Videos

Paula Levine has worked in video since 1983. Trained through local community television production in Vancouver, BC, with roots in local histories, grassroots video productions and the power of community voices. Her videos have screened in numerous festivals, galleries and museums in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe, including the Canadian Embassy in Japan, New York Jewish Film and Video Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Canadian National Gallery.  Her work has won many awards, including commendations from SECA, Atlanta Film and Video Festival, Montreal Film and Video Festival, with works in permanent collections and media libraries.  Her video is distributed through Video Out, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Preview copies of all videos can be obtained from the artist in multiple formats. Many videos can also be obtained from Video Out.

The precarious nature of the planet and ourselves

An intimate conversation in the space between living and dying. Planned as a series of ongoing recordings between the artist and her husband David, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, this was the only recording made before David’s death, one month following his diagnosis.

Title from an essay by Terry Tempest Williams.

Single channel video (TRT: 9 min. 2012)

Convergence

Time, circumstances, politics meet but not merge in this nine minute, single shot portrait of the Kotel, Jerusalem, January, 2000.

Video (Single channel TRT: 9 min. 2000)

Burials and Borders

BURIALS AND BORDERS chronicles a return to the Golan Heights, Israel where the artist’s brother is buried. Formerly part of Syria, the Golan is slated for repatriation. The video explores the multiple meanings of this shift: geographically, to the people living within borders that may be instantly re-drawn around them, and personally as she examines evidence of narratives of history and memory and recasts her relationship to her brother, his aliyah and their past.

Video (Single channel TRT:53 min. 1996-2004)

24 hours on 24th Street

24 hour time lapse video portrait of a corner in the Mission District of San Francisco at 24th and Folsom. The camera documents rhythms of urban life on the street below the artist’s studio.

Video/Installation (Single channel TRT:24 min. 1994)

Coyote Cow

Nature meets culture. Documenting attempt to train cows to respond to a “moo toy”. Training session = seven hours.

Video (Single channel video TRT: 4 min. 1993)

The struggle to think in different terms

In a dark room, four medium sized monitors hang from the ceiling about chest high form, each encased in their own white box, forming the corners of a square. The space is sparce. On each screen is the same image: a glistening, thick blue rope, undulating slowly and silently midway in each screen, moving from right to left . The four screens and the slowly, floating blue ropes mark the corners of a wresting ring, to size. The surrounding space of the room is a the color of a cold blue haze coming from the light on the four monitors. An empty, spot-lit wooden stool sits in the center of the ring.There is no sound. The space is silent.

In wrestling, the ring is known as a “squared circle,” a structure that defines itself in terms of its contradictions. The square rounds out to a circle, the circle straightens into a square. Each shifts and forms the shape of the other. The wrestling ring itself frames the battles of larger contradictions, dichotomies and conflicts, real and mythologized, personal and intimate, normnative and systemmic. In the ring, these forces become flesh, thowing themselves against each other in an epic struggle to gain victory or suffer defeat. The struggle to think in different terms is a space for battles.

Video Installation (4 Channel video installation. 1990)

Mirror, Mirror

Shot in Venice California at Muscle Beach, this is a short vignette about viewing and being viewed.

Video (Single channel TRT: 2.5 min. 1987)

Wa-Ran

The death of a friend is linked to the death of the San Kai Juku dancer who fell during a public performance of The Dance of Birth and Death in Seattle, Washington, 1985. The work was made as a testimony to the two.

Video (Single channel video TRT: 6 min. 1986)

The moon’s new fury

Weaving history, facts and fantasy into a non-linear tale about women, witches and the reclamation of women’s spirituality.

Video (Single channel (TRT 12 min. 1984)

FromHere-ToThere

A tour of the West Bank wall in two places simultaneously: in the West Bank, it’s site of origin and transposed upon San Francisco. Accompanied by a 3-d printed topographical map of the West Bank wall overlaid on the city of San Francisco.

Video/Installation (2009)

East/West

A two-camera, 24-hour simultaneous portrait of a perfect, golden grass covered hill in Woodside, California where main characters are ambient natural life, sound and the subtle changes of light. One camera is situated on the east side of the hill, facing west, while the other is located on the west side, facing east.

Video/Installation (Two channels TRT: 24 min. 1992/DVD 2002)

One year of mourning

Mourning and grieving forge spaces which defy the logic and strategies governing the everyday. One year of mourning marks a passage through such a displaced present. Like notations in a journal or notches in a tree, the markers denote not what has passed, but where one has been.

Video (Single channel video/ black & white/silent. TRT: 12 min. 1994)

Imprinting

A portrait of intimacy between a father and a daughter, when power and longing are veiled as love.

Video (Two channel TRT: 6 min. 1994)

Modernist/Not

Undoing Modernism in 60 seconds.Single channel video.

Video (Single channel TRT: 1 min. 1993)

Two Bad Daughters (with Barbara Hammer)

“Densely collaged with a heavy compliment of graphics and manipulated images to collapse control, the artists interact with patriarchal institutions changing subject/object relationships. Using a non-traditional narrative structure, this is a playful, energetic barrage of text, acrimony and artifice. “Two Bad Daughters” rejects obedience to the Father in favor of the impish anarchy of self possession.” Steve Seid, Pacific Film Archives.

Video (Single channel TRT. 12 min. 1989)

Story from Bataille

A story of excess contrasts and resonates with the disaffected computerized voice reading an excerpt from The Annales medico-psychologique in Visions of Excess by George Bataille.

Video (Single channel video TRT: 4 min. 1987)

Not an ordinary woman

Jean Luc Goddard’s HAIL MARY screened for three weeks at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, California in 1987. For the entire duration of the run, Fundamentalist Christian groups picketed the theater protesting what they considered to be the blasphemous depiction of Mary. These nightly public protests inspired this tape in response to issues of censorship and religious ideology of female perfection.

Video (Single channel TRT: 10 min. 1987)

“Give it to him”

Roland Barthes describes wrestling as “a solemn spectacle of conjured seduction; a place where the euphoria of men is raised above ambiguity”. Shot at professional wrestling bouts in the Bay area, this tape is about wrestling as a spectacle of catharsis – its seductions and its inversions – pain as pleasure; agony as ecstasy and defeat as justice.

Video (Single channel TRT:6 min. 1987)

We want Moshiach now!: Portrait of a Chassidic Community

Moshiach means Messiah, and the Chassidim have waited for the arrival of the Messiah since the late 18th century. This work is an installation about life in a small, Lubavitch Chassidic community in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With an emphasis on women, family and ritual, the work explores what life is like, particularly for those women for whom Chassidism is a choice.

The Lubavitch Chassidim are a very orthodox religious Jewish sect whose practice of living daily life according to the Torah dates from the 18th century in central Europe. 

Video/Installation (Feature length video, photographs, text and articles of clothing, ritual and daily living. Video TRT: 60 min. 1985)

“Is your mother living?”

An autobiographical installation about the relationship among four women on the maternal side of my family — my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and myself. Using gossip as a means to shape a family history, each relates stories of the other. The results form a portrait of a strongly matriarchal family within which exists a continuing confusion between love and control.

Video/Installation (Video, text, photographic murals.Video TRT: 20 min. 1983)