The Illinois Parables
Deborah Stratman appears in person to present The Illinois Parables (2016), a suite of Midwestern parables relaying histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, based on histories of the state of Illinois. Utilizing reenactment, archival footage, observational shooting, inter-titles and voiceover to tell its stories, the film suggests links between technological and religious abstraction, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we're shaped by conviction and ideology. "The Illinois Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes, and what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to explain the unknown, who or what do we end up blaming or endorsing?" (Deborah Stratman) Also screening: Stratman's 2014 film Hacked Circuit, which explores the thematic parallels between the Cinematic art of Foley recordings and the contemporary climate of government surveillance while citing and sonically enacting Coppola's 1974 masterpiece The Conversation. Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to the relationships between physical environments and human struggles for power and control that play out on the land. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame, Rotterdam and Berlinale. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim and USA Collins fellowships, a Creative Capital grant and an Alpert Award. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.