'Un-Titled' premiered in Graz, Austria at the Galerie Eugen Lendl in 2005 with the 'Nowhere' exhibit curated by Julien Robson, now contemporary curator with PAFA in Philadelphia.
Identity, national and personal, and the lack of written historical records or texts on un-titled people inspire this work. Ideas of how printed text influenced nationalism from Marshall McLuhan, also inspire the structure of this video where the blank white still with oral history begins 'Un-Titled' and the black still ends it. The German national movement in the first part of the 20th century was inspired by music of Carl Orff, 'Carmina Burana' and in this video work Valerie Sullivan Fuchs commissioned Dane Waters of the Louisville Opera to sing the three songs of desire from this Opera to underline how art defines identity of a place or nation for better or for worse.
From the 'Nowhere' catalog written by Julien Robson:
"Valerie Sullivan Fuchs explores ideas of place and identity in works that are centered in her family history. Previously in the video works 'Florence Spear Crowder' and 'Apocrypha', she has speculated on the lost histories of women from the region...Un-Titled is a work that expands her investigation of identity, based on her maternal grandfather's search for an authentic personal history.
It opens with a commentator telling the story of James Edward Atz's search for the German family of his grandfather Christian Atz, who moved to the US in the 19th century. With the help of a genealogist in Germany he located the descendents of a Christian Atz at Weingarten...in 1977 he went to meet his relatives. For nearly 20 years they visited each other and he believed they were of the same blood until after his death in 1994, the Atz family from Germany revealed that they were not relatives at all. Despite this revelation, the two families visit with each other to this day.
Using home movies from the 1940s to the meeting of [perceived] relatives in Germany Fuchs [divides] each reel vertically down the center, she mirrors the left half the film on the right side of the screen. Thus, the boy seems to be boxing with his shadow and the cars, in a parade that seems to have no spectators, disappear continually into the dividing line between the image and its opposite.
By mirroring the images, Fuchs disturbs their unity so that the nostalgia for the past, so readily associated with home movies, is conflated with a vivid absence, a lack that is signified by the fold that runs down the middle of the screen."
Artists in this exhibit include: Cynthia Norton, Sarah Lyon, Maiza Hixson, & Thomas deLisle
This piece has also been included in the Parnu, Estonia Vilm and Fideo fest by non-gratta 2006.
Special thanks to Eugen Lendl, Beverley and Jack Ballantine, Dr. Gregory L. Brown, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, David and Dale Hyman, Leonard and Adele Leight, Merrily Orsini and Rick Heath, Stephen Riley and Emily Bingham, Mary and Al Shands, Virginia Speed, and the Kentucky Foundation for Women