Film Flam took a minute to Hassle writer/filmmaker Tara Nelson, whose work is part of the exhibit currently at kijidome. kijidome is an art collaborative and experimental project space. The current project is GREEN DREAM and features the work of several artists, including Tara Nelson who worked on the video Beautiful Secrets.
Ari: Who are you? (What can you tell me about the films you make? What brought you to Boston?)
Tara: I am an artist working in Super 8 and 16mm film and video, and recently I have begun making small objects that interact with my moving image work. I also love to work with analog sound and light installation. My husband and I moved from our hometown of Pittsburgh to Boston in 2009 so I could attend Grad School at MassArt.
Ari: How did you get involved with kijidome? What do you think the space IS?
Tara: I didn’t know about kijidome until my friend, curator Maggie Cavallo, contacted me in January about this project. I had heard about the studios on Wareham St. from other artists and was really excited to visit, as I imagined them to be like the kind of artist spaces back home in Pittsburgh: old, brick and rickety. I think the space is very open to interpretation, though I understand it is a studio for at least 3 artists. I was only there for a few hours during our shoot, but the space had great energy. When our collaborator, Madge of Honor, screamed her head off for four and a half minutes, nobody came running to tell us to quiet down. I am not sure if that is good or bad…..
Ari: Can you tell me about GREEN DREAM (in terms of the work you did and what working with the other collaborators was like)?
Tara: When Maggie contacted me there was a little less than a month before the whole thing had to be finished. Her vision was to bring together two filmmakers and a performance artist who had never formally worked together before, and see what happened. At first I said I couldn’t do it because I had a lot going on, but then I took a look at Madge of Honor’s work and decided I couldn’t pass this up. Plus both Maggie and Ethan Berry are on my “People To Work With” list. I have been working a lot with green screen video lately and have become somewhat obsessed with the possibilities of the technique after working almost exclusively in Super 8 and 16mm for the past 4 years. Working in video has felt like driving a really fast car after walking everywhere. So I took Maggie up on the offer and we met at the studio with a foggy notion of what we wanted to do. Via email we had all discussed exploring a series of recurring nightmares, and Madge was going to interact with those nightmares in the studio. I brought a few video cameras and Ethan had a 16mm with an extra wide lens. Madge had a huge suitcase full of things like blood capsules and see-through gowns….
The whole thing felt very risky, as collaborations should feel. During the shoot we continued to discuss the concept of “Nightmares,” and Madge came up with some very energetic performances while Ethan kept his camera running and Maggie took notes. It was very productive and I walked out of there feeling optimistic, until I realized I actually had to create a bunch of nightmares to match Madge’s performance…
So I changed course entirely and shot something completely different from anything we had discussed. I was still thinking about “Nightmares,” but not the kind that happen during sleep. I was inspired by the nightmares delivered through the electric eye – visions of reality created in our media environment. I am very interested in instructional media, the “How To” types of shows that demonstrate simple processes to solve complicated problems. Most of this type of programming targets women, preying on their fears about mortality, fertility, virility, and beauty. Legitimate, complicated fears that don’t have simple solutions. But we are surrounded by simple solutions in the media, almost hunted down by them. So that is what Beautiful Secrets is about: the conflict between rational fears and irrational solutions.
Incidentally this is the second video I have made with the title Beautiful Secrets. So I guess this means I have begun a series, which is exciting.
Tara’s first Beautiful Secrets video can be viewed here.
Gallery On View 1/4 – 2/8
Video Screening 2/8, 6 – 8PM
Dan Boardman / Dylan Nelson
Stephanie Cardon / Marc McNulty
Maggie Cavallo / Ethan Berry / Tara Merenda Nelson / Madge of Honor
IBE (Lenny Scnier / Alex Weick)
Anthony Palocci Jr.
Scott Patrick Wiener,
59 Wareham Street
Boston, MA 02118
(Press white kijidome buzzer)