A quarter-century of movie making celebrated at Wex's Picture Lock retrospective

Jim Fischer

It's a family reunion, and you're invited.

"Picture Lock: 25 Years of Film/Video Residencies" is a four-day retrospective of the work done through the Film/Video Studio Program at the Wexner Center, but program Curator Jennifer Lange sees it as something a little more personal.

"The parameters of the residency are not fixed, but driven by the needs of each project," Lange said. "There are different reasons why these filmmakers come to us, but what connects them all are the things that have been done here. We have sustained relationships with the artists. We're invested in their work. We follow their careers and participate in their careers. We've worked with the most established and the first time filmmakers. That's the strength of the program, that and having those people overlap in their work here.

"This program is really about the people who have been a part of it."

The Wex's Film/Video Studio Program is essentially a professional-quality post-production studio, Lange said. While the program's reach has extended beyond filmmaking to installations and performing artists, the studio is primarily designed primarily for use in film and video, both narratives and documentaries.

For residencies, the studio offers the opportunity to work unencumbered by other duties, with full availability of all staff and equipment. Residencies are offered to approximately 25 artists a year and have supported more than 300 artists from around the world since their inception in 1989.

"It's a rare opportunity to have access to the equipment and the people – and the conversations," Columbus native and filmmaker Jennifer Reeder ("White Trash Girl," "Blood Below the Skin") said. "Those relationships have allowed me to be more ambitious with each project."

"The only requirements are putting a credit on the piece, getting a copy for the archive and being able to show it," Lange said.

To introduce "Picture Lock" patrons to the program's family atmosphere, Lange's team is sharing a bit of the program's tradition with the public as part of "Picture Lock." The taking of portraits with a Polaroid camera became an early, informal way of documenting residency participants, with an entire wall "scrapbooked" with the instant images. A representative collection of those images is currently on display in the Wexner Center.

Lange thought it best, after much consideration, to build the retrospective around that idea of family.

Lange organized the four-day "Picture Lock" celebration around "very loose themes," she said.

"We're letting the artists tell the story. That's why so many are coming back," Lange said.

The lineup of screenings reflects will allow audiences to hear from the filmmakers themselves about their work and their creative process, telling the story of the program from those who have been impacted by it most directly. Filmmakers, artists, editors and former curators, including Guy Maddin, Jason Simon, Gregg Bordowitz, Deborah Stratman, Kevin Jerome Everson, Lucy Raven, Jennifer Reeder and Sam Green, will return to present screenings of works selected from the Wexner Center archive and to discuss recurring themes and topics.

In addition to the archive programs, a few artists will visit to screen newly completed films that have received support from the program, including Reeder's"Blood Below the Skin." Reeder and Mike Olenick, her longtime editor at the Wex, will present "Anatomy of an Edit," accompanying a screening of "Blood."

"We'll talk some about the verbal shorthand that you learn from working together and also just what is the editing process and how editing affects a scene," Reeder said, adding she supposes there will be some sharing of embarrassing moments from the editing suite.

"The Wexner Center, when it was founded, was designed not just to present art but to make art," Lange said. "[The Film/Video Studio Program] embodies that on a day-to-day basis. There is constant creation here. Almost every day of the year there is someone in here working on a film in some way."

* * *

Picture Lock: 25 Years of Film/Video Residencies

Art & Technology: The Early Years

Introduced by Jason Simon, Gregg Bordowitz, and Bill Horrigan

4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Made in Ohio

Introduced by Steven Bognar and Paul Hill

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

Film Lives Here

Presented by Deborah Stratman and Kevin Jerome Everson

4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

New Queer Cinema and Beyond

Presented by Tom Kalin

7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

Rock Hudson's Home Movies (Mark Rappaport, 1992)

9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

Anatomy of an Edit

Presented by Jennifer Reeder and Mike Olenick

2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31

"The Measures" (Jacqueline Goss and Jenny Perlin, 2014)

Introduced and narrated by Jacqueline Goss and Jenny Perlin

4:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31

"The Forbidden Room" (Guy Maddin, codirected by Evan Johnson, 2015)

Introduced by Guy Maddin

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31

Reframing Documentary

Presented by Sam Green and Lucy Raven

1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1

"Flag Wars" (Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras, 2003)

3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1