TECHNIQUES OF OBSERVATION: Experimental Ethnography and Recent Abstractions by Kathryn Ramey



Portland Art Museum Whitsell Auditorium

Filmmaker Kathryn Ramey comes home to the Northwest on a film tour, presenting a four-film program. Beginning with Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution (2009), we’re introduced to Ramey’s hand-processed visual style through her examination of American expansionist William Walker. Walker, through military force and coercion, became president of Nicaragua in 1856 and was one of many expansionists who believed in America’s manifest destiny—and who engaged in border raids in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. West (2012) is a travelogue in which Ramey learns more of her relative Elizabeth Crandall Perry, a St. Helens folk hero who was an adventurer, midwife, and nurse. Ramey and her then-5-year-old son explore Perry’s path across the American West, filming side-by-side through monuments of American expansionism until the two arrive at the family farm in Oregon. ENOLAEMEVAEL/LEAVEMEALONE (2016) is a side-by-side remake of Man Ray’s 1926 “Emak Bakla,” that was made without a motion picture camera, posing positive and negative images side by side to create a visual celebration of the silver process. Finally, Ramey will present Limen (2019), a hand-processed black-and-white film that juxtaposes natural images with urban audio—a meditation on two states of being, at the boundary of perception. Ramey will be in attendance for a post-film discussion.