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Select Works by Tessa Hughes-Freeland, 1982-2010

Select Works by Tessa Hughes-Freeland, 1982-2010
August 14, 2020 - 4:00 pm

Multi-format film artist, curator and writer Tessa Hughes-Freeland has spent the last 40 years immersed in the ever-shifting New York City underground, churning out short-form and expanded cinema works that continuously provoke our expectations of normative experience. Arriving in Manhattan in 1980, the British-born artist found the Lower East Side’s seedy clubs and gritty dive bars consummate caves for inspiration, documentation and experimentation, a place to create moving images among No Wave Cinema cohorts Scott and Beth B, Richard Kern and Nick Zedd.

As No Wave morphed into the Cinema of Transgression, Hughes-Freeland remained in lock-step to both contribute and elucidate, crafting film articles for Filmmaker and Paper magazines and founding (along with fellow L.E.S. filmmaker Ela Troyano) the New York Film Festival Downtown in 1984, a showcase for her fellow cinematic transgressors. Her work has since exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin.

Poetic yet confrontational and always butting against the edges of controversy, Hughes-Freeland’s contribution to the New York underground aesthetic has been itching for a West Coast showcase—and, until COVID-19 interrupted our regular theater operations, we planned an in-person event with her for June 2020. Now, the Archive is honored to host a virtual screening of the program, followed by a live conversation with Tessa Hughes-Freeland, moderated by cult film writer Jack Sargeant.

Please note: this program contains images of explicit sexual activity.

Baby Doll  (1982)

B/w, 3 min.

Joker  (1983)

Color, 3 min.

Play Boy  (1983)

Color, 13 min.

Dirty  (1993)

In collaboration with Annabel. Lee Color, 17 min.

Nymphomania  (1994)

In collaboration with Holly Adams. B/w, 9 min.

Gift  (2010)

Color, 7 min.

Total running time: 52 min.