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Kelly Gallagher, Filmmaker, Curator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University, NY, with Miranda July, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Artist, and Writer, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction by C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Guest Curator and The Mini Microcinema Director, Cincinnati, OH
Miranda July in conversation with Kelly Gallagher to discuss her Joanie 4 Jackie Archive.
In 1995, Miranda July dropped out of college, moved to Portland, Oregon, and typed up a pamphlet that she imagined would be the start of a revolution of girls and women making movies and sharing them with each other. The pamphlet said: “A challenge and a promise: Lady, you send me your movie and I’ll send you the latest Big Miss Moviola Chainletter Tape.”
Joanie 4 Jackie (aka Big Miss Moviola) was an underground film network for girls and women, formed in 1995. For more than ten years women sent their movies to Joanie 4 Jackie and received a “Chainletter” tape in return — their movie compiled with nine others. In a pre-YouTube world, this was one-way women could see each other’s work and know they weren’t alone. The project inspired girls to make movies for the first time, circulated work by seasoned artists and connected women across the country through screenings and booklets of letters that arrived with each videotape. By the time the project had run its course the work of over 200 filmmakers was distributed through 22 compilation tapes, and Joanie 4 Jackie had exhibited movies all over the world, from punk clubs to the Museum of Modern Art.
In January 2017 The Getty Research Institute announced the acquisition of the complete Joanie 4 Jackie archives. Twenty-seven boxes of tapes, posters, letters, embarrassing notes, to-do lists, and grandiose plans will be made available to researchers and preserved for all time in a feminist and queer context, alongside the archives of artists such as Yvonne Rainer, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Carolee Schneemann.
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