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Deborah stratman
The Illinois Parables
Experimental doc. | 16mm | color and b&w | 59'30'' | USA | 2016
An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state itself is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we are shaped by conviction and ideology. The Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes. Technological and religious abstraction are linked and placed in conversation with governance.
Artist and filmmaker Deborah Stratman makes work that investigates issues of power, control and belief, exploring how places, ideas, and society are intertwined. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Berlinale, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame and Rotterdam. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim and USA Collins fellowships, a Creative Capital grant and an Alpert Award. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.