Microscope is very pleased to present a screening of works by artists Frances Arpaia and Devon Narine-Singh, as part of our emerging artist series YES. The two filmmakers use moving image as a vehicle to share their personal histories often in relation to identity, as both experienced in their inner lives and represented on screen.
Arpaia’s preference for lo-fi and low definition formats such as Super 8mm film and Pixelvision video, infuses the images on screen with a sense of refusal to be easily consumed, as she portrays life as a trans woman with her group of friends in New York. “Almost!” is a collection of readings in the form of music videos in which young trans poets tell their experiences by reciting to the camera their released writings, while Vertov gets an update in “Trans with a Movie Camera”, in Arpaia’s words a “cine-essay exploring the potentials for transfeminine representation in film”.
Narine-Singh’s work is grounded on his intimate life, his thought processes and emotions in relationship to feelings of being “displaced”. Imagery from buried and mud-coated 16mm film, iPhone video, old tapes and other footage is used to situate himself within the context of past events and those occurring in the present. Sound for Narine-Singh often becomes a carrier of meaning both metaphorically and literally, with choices ranging from 90s grunge to recordings of phone conversations with family members. In “I woke up in the mud and picked up a camera for Jonas” Narine-Singh ponders on recovery and recently passed mentor filmmakers, the presence of whom is now only perceivable through their films.
Arpaia and Narine-Singh will be in attendance and available for a Q&A following the screening.
Frances Arpaia is a queer, trans woman who lives and works in Brooklyn. Her films explore explore everything from queer romance and sexuality on screen, to the subversion of masculine story tropes and power structures.
Devon Narine-Singh (b.1997) is a filmmaker, curator and scholar based in Queens and Long Island. His work has shown at The Film-Makers Coop, the New School, UltraCinema and The Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. He is a graduate of the SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory. He has curated screenings for The Film-Makers Coop and Maysles Cinema. As a scholar he has presented at NYU Cinema Studies. His work examines political issues of identity through the lens of personal experiences and cultural memory.