Rental Format(s): 16mm film

With Diane Torr, Ela Troyano, Plauto, Elion Sacker, Rex West. Additional sound: Christian Marclay, Charles Noyes, Zeena Parkins, Shelley Hirsch. Photographed by Child, Jeff Preiss (second camera).

Characters from PERILS reappear, this time in a film noir setting, soap opera thrillers and Mexican comic books generating the action. Perversely and equally inspired by de Sade's Justine and Vertov's sentences about the satiric detective advertisement, MAYHEM is my attempt to create a film in which Sound is the Character and to do so focusing on sexuality and the erotic. Not so much to undo the entrapment (we fear what we desire; we desire what we fear), but to frame fate, show up the rotation, upset the common, and incline our contradictions toward satisfaction, albeit conscious.

"More than a detective story: MAYHEM is a hypermodern melding of forms, an erotic sendup of slapstick with a heady dose of cultural nay-saying." - Elizabeth Pincus, Gay Community News

"The films of Abigail Child work with a provocative galaxy of familiar and alien materials-found soundracks-opera, rock-n-roll, sound concrete, home movies, as well as original. Child galvanizes these essential bits and pieces into films of startling musicality, density and rigorous compression. . . With vigorous acuity these films seek to reterritorialize the elements of film. They call into question the structures of narrative, power and sex, testing the ways in which we assimilate information and navigate through history and memory." - Mark McElhatten Assistant Curator of Film & Video, American Museum of the Moving Image

"Mayhem seems amazingly dirty to me." - Tom Gunning, University of Chicago

Selected Screenings:
Millennium Premiere 1987. First Prize: Black Maria, Ann Arbor, Image Festivals. Selected for London, Locarno, Pesaro Film Festivals, among others. Included in Whitney Biennial 1989, MOMA#s Contemporary Art 1980-2000 Exhibition (2000), featured at ICA London in "Myths Destroyed, Stories Re-Told"(1988). Curator-Simon Fields; in Modern Classics at University of Richmond, Virginia (2004); Sommerfest, Berlin (1999); in Murder, Mayhem & Melodrama, London Filmmakers Coop tour; and at Anthology Film Archives, #Small Retrospective#, part of the Bad Girls Exhibition at The New Museum; as well as in #Girrly Pictures# Mercer Union Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Catalogue (all 1994); "We and The Time", Conference of International Artists, Leningrad USSR; Toronto Experimental International Film Congress (all 1989); in "New York Dagen at Rotterdam 88# Kunstichting, Rotterdam; ELAC, Center for Contemporary Art, Lyon; Avignon, France; Arsenal, Berlin; Kino Eiszeit, Berlin (all 1988); Andrea Rosen Gallery, Soho. Group show (1987)

Rental Fees

16mm film $120.00  

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