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TOUR WITHOUT END a film by Laura Parnes // Screening and Discussion with Amy Taubin, Laura Parnes, and Johanna Fateman

  • SVA Theatre 333 West 23rd Street New York, NY, 10011 United States (map)

New York, NY– The School of Visual Arts MFA Photo, Video, and Related Media is pleased to announce the screening of Laura Parnes’ Tour Without End at the SVA Theatre on Thursday, September 13 at 6:30pm. Preceding the screening, Parnes will introduce the film in conversation with film critic Amy Taubin (Art Forum) and writer, songwriter, and musician Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre).

An official selection of the 2018 Sarasota Film Festival, Tour Without End is an experimental narrative comedy/documentary hybrid film. Casting real-life musicians, artists, and actors as fictional bands on tour, the film evolves into a cross-generational commentary on contemporary culture and politics in the Trump era. Shot over the course of 4 years between 2014-2018, at over 15 DIY music spaces in and around NYC, Tour Without End functions as a time capsule made more apparent by the shuttering of many of the films’ locations due to NYC’s rapid gentrification.

The film’s multitude of characters are legendary performers in the downtown NYC arts scene including Wooster Group founder Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher (The NYC Players), musicians Lizzi Bougatsos, (Gang Gang Dance), Kathleen Hanna (The Julie Ruin), Brontez Purnell (The Younger Lovers), Eileen Myles, Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater), Nicole Eisenman, K8 Hardy, Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre) Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), JD Samson (MEN), Gary Indiana, Kembra Pfahler, (Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black), Rachel Mason, Tom McGrath, Matthew Asti (MGMT), Becca Blackwell, Christen Clifford, Alessandra Genovese (Crush), Rogelio Ramos (Love Pig), Kenya Robinson (Cheeky LaShae) and Neon Music (Youth Quake).

Shot in real environments and situations, the core group of players improvise based on semi-scripted scenes. Many of these performers are legendary in the downtown NYC arts scene and become archetypes playing archetypes. As the players move in and out of their real-life identities and roles as fictionalized characters, the film moves in and out of non-linear narrative, complicating the work as historical document.

The film revels in the sometimes hilarious but always-complex band dynamics that the characters endure while touring, collaborating, and aging in a youth-driven music industry. The sometimes self-indulgent bubble the bands exist within is burst when, while on tour, they attend the protests surrounding the Republican convention. Drawing connections between past and present, the film draws from the current political climate and the rockumentary tradition of ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ and ‘Medium Cool’ to assert that no one exists outside of politics.

Laura Parnes’ critically acclaimed films and installations address counter-cultural and youth-culture references where the music is integral to the work. Raised in Philadelphia, Parnes is a notable alumnus of the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, PA. Her work has been screened and exhibited widely in the US and internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; MoMA PS1, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; Brooklyn Museum; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens; The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and NY and on PBS and Spanish Television. Recently she had solo exhibitions at LA><, data-preserve-html-node="true" LA, Participant Inc., Fitzroy Gallery; and solo screenings at the Museum of Modern Art, and The Kitchen, New York City. Parnes is a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, a 2014 NYFA recipient, and a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee. Video Data Bank published a box set of her work, and Participant Press published a book of her scripts titled ‘Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays’ by Laura Parnes with an introduction by Chris Kraus. She has also directed music videos for The Julie Ruin and Le Tigre.

Amy Taubin (b, 1939) is an American film critic, filmmaker, curator, educator and contributing editor for two prominent film magazines, the British Sight & Sound and the American Film Comment. She has also written regularly for The Village Voice, The Millennium Film Journal, and Artfourm, and is the former curator of video and film at the non-profit experimental performance space The Kitchen. Taubin attended Sarah Lawrence College as an undergrad and received an MA from New York University.

Johanna Fateman (b. 1974) is an American writer, songwriter, musician, record producer and co-owner of Seagull Salon in New York City. She is a member of post-riot grrrl band Le Tigre and founded the band MEN with Le Tigre bandmate JD Samson. Fateman has written and produced songs with artists such as Christina Aguilera and Pussy Riot. Fateman’s earliest cultural criticism took the form of punk zines, notably Artaud-Mania… the Diary of a Fan (1997), which is reproduced in The Riot Grrrl Collection (Feminist Press, 2013). Her writing has appeared in the Whitney Biennial catalog (2004), Rhizome, LTTR, Apology, and frequently in Artforum and BookForum.