Damnation Book Release
An evening to celebrate the release of DAMNATION by Janice Lee
With readings by Jared Woodland, Anna Joy Springer, Amina Cain, & Jon Wagner
A short film by Bill Basquin
And selected readings from Damnation by Janice Lee
“DAMNATION is a crucial node in contemporary ekphrasis, an inspired contribution to the art of slow seeing, and a document of cinematic obsession. Here Janice Lee conjures an alien, allegorical world that hovers just next to ours, a world which both repels and invites our visitation. She seeds her scenes with countless knockout sentences, whose lush music complicates her project’s austerity.”
No technique of cinema is as royal and as risky as the Long Take—audacious in its promise of unified time and space, terrifying in what that might imply. Inspired by the films of Hungarian auteur Bela Tarr, famous for his long take, and the novels and screenplays of Tarr’s great collaborator László Krasznahorkai, Janice Lee’s DAMNATION is both an ekphrasis and confession, an obsessive response, a poetic meditation and mirror on time; time that ruthlessly pulls forward with our endurance; time unleashed from chronology and prediction; time which resides in a dank, drunk, sordid hiss of relentless static. As declared in Tarr’s film Damnation, “All stories are about disintegration.”
BILL BASQUIN is an experimental filmmaker living in California. His work crosses genre and mode in ways that are quiet and sometimes surprising. He likes the lessons that come from working with people, living with a tiny grey cat, and continuing to attune to worlds both wild and cultivated. He has read poetry at the San Francisco Library, shown films at the New York MoMA, and treated a bunch of Southern Californians to an immersive barn-like experience that included a disco ball, horse manure, and the sound of frogs.
AMINA CAIN is the author of two collections of stories: Creature and I Go To Some Hollow. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in n+1, BOMB, The Encyclopedia Project, Two Serious Ladies, Denver Quarterly, and other places.
JANICE LEE is a writer, artist, editor, designer, curator, and scholar. She is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), and Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013). She also has several chapbooks Red Trees, Fried Chicken Dinner (Parrot/Insert Press, September 2012), and The Other Worlds (Eohippus Labs, June 2012). She currently lives in Los Angeles where she is Co-Editor of the online journal [out of nothing], Reviews Editor at HTMLGIANT, and Founder/CEO of POTG Design. She can be found online at http://janicel.com.
ANNA JOY SPRINGER is a prose writer and visual artist who makes grotesques – creating hybrid texts that combine sacred and profane elements to evoke intensely embodied conceptual-emotional experiences in readers. Formerly a singer in the Bay Area bands, Blatz, The Gr’ups, and Cypher in the Snow, Anna Joy has toured the United States and Europe being a wild feminist punk performer, and she has also toured with the all-women spoken word extravaganza, Sister Spit. She is author of the illustrated novella The Birdwisher (Birds of Lace), The Vicious Red Relic, Love (Jaded Ibis), and a graphic narrative, In An Egg, forthcoming. She now teaches writing at UC San Diego where she also directs the MFA program in Writing.
JON WAGNER, PhD, is a Professor of Critical Studies at California Institute of the Arts and a Visiting Professor in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He is a translator, poet, and media scholar whose books include Television at the Movies; Cinematic and Critical Responses to American Broadcasting (Continuum) and Andrée Chedid: Fugitive Suns; Selected Poetry (Green Integer). He is currently completing a book on the French poets Yves Bonnefoy and Saint-John Perse.
JARED WOODLAND lives in Los Angeles where he is at work on a novel about animality, narrative, and the Midwest. His short fiction appears in [out of nothing], and he writes reviews for HTMLGIANT. With Janice Lee, he is writing a book on the long take in Béla Tarr’s Satantango.