The metropolis is a complex refuge for exiles, immigrants, and other outsiders who use the urban landscape as a laboratory to test new ideas, identities, and lifestyles. Despite economic challenges, artists and other “rootless cosmopolitans” embrace New York City’s energy, creativity, and diversity. In this collection of videos, three artists examine the pleasures and pains of city life.
Jem Cohen, Lost Book Found (U.S., 1996, 37 min., video)
The result of over five years of Super-8 and 16mm filming on New York City streets, Lost Book Found melds documentary and narrative into a complex meditation on urban life.
Neil Goldberg, Hallelujah Anyway No. 2 (U.S., 1996, 2 min. 41 sec., video)
Near his home in the East Village, Goldberg videotaped merchants opening their storefront gates in the morning: “For me, Hallelujah Anyway is about the pleasure and sadness of being in a body in New York City.”
Shalom Gorewitz, Levinas in Yorkville (U.S., 2001, 6 min., video)
Texts in Gorewitz’s video – shot in a former German neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side – are based on the writing of Emmanuel Levinas (1906 – 1995), a philosopher who embraced the Jewish concept of tikkun olam (the repair of the world).