Full Frame: Connecting 306 Hollywood to Other Artworks About Rifling Through Someone's Stuff | Arts
Arts
INDY Week's arts blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Full Frame: Connecting 306 Hollywood to Other Artworks About Rifling Through Someone's Stuff

Posted by on Sun, Apr 8, 2018 at 8:24 AM

click to enlarge 306 Hollywood - PHOTO COURTESY OF FULL FRAME
  • photo courtesy of Full Frame
  • 306 Hollywood
Those of us who caught 306 Hollywood at Full Frame on Friday had a front-row seat to the evolution of the definition of “documentary.” An anthropological study of the filmmaking team’s grandmother after her death, it's nonfiction only in the broadest sense.

Brother-and-sister duo Jonathan and Elan Bogarin excavate their grandmother’s home, organize her possessions by type or color, use magical-realist devices to visit the past, and reenact their process with stylistic flair. They use dance, theater, visual art, and straight-up library-style cataloging to get at the nature and meaning of their grandmother’s life. In interrogating their grief, they play with reality, challenging the notion that sober realism is even possible in bereavement.

Whether or not it works for you may depend largely on your tolerance for fabulism. I felt by turns a kinship with the filmmakers’ nostalgia and frustration with the twee artifice they use to narrate it. I also thought about other artistic projects that use similar strategies to look at how material culture and meaning are linked. Here are a few favorite connections:

Elsewhere Museum
Greensboro’s George Scheer also had a grandmother who passed away and left him a space. His just happened to run a thrift store, and instead of making a film, he made an arts residency program. Whereas 306 Hollywood is about knowing one woman through her possessions, Elsewhere is about allowing artists to use said possessions to invent new worlds.

Peter Menzel: Material World: A Global Family Portrait
Like the filmmakers of 306 Hollywood, Menzel documents household possessions. But he pointed his camera around the world instead of at one apartment, and his global “what’s in a house?” provides answers more surprising than you might imagine.

Jason Travis: Persona
Open your bag. What’s inside may say more than you realize. Jason Travis proved as much with his years-long photo project that asks people to catalog what’s on their person day to day. Like 306 Hollywood, it lends credence to the idea that the familiar is where the truth lies.

Negative Space
Codirectors Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata adapt the eponymous poem by Ron Koertge, a look at a father-son relationship defined by packing a suitcase, in this 2018 Oscar-nominated animated short.

Sara Berman’s Closet
This exhibit at the Met last year assembled a collection of almost all-white personal items owned by Sara Berman, an immigrant who lived alone in Greenwich Village for decades. It was put together by her daughter and grandson, aka recent Duke Performances guest Maira Kalman and her son, artist Alex Kalman. The closet reflects a woman who took pride and found freedom in clothes, which reminds me of the fashion-designer grandmother in 306 Hollywood.

Things Organized Neatly
The filmmakers of 306 Hollywood are eager for organization, finding symmetry and pattern in what is otherwise an unruly environment. If that sort of harmony makes your heart flutter (as it does mine), look no further than this Tumblr dedicated to compulsive neatness.

Southern Cultures: Stuff, A Pop-Up Museum
On two occasions now, UNC’s Southern Cultures journal has presented pop-up museums of stuff with stories behind it. Like the film, these collected objects show how a universe of feeling can be stored in a single object. (Disclosure: the author is the multimedia editor of Southern Cultures.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Arts



Twitter Activity

Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

Laura Jaramillo - I chose to read here to suss out what you do. The clean, spare style seems perfectly …

by growlybear on Movie Review: Sebastián Lelio's Hotly Anticipated Disobedience Is a Strangely Flat Look at Lesbian Love in a Hasidic Community (Arts)

Sounds like a great festival! I enjoyed hearing about it through your lens.

by Lisa Joy Tomey on “At the Festival, We’re All Family”: Reflections on the Ninth Annual African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh (Arts)

Here's a shout-out to the dancers and musicians of The Bipeds who are not mentioned by name in this article. …

by The Bipeds on Dance Review: The Many Moving Parts of The Bipeds' 54 Strange Words Don't Always Perfectly Mesh. But When They Do, It's Spectacular. (Arts)

You probably want to refrain from using ableist language.

by vidvis on ADF Review: Pilobolus's Crowd-Pleasing Dance Is Apolitical. Unfortunately, the World It Inhabits Is Not. (Arts)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation