Media Arts Program

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

$8 general, $6 students/seniors, $5 members

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Call Her Applebroog

A film by Beth B

(2016, 70 minutes)

"This deeply personal portrait of acclaimed New York-based artist Ida Applebroog was shot with mischievous reverence by her filmmaker daughter, Beth B. Born in the Bronx to Orthodox Jewish emigres from Poland, Applebroog, now in her 80s, looks back at how she expressed herself through decades of drawings and paintings, as well as her private journals. With her daughter's encouragement, she investigates the stranger that is her former self, a woman who found psychological and sexual liberation through art. As Beth B finds a deeper understanding of her mother as a human being, Applebroog shares a newfound appreciation for her own provocative work." — Museum of Modern Art Doc Fortnight, 2016

Born in Bronx, NY, Ida Applebroog attended NY State Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences (1949). She moved to Chicago in 1956, later attending the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1968). After relocating to San Diego, California she exhibited in "Invisible/Visible" at Long Beach Art Museum, 1972. In 1973 she taught at the University of California in San Diego before returning to NY. Starting in 1977 she circulated a series of self-published books through the mail, and joined Heresies/A Feminist Journal on Art and Politics. In 1981 she showed "Applebroog: Silent Stagings", her first exhibition at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, NY, where she continued to show for over 20 years. During the decade of the 1990s, she received multiple honors including the College Art Association Distinguished Art Award for Lifetime Achievement, an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, New School for Social Research/Parsons School of Design. She also received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1998 and her art was the subject of a retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Applebroog's work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Corcoran Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, and others. She was profiled in the PBS documentary "Art 21: Art in the Twenty-first Century".

Beth B
Beth B produced, directed, filmed & edited CALL HER APPLEBROOG.

Beth B exploded onto the New York film scene in the late '70s, after receiving her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1977. These breakthrough films, such as Black Box, Vortex, and The Offenders, were shown at Max's Kansas City, CBGB, the New York Film Festival, and the Film Forum. These and more recent films have been shown at, and acquired by, the Whitney Museum and MoMA. Beth B's career has been characterized by work that challenges society's conventions, embraces the underdog, and focuses on social issues and human rights.

During her prolific career, Beth B has produced over 30 films within the narrative, documentary, and experimental genres. She has produced and directed narrative independent films and cable television productions, mounted large-scale media installations as well as creating a theatrical production for BAM's Artist in Action series. Her work has been shown at The Sundance Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival, The Locarno Film Festival and in galleries and museums including MoMA, the Whitney Biennial, the Tate Modern, the Pompidou Center, Deitch Projects, and PPOW Gallery. Her early films, along with those of Jim Jarmusch and Amos Poe, are the focus of the documentary, Blank City. Her films have been the subjects of several books and other documentaries, including The Cinema of Transgression; Art, Performance, Media; Downtown Film and TV Culture; and No Wave: Underground 80. Beth B is currently teaching in the Fine Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts and in the Film Department at Montclair State University. She is in development on the television series, Free Fall and is collaborating on a large-scale media installation entitled, Near Death, with musician Jim Coleman.

In 2007, she began work on Exposed, a non-fiction feature about 8 women and men who are using their naked bodies in spectacular and provocative ways to tease and criticize society. The film premiered in the Panorama section at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival and was distributed worldwide.

Beginning in 2001, Beth B began a new phase of her career, making television documentaries and docudramas, which she continues to do. Titles include Positive ID: The Case Files of Anthony Falsetti; Death of a Rising Star; Crimes Scenes Uncovered; and An Unlikely Terrorist.

Her first 35mm film, Salvation! (1987), a sharp-edged social satire starring Viggo Mortensen and Exene Cervenka, prefigured pop culture's fascination with tele-evangelism. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and played theatrically worldwide. In 1988, her screenplay Life in Luxury was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter's Lab. Two Small Bodies (1994), based on Neal Bell's play and starring Fred Ward and Suzy Amis, was featured at the Locarno, Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals.

Her films have been the subject of retrospectives at London's National Film Theater; the Montreal Film Festival; Lisbon's Nucleo Dos Cineastas Independentes; and the Danish Film Institute. She has also served on the competition juries at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. Critics at the New York Times, Village Voice and other outlets have praised her work as "compelling," "captivating," "extraordinary," "a tour de force," and have written that "her videos are haunting and her feature films brilliant."

Throughout her career, Beth B has continued to make interdisciplinary pieces involving painting, sculpture, photography and media installations. They have been shown at museums, galleries and public art spaces, including MoMA, the Whitney Biennial, the Tate Gallery, and PPOW Gallery. A series of photographic portraits of vaginas caused a sensation at Deitch Projects, and resulted in publication of a book of her photographs, titled Portraits. Hysteria, an exhibition of her work at the Hayward Gallery in London, dealt with censorship of female sexuality using a combination of video, sculptures and live performance.

In addition to her film and art productions, Beth B teaches fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and teaches film at Montclair State University.