ISOLATED EXPERIMENTS-Analog Cinema
During this period of global public health-sanctioned isolation, Millennium Film Workshop, like many other organizations has sadly had to postpone many of our planned events for the Spring season. We’ve decided to continue to showcase in the meantime, great work from great artists here on our own website, in a new weekly series we’re calling “Isolated Experiments,” accompanied by comments from the artists themselves. Sign up for our mailing list via our contact page to get email updates about new films as we post them weekly.
For our first installment, we are featuring “All the King’s Horses” a five minute video piece made by artist Erica Schreiner.
MFW: Can you first tell us a word or two about this video, All The King’s Horses, whether from a technical or imaginative standpoint, its origins or context?
ES: When I made this video, I had just gotten out of a bad, long-term relationship. I was trying to meet new people, but I felt like I was too traumatized to be able to be in any kind of functional relationship. The first real egg we see on the screen represents me and the plastic egg represents my ex. When the first egg is smashed, no matter how much you tape it, it’s still destroyed under all that tape.
MFW: The plastic egg attempts to contain the organic one just before it’s cast off and replaced by another organic one–would that be a kind of cover-up, damage control?
ES: That is one way to see that plastic egg. The plastic eggs are also plastic and not real. So once the real egg finds the taped up (also real) egg at the end, they have potential together…
MFW: But they still get smashed!
ES: It’s inevitable because the real egg is with the taped egg and the taped egg only knew what it knew. Looking back on this video, it’s one of my more pessimistic pieces and when I made it, I didn’t believe in love. Luckily, that was temporary.
MFW: These days we have an altogether different type of isolation. Can you comment on then vs. now, and how this [COVID-19] situation is impacting you creatively?
ES: Then, I worked on my art daily. Now I have all of this time to work on it, but coupled with so much uncertainty, and that becomes distracting. Also, I can’t collaborate with other artists physically. Before this began, I was working on a feature film, The Special People, and would have actors come over every Saturday to film.. Now I can only edit. I find it very depressing, but I am fighting to try to see this as some kind of “Art Camp” rather than “Fear Camp.”
MFW: That’s a good attitude. Everyone is in the same boat, so in a strange way it does feel like a “camp” as you say–implies there’s some kind of community, at least. Any thoughts on that idea, to close with?
ES: I think a lot about how we used to make plans weeks or months in advance. Now we’re all at a stand-still, and that uncertainty has people feeling very afraid. I’m trying to (and encouraging others to) get into the moment and find new ways to feel fearless and free.
Erica Schreiner’s debut feature-length video film, Satori (2015), is to be featured in Millennium Film Workshop’s planned screening series with Spectacle Cinema, Means of Production: New Artists’ Cinema (currently postponed due to Coronavirus restrictions). In addition to her work as a video artist, Erica is the publisher of Marietta Magazine, as well as the author of the novella, The Greatest History of Life, out now via Mad Gleam Press. She is currently working on her second feature, The Special People.