The Virginia Film Society and The Bridge Present 'Thursday Evening in the Universe'

April 09, 2008

April 9, 2008 — The Virginia Film Society and The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative will cosponsor an evening featuring the works of New York avant-garde film/video and installation artist Jeanne Liotta on Thursday, April 24, 8 p.m. at The Bridge, 205 Monticello Road. Admission is $5 and free to Virginia Film Society members.

The presentation, "Thursday Evening in the Universe: Hymns to the Void, the Stars in their Courses, The Earth Under Your Feet Wobbles and Drifts," includes a selection of works made, found and borrowed in various projection formats on the subjects of landscape, science, natural philosophy and other forces of the universe.

Liotta, who will attend the event, will screen a celestial selection of her own works alongside inspirational works by others. The program includes her latest work, "Observando el Cielo," which was listed as one of the 10 best films of 2007 by Chrissie Iles of Artforum and Ed Halter of the Village Voice and is a recent winner of a Tiger Award at the 2008 Rotterdam Film Festival.

In "Observando el Cielo," "Liotta assembles seven years' worth of field recordings from her astronomical field observations — accelerated night skies in more than a dozen distinct locations," wrote film reviewer Michael Sicinski. He praises the work, at the intersection of art and science, for "its meticulous, neo-Constructivist organization; her edits feel both agile and inevitable, like stonemasonry achieved through light. We see stars streaking by, stars in frozen time, slices of the sky at differential moments of the night. These images do more than transform the familiar; they practically vanquish the familiar, preconceived images of the skies we've accumulated over time, along with their needless symbolic freight." Fellow filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh composed the soundtrack — a collage of broadcasts, short waves and interference.
The program also includes some of Liotta's earlier films, which recall the standpoint of amateur scientists of the 19th century, taking it upon themselves to break the world down into its component parts and see what's inside.

Liotta will perform "One Day This May No Longer Exist," a live double projection performance piece with 16mm loops and colored filters, with sound by the Sun City Girls.

The evening will include the screening of a piece by the innovative British duo Semi-conductor called "Magnetic Movie" and one by Peggy Ahwesh titled "Warm Objects."

Working solo on films and various media since 1995, Liotta's 16 mm film "Eclipse" was shown at the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Her work has been shown in solo shows at Cal Arts, San Francisco Cinematheque/Yerba Buena Center of the Arts and Anthology Film Archives in New York. In addition, her work has been screened at numerous festivals including the New York Film Festival, KunstFilm Biennale in Cologne, International Film Festival in Rotterdam, Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Liotta has taught widely and is currently on the faculty at the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College.

Virginia Film Society is the year-round program of the Virginia Film Festival. All Virginia Film Society events are co-sponsored by the Virginia Film Festival and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. 

For information, visit the Virginia Film Society Web site at or call (434) 982-5277. For more information about the Bridge PAI, please call (434) 984-5669 or visit