Hi Jennifer, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
By way of experience, adventure, luck, heartbreak, and return I am here now. In Altadena in a cottage a four minute drive from the mountains. Born and raised in Los Angeles, and really in love with LA, even now. There are the special pockets and moments and streets. I’ve been making analog films since I was in high school, a time that I remember as an endless flow of creativity with my best friends. Film and its relationship to time is something I really appreciate and also sometimes am challenged by. The triality of presence, memory, and perception.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Honestly, in some ways I can’t tell how to delineate the smoothness from the roughness – they seem to be part of each other. And ever changing. A relationship to the “both, and” has served me well, lately. My heart feels more expansive and so there has been room there for nuance in that regard. But, I find individuating struggles to be complex because they are often collective, structural. And those foundations must be changed in order for us, all of us, to be thriving in joy and community and health and safety and so on. That is absolutely available and possible, and we gotta know it. Anything else is unacceptable.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
ISHTARRATE (ایشتاراته) is a film I’m currently recording 16mm moving images for. It takes place in an emotion before shame existed, and in the energetic cosmos of Venus – upon which is a plateau named after the ancient Mesopotamian goddess, Ishtar (Ishtar Terra). Recently, I’ve come to understand Earth as a second womb, where we may inhabit this self in this way, in this moment, held within this atmosphere in order perhaps to be born again into elsewhere. To learn something, to learn better how to love and be loved. Engaging with the mythology of Ishtar and Inanna has supported me in dispelling the lie of separation, separation in so many senses. The film slowly sprouts from a many years’ attempt to understand oppression and extraction of the femminine and of the Earth. I’m trying to let it become what it will without judging or forcing, as with a child. I could say in short – it’s about the color red, about ecstatic self and collective love.
Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
It might be possible that no one knows how very much I love them, and I hope they do.
The image of me filming is by Connie Kim, all other images are stills from my films.
Headshot: Arnaud Cottet