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Irony

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Summary
"Irony," 1985, by Ken Feingold, was made in association with The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund. Though ultimately fictional, "Irony" includes scenes where characters talk directly to the camera as if being interviewed. These layered scenes are interspersed with footage shot during travels in India, which include documentation of a film shoot in the desert (featuring brightly costumed Indian dancers) and villagers looking into the camera. Two female characters emerge as director/filmmaker figures, and seem to mirror or double each other, sometimes sharing dialogue. The suggestion that develops is that "Irony" is a film about the making of a film that is about a woman and the making of a film. In addition to examining the process of filmmaking, the work looks at the translation or representation of experience, especially the experience of travel. At one point, one of the directors/filmmakers says, "How she [the character in the film] follows these threads is our story -- the story of a woman in between things." Music was created by Ratso Harris.

The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was a joint venture between Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) and WGBH's New Television Workshop. Funding came from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities' New Works program in 1983. Co-directors were WGBH's Susan Dowling (New Television Workshop Director, 1982-1993), and David Ross (ICA Director). Kathy Rae Huffman served as curator and producer. The Fund's primary objective was to award money to video artists for new works. The goals were to foster excellence in the exploration of television as a creative medium, broaden video arts international audience through broadcast and gallery exhibition, and increase revenues for artists from the distribution of their works in all markets. Many of the works were broadcast as part of "New Television," and appeared in festivals worldwide. The Fund was also used to sponsor international symposia among curators, distributors, and producers to help promote the growth of video art. In 1990, the ICA assumed full sponsorship of the Fund, where it continued for another year.
Topics
Drama, Motion pictures
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