A member of a small group of experiment filmmakers increasingly gaining national attention, Begien here presents three video installations that incorporate props, movie posters, and photographs in a strikingly fresh exploration of social identity, sexual identity, and popular culture.
The exhibition’s main installation features Begien’s compelling 2004 video Black Out. In turns hilarious and devastating, the video features the artist (blindfolded and seated facing the viewer) retelling of a heavy night on the town with her friends. The narrative is delivered rather monotonously as several people continuously hand her drinks, cigarettes, and other props, acting out the evening’s excesses. As the story grows ever more messy, however, the stark set and low-budget production values serve to balance the overwhelming heartache of the episode’s climax, offering the viewer a rare, but safe, window into a raw, exquisitely sincere sentimentality.
In the second installation, Begien recreates the interior of a home-style Vietnamese restaurant as the setting for her video of her continuously eating her favorite foods. The obsessiveness suggested by her systematically eating meal after meal stands in stark and funny contrast to the cheesy furniture and menu photos of the referenced eatery. The final installation combines the hyper-meta predilections of the age of blogs and personal websites with the unyielding pace of contemporary society, as Begien displays a series of short trailers for her already short films within a background of bootleg versions of her work and worn wheat-pasted posters.