Invited in 2010 to lecture on the billboard project of Felix Gonzalez-Torres at San Antonio’s ArtPace, Jim Hodges joined forces with filmmakers Carlos Marques da Cruz and Encke King to build a non-linear montage of archival and pop footage to conjure up the passionate activism sparked by the early years of the AIDS crisis. Unspooling at multiple levels, the narrative flies between scenes of tragic brutality and kitschy humor, arch clips of laughter and ironic surprises while shredding traditional chronology. While many references—the title, short excerpts from Golden Girls and Dynasty, popular songs, and contemporary issues—nod towards Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ oeuvre, the film is not an attempt to portray the artist, but rather to place the viewer “in his room.” In this way, the framing of the artist becomes a means to project any number of people, endlessly.
By juxtaposing fractious scenes from the last few turbulent decades, Untitled presents a powerful and provocative reflection on an era when political protest and personal existence converged. At the same time, the film draws history nearer by representing the pressure and hopelessness created by regimes of power from New York to Los Angeles, New Orleans to Guantánamo, and beyond, and the brave women and men who in times of crisis stood up for themselves, for their communities, and for humanity. 2011, video, 60 minutes.
Jim Hodges has created a broad range of work exploring themes of fragility, temporality, love and death in a highly original and poetic vocabulary. His works frequently deploy different materials and techniques: from ready-made objects to traditional media, such as graphite and ink. He has been the subject of many solo exhibitions in the United States and Europe and has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial. His work was recently included in the Walker’s A Shot in the Dark exhibition. He currently lives and works in New York City.
Carlos Marques da Cruz works with artists, performers, and filmmakers in Lisbon, Paris, Venice, Rome, Genoa, Spoleto, Naples, Milan, Palermo, Madrid, Brussels, London, and New York.
Encke King is a film and video producer, editor, and writer based in New York.
Distributed for World AIDS Day / Day With(out) Art 2011 by Visual AIDS. Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over.