Posted by Diva Muanza
Interview with Los Angeles based director Jesse Russell Brooks.
photo credit : Josh Bovill
What is the meaning behind your film “Make me a Doorway” ?
“Make Me A Doorway” is a compilation of three poems: “Make Me”, “My Silhouette” and “A Lady’s Psyche” written by Alexzenia Davis. She wrote the piece based off a series of in depth conversations that we had regarding personality and identity. How we may construct or naturally define our identity through an intimate relationship and how that effects our perspective of others. The piece focuses on Memory, Language and Relationships.
Poet Alexzenia Davis explores perspective and intimacy during a rush of mixed media footage that visualizes the characteristics of time. The short film titled is an experimental collaboration with filmmaker Jesse Russell Brooks that investigating the memories of past relationships, what photography makes of love lost and how these reflections transform us.
Jesse Russell Brooks has been Bill Viola’s studio assistant and is the assistant curator of the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.
Bill Viola “The reflecting pool”
You worked as an assistant in Bill Viola’s studio. Can you share a memory from that experience?
Bill has long been respected as the foremost video artist of our time. I was a studio assistant for quite a while and the most memorable project that I worked on was “Oceans Without a Shore”. For this project Viola used HD technology combined with 70s vintage black and white analog surveillance mechanisms. The project was created and completed in Viola’s studio, Long Beach, Ca. and was installed and presented in the Church of San Gallo in Venice, Italy. With Viola~ the concept always comes first and how he influences the artists, models, actors, etc, around him during his process is by remaining genuine and uncalculated. It is the human experience that is of the most, I can not stress this enough, The absolute most important. The vulnerability and honesty that Viola cultivates must never be mistaken for weakness. It is strength. The calmness of his work must never be mistaken for acceptance. It is being. His work is knowing without knowing. Upon the installation in Venice, I remember thinking that I did not understand what we had been making until the moment it was finally completed. I do not want to be presumptuous, though I suspect that I was not the only person on the team that felt that way. I always remember Bill saying things like “You must not master every little thing in your work or cross examine every little detail of how you feel. The constant presence of the unknown is always part of us. Art is not complete on it’s own. It is the viewer who completes it.”
Edited & Directed by Jesse Russell Brooks
Film & Videography: Len Mazzone
Sound Recordist: Paul Gonzales