action.

France | 45:00 min.
Monumental is a project conceived both as a film and as a performance. Monuments, architecture, statues, and works of art are the basis of a visual score interpreted by a group of twelve choreographers, in accordance to space and temporal constraints. Each selected monument is decoded and restored by actions, movements, and displacement, exploring our relationship to imagery through the body and choreographed movement.

United Kingdom | 12:29 min.
Made by two female filmmakers, The Baths explores masculinity by inviting us to observe often unseen cultural traditions and social interactions in the male steam baths of London’s East End. As the film unfolds, the transcultural nature of the baths and the men’s shared cultural histories are revealed.

SAM CANNON, Plastic Dreams, 2017

Image: Installation view of The Dolls, and Claudia Hart performing at Mana Contemporary Chicago, 2017. Photo: Michael Sullivan.