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The film series Acts of Faith showcases films that depict a wide variety of religious rituals across cultures, from individual acts of devotion to community-wide sacred practices. Selections include ethnographic documentaries, fictional narratives, and experiments in cinematic form. 

Guest curated by Ed Halter, Critic in Residence at Bard College, and founder and co-director of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic arts in Brooklyn.

Adults $8 / Students and Seniors, $5. Five-event pass, $35.
Gallery admission is free with a purchased ticket.
All screenings begin at 6:30 pm and take place at
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall


This Week’s Screening

November 16

6:30 pm
Selected Shorts

Ex Voto (dir. Tania Cypriano, 1990, Brazil, 7 minutes)

Crosswalk (dir. Jeanne Liotta, 2010, USA, 19 minutes)

Visions de Lourdes (dir. Charles Dekeukelaire, 1932, Belgium, 13 minutes)

Mammy Water (dir. Jean Rouch, 1956, France, 18 minutes) “Courtesy Icarus Films”

Sons of Shiva (dir. Robert Gardner and Ákos Östör, 1985, USA, 29 minutes)

(Total run time 86 mins)

Mixing artists’ films with ethnographic cinema, this program features a variety of approaches to envisioning public acts of faith. In Ex Voto, artist Tania Cypriano uses video itself as a votary medium, while Jeanne Liotta’s Crosswalk expressively documents a Catholic procession on the Lower East Side, and Charles Dekeukeleire’s quasi-surrealist film visits the structures surrounding the shrine at Lourdes. Mammy Water and Sons of Shiva depict community-wide rituals in Ghana and West Bengal, respectively, conveying the aesthetic and devotional power of such large-scale, communal events. Followed by a conversation on filmmaking and faith between Liotta and curator Ed Halter.


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About the Director

Jeanne Liotta makes films, videos, and other ephemera including installed projections, works on paper, and photographic works. Her works encompass a constellation of mediums and interests often located at a lively intersection of art, science, and natural philosophy. Observando El Cielo  (2007), her signature 16mm film of the night skies, was voted one of the top films of the decade by The Film Society of Lincoln Center, took the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam International Film Festival, and was listed in Artforum Top Ten Films of 2007. In 2011 Liotta was voted among the top filmmakers of the decade by Film Comment magazine, and in she 2012 received the Helen Hill award from the Orphans Film Symposium. In 2013 Anthology Film Archives held a retrospective of her work called The Real World at Last Becomes a Myth, and she installed Stein Times (2013) an altered Gertrude Stein poem in the windows of Gridspace Gallery, Bklyn. She also works with Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Bklyn. In 2014 she collaborated on an art/science project with the NOAA, creating SOON (2014), a media work about climate change for a 360 degree screening platform which premiered at The Fiske Planetarium in Boulder CO . Her works are exhibited internationally, including The New York and Rotterdam Film Festivals, The 2006 Whitney Biennial, The 2013 Sharjah Biennial, The Centres George Pompidou, The Cinematheque Francais, The Arthouse/ Jones Center in Austin, The Exploratorium in San Francisco, The Wexner Center for the Art in Ohio, The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and the Cornell Astronomical Society amongst other venues. For 17 years she was the creative force behind Firefly Cinema, a community garden microcinema curated from the 16mm collection at The New York Public Library. She has taught widely and is presently Assistant Professor in Film Studies at The University of Colorado Boulder, as well as Film/Video faculty for the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She divides her time between Manhattan and Colorado.

On View in the Gallery
Agents of Faith: Votive Objects in Time and Place
September 14, 2018–January 6, 2019 Learn More Button
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Ex Voto New York: Votive Sites in the Five Boroughs, A Digital Map
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