Illinois Parables, The
Saturday, 30.09., 1:30 p.m., kommkino
Monday, 02.10., 5:15 p.m., kinoeins
An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.
The film suggests links between technological and religious abstraction, placing them in conversation with governance. Locations are those where boundaries between the rational and supernatural are tenuous: “thin places” that bear a heavy pasts, where desire and displacement have lead us into, or erased us from the land. What began as a consideration of religious freedom eventually led to sites where belief and/or invention triggered expulsion. The film utilizes reenactment, archival footage, observational shooting, inter-titles and voiceover to tell its stories and is an extension of previous works in which the director questioned foundational American tenants.
The Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes, and what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to explain the unknown, who or what do we end up blaming or endorsing?
Deborah Stratman, born in 1967 in Washington D.C., USA, is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker. In her work she investigates issues of power, control, and belief, exploring how places, ideas, and society are intertwined. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets, and faith. Stratman is the recipient of an Alpert Award, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and USA fellowships and grants from Creative Capital, Graham Foundation, and Wexner Center for the Arts. She teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.