Zoe Beloff: The Days of the Commune

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 7:00pm

Curated and introduced by Artemis Willis, Ph.D candidate, Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

Zoe Beloff’s presents her latest project, The Days of the Commune, which reimagines Bertolt Brecht’s 1947 play in public spaces around New York City.  Created in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, Beloff’s work-in-progress began in the spring of 2012, when she assembled a group of actors, activists and artists to re-perform Brecht’s work.  Scene-by-scene, the collective’s weekly public rehearsals consciously unfolded during the months of the 1871 Paris Commune, arguably the first great modern occupation, in which the proletariat transformed their city into a progressive democracy.  Whether streamed online, projected in a cinema or experienced as an installation, Commune endeavors tocreate an active dialogue with history that helps us think about the future.  This screening and discussion investigates the actualities and potentialities of Beloff’s radical theater of the people.

(Zoe Beloff, HD video, 2013)

Zoe Beloff grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. As an artist, she works with a wide range of media including film, projection performance, installation and drawing. She considers herself a medium, an interface between the real and the imaginary. Each of her projects aims to connect the present to past and to illuminate the future in new ways. Much of her recent work explores the utopian idea of social progress. Her work has been featured in a variety of international exhibitions and screenings, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the MUHKA museum in Antwerp, and the Pompidou Center in Paris. She has been awarded fellowships from Guggenheim Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Radcliffe Institute at Harvard, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a Professor in the Departments of Media Studies and Art at Queens College CUNY.

Sponsored by the University of Chicago Arts Council, the Film Studies Center Graduate Student Curatorial Program and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.