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Screening

CULTURAL AUTOPSY 2

IMAGINARY ETHNOGRAPHIES

29 October 2004
18:00 — 20:00


Location: Filmtheater ‘t Hoogt
Hall 1

This program includes two films dealing with cross cultural misunderstandings and western stereotypes of the Other (in this case American Indians).

The Desert People
DAVID LAMELAS (USA 1974, 16MM, 50:00 MIN)
A confessional road movie by artist David Lamelas in which five characters talk about their experiences on the Pagago Reservation. The Desert People grafts together the genres of the road-trip movie and documentary as a group of people drive through arid terrain on an ethnographic journey to and from an Indian reservation.

The Couple in the Cage, a Guatinaui Odyssey 
COCO FUSCO & PAUL HEREDIA (USA 1993, VIDEO, 30:00 MIN)
The Couple in the Cage documents the travelling performance of Guillermo Gómez- Pena and Coco Fusco, in which they exhibit themselves as caged Amerindians from an imaginary island. While the artists’ intent was to create a satirical commentary on the notion of discovery, they soon realised that many of their viewers believed the fiction, and thought the artists were real ‘savages’. The record of their interactions with audiences in four countries dramatizes the dilemma of cross-cultural misunderstandings we continue to live with today. Their experiences are interwoven with archival footage of ethnographic displays form the past, giving a historical dimension to the artists’ social experiment. The Couple in the Cage is a powerful blend of comics fiction and poignant reflection on the morality of treating human beings as exotic curiosities.


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