All posts tagged Mary Ellen Strom

This Spring Break I went to Boston for the first time. It was a fun trip; visiting friends, eating delicious food, and exploring a ton of interesting places. I would travelling here, particularly if you’re a college student.

One of my favorite experiences was visiting Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The museum has impressive collections of work ranging from their large exhibitions of American and ancient art to their assortment of Asian and European works. I was particularly taken by their American art, which prominently featured portraiture by Copley, Sargent (who painted the murals covering the ceiling of the dome and the main hall), and more, as well as by their contemporary collection.

A Boy With a Flying Squirrel (1765)

John Singleton Copley, A Boy With a Flying Squirrel, 1765. One of the museum’s many Copley paintings.

If you get a chance to check it out I would recommend their current film exhibit, Dynamic Endurance which features a collection of three videos with feminist content. It includes “Standing on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea” by Sigalit Landau, “Blood from a Stone” by Kate Gilmore, and my favorite, “Sloss, Kerr, Rosenberg, and Moore” by Ann Carlson and Mary Ellen Strom.

Sigalit Landau, Standing on a Watermelon in the Dead Sea, 2005. Video still. Visit her website to see video clips and stills.

Kate Gilmore, Blood From a Stone, 2009. Video Still. Check out her website here where you can view stills and clips from her performances.

This last piece featured four lawyers (actual lawyers, not just actors) performing a choreographed routine composed by Carlson and Strom after observing the men in action. The dialogue is somewhat absurd, at one point a lawyer points directly towards the viewer and shouts, “You are the biggest baby in this room!” after which he beckons us to approach. The film speaks to masculine performance in the white-collar workplace, gently mocking the rituals of this male-dominated field. It’s hard to take the suit-clad lawyers seriously when they rhythmically clap in a way reminiscent of childhood games, or gently close their eyes and pretend to be planes. Read more →