Please join Marginal Utility on Thursday, May 19, for a night film and music
organized by Jonathan Thomas, featuring a selection of new films by Liz Wendelbo,
scored by Sean McBride; a projected image performance by Raha Raissnia,
accompanied by Food Pyramid; and a live set of music by the Chicago trio, Deep
The program will begin promptly at 8pm with Liz Wendelbo's Sets and Lights,
a series of short films shot on 16mm and presented in three chapters: a group
of abstract films, Opticks XVIII, XIX, XX; footage featuring her band in a deserted
military compound by the sea; and a reworked industrial film from the 1950s. A
photographer and filmmaker, Wendelbo is also a member of the Minimal Wave duo
Xeno & Oaklander (Wierd Records, NY). When Sets and Lights premiered at the New
Museum in New York in October, 2010, curator Ethan Swan described X & O as “the
brightest duo in the contemporary minimal electronics world.” Band mate Sean
McBride (aka Martial Canterel) created an original composition for Sets and Lights,
designed to correspond with the analogue, “one take, gear fetishism” inherent to
Wendelbo's practice of Cold Cinema. (Approximately 40 minutes)
After an intermission, artist Raha Raissnia will present a painterly performance
of expanded cinema involving hand manipulated 16mm film and 35mm slides: a
time-based compositing of materials and processes that sediments a set of tensions
between the still and moving image; painting and film; abstraction and figuration;
the gestural and the photographic. As an artist who probes the practices of painting,
drawing, and filmmaking, Raissnia articulates something along the lines of a
synesthesic energy-system, underscored here by the avant-garde electronics of
Minneapolis ensemble Food Pyramid.
The film program will be followed by a live music performance by Deep Earth, an
experimental kosmiche / kraut rock trio out of Chicago.
Liz Wendelbo is a French/Norwegian artist, now living and working in Brooklyn,
NY. She is also a member of the analog electro-synth duo Xeno & Oaklander (2004-
present). Wendelbo works primarily with photography & film. Inspired by the early
light and color experiments by physicists Isaac Newton and J.C Maxwell, Wendelbo
describes her work as a stripped down fetishistic comment on film-making as
a process. In an effort to comprehend their complex color and light theories,
Wendelbo re-enacts and deconstructs Newton's and Maxwell's color experiments-
through practice, with the hand and through the body. She has exhibited at Artist's
Space, Andrew Kreps Gallery, White Columns, Microscope Gallery, Elizabeth Dee
Gallery, New Museum, and Galerie du Jour (Agnès b., Paris).
Raha Raissnia emigrated from Iran to the United States in 1983. She received her
B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 and her M.F.A. from
Pratt institute in 2002. From 1992 to 1995, between her two degrees, Raissnia
worked at Anthology Film Archives in New York. She has exhibited at Miguel Abreu
Gallery, The Kitchen, The Stone (all New York), Museum of Contemporary Art (St
Louis), Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis), Galeria Marta Cervera (Madrid),
and Thomas Dane Gallery (London). Raha Raissnia is represented by Miguel Abreu
Gallery in New York, and Galerie Xippas in Paris.
A collective of musicians and sound artists based in Minneapolis. Their music can be
found on the Moon Glyph record label.
A trio from Chicago noted for their adept reworking of the traditions of kraut rock
and 1980s synth wave, Deep Earth's music can be found on the Moon Glyph and
Mighty Shocks record labels.
Jonathan Thomas is a two-time alumnus of the Whitney Museum's Independent
Study Program, has an MA in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society from the
University of Minnesota, and teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
His writings have appeared in October, Art Journal, caa.reviews, and Contemporary
Literary Criticism. He has curated programs for Marginal Utility Gallery and Midway