Jo Ann Kaplan - Body Of Work
Jo Ann Kaplan (born 1945 in New York, died 2016) was an acclaimed prize-winning filmmaker whose work has been exhibited in galleries, cinemas, festivals and on television worldwide for the past 40 years. Her work is marked by an extraordinary diversity of forms which includes animation, dance film, fiction, and experimental film, as well as documentaries and arts programmes. Inspiration for her work comes from equally diverse sources: the imagery of Georges Bataille, Robert Burton’s classic text on Melancholy, and the seminal films of Maya Deren.
Body of Work is characterised by a sensual approach to filmmaking and an exploration of the human and female form as the embodiment of meaning and emotion. It is a selection of Jo Ann Kaplan’s most personal films, including her authoritative biography of the charismatic filmmaker Maya Deren, released for the first time on DVD, and two more recent films, one in the form of a dance and the other as an on-going painting. This collection is accompanied by a newly commissioned essay from Lucy Reynolds.
Films on the DVD
– Invocation: Maya Deren (1986, 53 mins, 4:3)
Documentary about American avant-garde filmmaker of 1940s/50s. Narrated by Helen Mirren, with original recordings of Maya Deren, and interviews with Hella Hammid, Sasha Hammid, Amos and Marcia Vogel, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, and Joseph Campbell. Directed by Jo Ann Kaplan. Produced by Fiz Oliver.
– Story of I (1997, 23 mins, 4:3)
An original film improvised around Story of the Eye by Georges Bataille.
– An Anatomy of Melancholy (2000, 13 mins, 4:3)
An animated film using original anatomical drawings by Jo Ann Kaplan, and classic texts by Robert Burton and John Keats.
– OneTwoThree (2010, 12 mins, 4:3)
A dance film choreographed and performed by Dana Caspersen and Thomas McManus of Ballet Frankfurt/Bill Forsythe Company.
– Watching Paint Dry (2010, 18 mins, 16:9 FHA)
A work in on-going progress. Painted, filmed and edited by Jo Ann Kaplan, documenting and reflecting on the artist’s own ageing, to be up-dated and developed at points in the future.