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Deborah Stratman, The Illinois Parables (2016), still (all images courtesy the artist and MOCA Los Angeles)

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The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles just reopened this month and will be kicking off SCREEN — its program for experimental film and video art — with Deborah Stratman. Just last year, the Chicago-based artist had an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, centered on one of her more acclaimed films, The Illinois Parables (2016), which we’ll now also get to see. MCA curatorial assistant Jack Schneider calls it “an eclectic chronology of the land known as Illinois.” For the film, Stratman traveled to 11 sites that tell charged, if overlooked, histories of the state, from the Trail of Tears to Chicago’s Black Panther headquarters, where, in 1969, police raided the building and murdered Fred Hampton.

Stratman says she wanted to travel to “thin places” — a Jesuit phrase, which, as she explained in a talk with Schneider, refers to the border between two worlds, “a place of energy.” She has interpreted the phrase for herself in more “secular” and “political” terms, to understand “places with a heavy history.”

Deborah Stratman, “Optimism” (2018), still

In addition to The Illinois Parables, you will also get to stream Stratman’s short film “Optimism” (2018), a glistening portrait of the Yukon Territory in northern Canada. Both will be available online beginning this Thursday, June 17.

When: Thursday, June 17–Thursday, July 15
Where: online via MOCA

More info at MOCA

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Elisa Wouk Almino

Elisa Wouk Almino is a senior editor at Hyperallergic. She is based in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.