Women CineMakers, Special Edition

Page 170

Women Cinemakers meets

Jes Reyes Lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA My work grows from my artistic motivations to blend my interest in the cinematic arts with feminist theory and creative writing. I approach my projects with the goal to combine disciplines so that I can experiment with form. When I am photographing, I am creating a narrative through series-based works. When I am creating moving image, I merge the visual form of cinema with literary forms like poetry and memoir. Essentially, my work is connected to my intuitive approach. The camera for me is an extension of my mind and body, where I produce diarist, lyrical, and somatic art. I primarily explore the fragmentation of the past and how memories and experiences take shape within our present realities, but I am also curious about the structures of bodies, whether human or comprised from nature. I look to explore what is underneath the skin or surface and aim to express the experience of bodily manifestations of emotions and the strength of vulnerability. House of Vintage (2013), a photographic series, explores tchotchkes, the mĂŠlange of vintage stores, as well as my fascination and longing for the past. In Here, Mom (2014), a short video essay, I express my relationship with my mother by allowing the camera and the editing process to become an extension of my experience. Components (2015), a silent video poem, made in collaboration with poet Katie Rensch, layers moving images with words, and explores how our bodies intersect the manmade and natural world. To speak to these two worlds, a poetic voice emerges and translates what the body feels and what the body says to its segmented existence. The Wind of Our Body (2015), also made in collaboration with Katie Rensch, explores how the individual body, at times fragmented and enigmatic, attempts to communicate within the larger space of our society. As the body moves, a nonverbal language emerges that gives wind to our true emotional selves, a language that crosses barriers and accepts, our often, untranslatable world. In Loss (2015), a short video poem, I follow the emotions and experiences behind the word and the experience of loss in grief. Beneath the Skin (2016) explores the ongoing tenderness I feel towards the death of my mother. A silent video poem, it gets to the heart of my grief by delving into how my deepest memories lay beneath my skin. Drawing in the Moment (2017) is a short experimental documentary made in collaboration with Minneapolis-based artist Anita White. The film explores her intuitive artistic process and follows her journey of looking within, using her drawing and music to appreciate various moments in life. From meeting strangers to processing difficult health challenges, the art and music from Anita express compassion and humor. I attempt to work out my particular inquiries trough self-reflexivity and challenging traditional narrative forms. My art, image-based and non-linear, offers a handmade quality that is non- objective in nature. I imagine this process as weaving images with subjectivity, tone, and mood. Though I tend to work alone, some of my works are created through intimate collaborations.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

Moving and refined in its balanced and essential composition, is a stimulating silent video poem by interdisciplinary artist, curator,

and arts administrator Jes Reyes. Reflecting the artist's tenderness towards the loss of her mother to a terminal illness, this captivating video gently walks the viewers through a limbo where perceptual reality and memory show their elusive bond. Triggering the viewers' perceptual categories, Reyes demonstrates the ability to capture elusive potential of moving images, inviting the viewers to unveil what goes beyond our ordinary