MFAEDA Student and Faculty Work at the NYFF’s Views from the Avant Garde

Exciting news from New York!  Three MFA|EDA students are showing work this weekend in the venerable Views from the Avant Garde at the 50th Annual New York Film Festival: Marika Borgeson, Erin Espelie and Talena Sanders.  In addition, both AMI’s Lecturing Fellow & Artist in Residence David Gatten and Visiting Artist & Adjunct Instructor Shambhavi Kaul will show new works.

NYFF’s “Views from the Avant-Garde” is perhaps the most important and prestigious venue for artist-made moving image work in the United States.  Along with the Toronto International Film Festival’s “Wavelengths” program and the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival “Experimenta” section, “Views” is one of the three “agenda setters” for the coming year in artists’ film and digital moving image.

Duke’s participation in “Views” has been taking place for some time; 16 of Gatten’s films have been shown since 1999, Kaul is showing work for the third time, and MFA|EDA faculty member Joshua Gibson showed his award winning film, “Kudzu Vine” at Views last year.  Likewise, this year’s festival marks Espelie’s fifth outing.  Mark McElhatten – who curates “Views” along with Gavin Smith – has been a MFA|EDA Visiting Artist since 2011, where he has spent a great deal of time giving feedback to students on their work as well as presenting seminal works of experimental film via student-focused screenings.   It’s a great compliment to the MFA|EDA program to see the work of our students recognized on such a prominent stage.

The MFA is thrilled to congratulate this year’s participants:


Marika Borgeson







Impressions (2012)
USA | Format: HDCam | color | silent | 4:29 minutes

Screening as part of the program Touch and Go
Sunday, October 07 – 1:30 pm



Erin Espelie







Beyond Expression Bright (2012)
USA | Format: HDCam | color | sound | 9 minutes

Screening as part of the program Beyond the Borderline
Saturday, October 06 – 1:30 pm

Our imagination is equally confounded, said the 18th-century Swiss naturalist Charles Bonnet (best known for his work on visual hallucinations), by the infinitely great as by the infinitely small. Confounding, too, can be the instruments and empirical mechanisms we have to gauge the immensity, particularly their seemingly insurmountable limitations.—E.E.


Talena Sanders







Tokens and Penalties (2012)
USA | Format: HD | color | sound | 3:58 minutes

Screening as part of the program Circles of Confusion
Friday, October 05 – 5:30 pm

1. If the same dream occurs three times, then count it as a personal revelation, an individual prophecy.

2. Mysteries Of The Temple–Fearful Oaths And Secret Ceremonies–Saintly Privileges–Shocking Doings In Days Gone By–Whisperings Of Terrible Deeds–How The Mormons Mind Their Own Business–A New Name-Terrible And Revengeful Oaths–The Punishment Of The Apostate–Pains And Penalties Of Betrayal–The Mysterious Mark–Secret And Significant Signs–Eight Hours Of “Mystery–I Justify Myself.

3. Besides this, every Mormon’s mouth was closed by the oath of that same temple—the penalty for breaking this oath was worded in the most startling and impressive way, a penalty which no one doubted would be sternly enforced. The throat of the traitor was to be cut from ear to ear; his heart and tongue to be cut out; and his bowels were—while he was yet living—to be torn from him. In the world to come, everlasting damnation would be his portion.—T.S.


David Gatten







The Extravagant Shadows (2012)
USA | 175m | DCP | color | sound

Series: NYFF50: Views from the Avant-Garde
Friday, October 05 – 8:30 pm

“She gave the impression, when she spoke, of not knowing how to reestablish a bond between her words and the richness of a preexisting language. They had no history, no connection with the past of everyone else, not even any relation to her own life or anyone else’s. And yet they said what they said with a precision that their lack of ambiguity alone rendered suspect: as if they had had a single meaning outside of which they would again fall silent. The meaning of this whole story was that of a long sentence that could not be cut up into segments, that would discover its meaning only at the end and that, at the end, would find its meaning only as a breath of life, the motionless movement of the story in its entirety.”—Maurice Blanchot, Awaiting Oblivion

Suggestion is the rock, and the physical evidence is the evanescent spray that breaks against the unseen. Transitive enharmonics of things touching in middair, an air which is Time—not an actual intersection, but with a consequence as powerful as predestination, a momentary fulfillment, a trail beyond mere pattern, like a streak of truth alive and uncontained, like something that runs through infinity slowing to leave condensation, sonority, a temperature. Lines crossing lines. Not there. There. Invisibilities smudging. Gesture and impression, optic suggestions, agents on and in the mind. Each with vibrations, dollops, whispers, throbs, particles and waves. A finger of pigment brushing a lip of language exchanging carriage supports, liquidities, fire. Moire of meanings. Micro settings in the heart. The time it takes. The very least one can say is to say The Extravagant Shadows is a major work. Humanly essential, adventurous and necessary.—Mark McElhatten


Shambhavi Kaul







21 Chitrakoot (2012)
USA/India | Format: HD | color | sound | 9 minutes

Screening as part of the program Atlas Minus…
Sunday, October 07 – 7:00 pm

A land, as ancient and ideal as nature, is called up through the chroma-key backdrops of one of the world’s most viewed mythological television series. Spectacular images spring forth from a glorious, more magical time. But, as nostalgia turns into melancholia, hostility is the inevitable result. There is no option but a war to destroy everything, after which trace impulses towards a narrative are the last surviving markers of the material past.—S.K.


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