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Michelle Dizon
passages of time in which we are not: history, event, encounter

Artist's Talk

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Media Insurgencies: Panel Discussion

11 – 1 p.m. Polycentric Session, UC-Berkeley, Townsend Center for the Humanities
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The Great Wall (2006, Super-8, 16 minutes) considers the fortification of national borders and the specters left in the wake of international immigration policies. The film passes between the US-Mexico border and an immigrant detention center in Berlin.

We, the Undersigned, Girls of Hiroshima (2005, 15 minutes, Found Footage)
reflects on psychic fallout in the wake of disaster, bringing together the image texts of Gerhard Richter, Mahmoud Darwish, Jean-Luc Godard, Resnais and Duras, Al Jazeera, Zionist propaganda, and letters from the girls of Hiroshima to Claude Eatherly, the man who dropped the atomic bomb.

Département des Arts de l'Islam, Salle 1, Objets d'Irak (2004, 3 minutes, Mini-DV, Web Images) examines how the discourse of 'culture' was mobilized during the ransack of the Iraqi National Museum. During this period, international attention shifted to the question of culture and specifically how such a term was to be defined given the loss and destruction of the objects toward which history was said to refer. The title refers to the setting on which the video opens, an empty museum display in the Islamic Art section of the Louvre. The anachrony of contemporary photojournalism at the site of the display asks one to contend with the Orientalist fabulation of a conception of 'culture' limited to the domain of archaic objects.

My Child, Anak (2001, Mini-DV, VHS-C, and Super- 8, 25 minutes) foregrounds the work translation between languages, cultures, and selfhoods. Interviews with a group of children in the Philippines are set against a series of dialogues in the United States between the artist as a two-year old girl, and her mother as she teaches her how to speak. Between such refrains of "the child" stand the legacy of colonialism, the residue of ethnography, and the ever-present question of a local and global politics of representation.

Participant's Bio:

Michelle Dizon is an artist, filmmaker, writer, and theorist based in Los Angeles. Her project-based work addresses questions of postcoloniality, globalization, racialization, sexuality, identity, and historical memory. She is currently an MFA Candidate in Interdisciplinary Studio in the Department of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.