Sarah Lawrence College, Cont. Education
Joey Huertas (aka Jane Public) is a film artist and contemporary photographer who is responsible for a creating a unique breed of personal cinema, performance art and photography that he calls, Docu-fessional. His films are in line with the "direct" and "observational" movements in documentary filmmaking, while adhering closely to the mechanics of narrative. Underlying the complexitiy of Joey Huertas' work is a profound sense of sadness, humor and a fondness for deeply flawed protagonists.
His works portray the reminiscences of unplanned life encounters and experiences using unusual storytelling aesthetics. Personal revelatory confessions are recorded by unconventional means (public library archives, surveillance, micro-film, journals, hearing aids and toys) and read much like the entries found in a hidden personal diary. One is left with the question of, “What is truth and what is fiction?” The films take many forms, including physical stories arranged by peculiar/imagined biographies of fictitious persons, collections of found/anonymous photographs, found sound recordings, drawings and compositions from text journals. Critics have cited his work as representing a new form of transgressive fictional biography.
Most of his forty-two films comprise a dramatic social chronicle of human behaviour- in all of its variously rigid and amorphous manifestions of the emotional person. Whether revealing corners of society hidden from view or records of American lives and ideologioes ane artful expositions of the human condition. Huertas examines deeply intimate feelings, alienation, in physical, concrete and invented terms. The terrain of his films is private, but there is always a documentary impulse at work. His work can be described as psychological autopsies or clinical fiction.
The artist is also a clinical social worker (therapist) and incorporates the therapeutic process directly into his art. His works offer no “immunity bubble”. His creative process involves a complete study and exploitation of the inner self. The elements of fact and fiction in storytelling are imprecise and distorted, making the relationship between the filmmaker and the audience difficult to manage. In the end, the viewer is left forced to acknowledge the reality of circumstance and coping skills.