Monday, December 26, 2011

Films by Abigail Child

Frames from Covert Action by Abigail Child (courtesy of the artist)

The latest issue of The Brooklyn Rail includes my review of a recent DVD-and-book release for Abigail Child's Is This What You Were Born For? Endlessly inventive, this remarkable cycle of films, whose creation spanned the 1980s, is unlike anything made before or since; in their approaches to montage, image/sound relationship, and constituent materials, each film is distinctly different, yet they work together as a cohesive whole. Their soundtracks are meticulously crafted, and feature a set of extraordinary musical contributions by the likes of Shelley Hirsch, Christian Marclay, Zeena Parkins, and Charles Noyes.

The review itself can only begin to suggest the cycle's richness and depth, and this is where the book comes in; it includes a very fine set of essays by Tom Gunning, Melissa Ragona, Redell Olsen, and Thomas Zummer, along with an interview with Child by Francois Bovier and Ricardo Da Silva. You can read the Rail piece here:

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