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It does not so much allude to antecedent theories as represent, in the broadest sense of that concept, the contesting claims of politics, feminism, morality, psychoanalysis and personal needs, desires, fears and myths, on an individual perplexed by urgent decisions about how to live and what to do… [it] is a dialogue of dissonant and at times contradictory voices discoursing on topics like political and psychological domination (and oppression) and the interrelation of the two.[…] a species of free-floating forensics with voices antiphonally adding information and opinion to a breccia of neighbouring issues.
And in so doing,
[It] is the kind of film that makes a space for audience 'participation' ... [where] the participatory style itself operates as a metaphor of value, proposing the spectator as a 'free' agent involved in the active application of 'judgement' as he or she partakes in the 'democratic' construction of the film. This theme of participation in the fine structures is, of course, strictly analogous to the position of the spectator in regard to the gross 'dialectical' structures where the viewer (or perhaps more aptly, the listener) weighs counter-vailing arguments, judges them and above all chooses - not only what is relevant to what, but also a stand on the issues. 'Choice' like 'participation' is morally charged...1
These words are not a description of 9 Scripts from a Nation at War (2007), a ten-channel video installation by Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Ashley Hunt, Katya Sander and David Thorne. Although they could be - almost. Rather, they are Noel Carroll's description of Yvonne Rainer's equally epic film Journeys from Berlin/1971 (1980), published as an introduction introduction to Carroll's substantial series of
Nöel Carroll, 'Interview with a Woman Who…', Millenium Film Journal, no.7/8/9, Fall 1980/ Winter 1981, republished in A Woman Who…; Essays, Interviews, Scripts; Yvonne Rainer, Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1999, pp.170 and 174.↑
'The Body Politic: Mary Kelly interviewed by Ian White', frieze, May 2007, pp.130-35.↑
N. Carroll, 'Interview with a Woman Who...', Ibid., p.170↑
Gregg Bordowitz, 'My '80s: My Postmodernism', Artforum, March 2003, p.227.↑