The Jettisoned

 

“These bodily fluids…are what life withstands, hardly and with difficulty, on the part of death. There, I am at the border of my condition as a living being. My body extricates itself, as being alive, from that border. Such wastes drop so that I might live, until, from loss to loss, nothing remains in me and my entire body falls beyond the limit — cadere, cadaver.” – Julia Kristeva

The Jettisoned references the tradition of the Tableau Vivant in painting and photography as it maps representations of identity and the bodily.

In three sweeping tableaux vivants, artists Yoni Goldstein and Meredith Zielke present a rich cartography of identity at its most nebulous form. The rigid boundaries erected by conventional interpretations of collective, conditional, and bodily identities are torn down in The Jettisoned: bodily mechanisms present sickness and health as being part of the same process of sustained loss; anachronistic renditions of epic gestures deplete the national epic of its definitive qualities; crypto-judaic ritual offers veiled signs of a heritage while simultaneously dissolving it into another religious tradition. Fittingly, The Jettisoned engages these interstitial spaces with an equally nebulous aesthetic approach, a filmic rendering of the painterly tradition of the tableaux. However solitary and ambiguous the sites it explores are, The Jettisoned offers the possibility of abject recognition.

The tableaux vivants, or living paintings, that constitute The Jettisoned were shot in Chicago, Warsaw, and Mexico City. The carefully considered set design incorporates authentic elements of both the location and tradition addressed in each tableau. The Mexico tableau for instance, incorporates genuine Masonic garb and other crypto-Judaic artifacts with a Mexican working class altar to a flower covered Y-chromosomal Aaron, otherwise known as the “Jewish Gene”. The Warsaw tableau is placed in a large animal surgical theater, with Polish locals positioned as manipulated monuments and figures from national epics. In the Chicago tableau, Goldstein and Zielke’s childhood memories from Netanya, Israel and Detroit, USA combine within viscous, fluid seepages inside a former industrial soap factory.

Credits:
Directors: Meredith Zielke & Yoni Goldstein Production Manager: Elizabeth Cohen Camera Operator: Andrew Benz DIT: Robert Cauble Gaffer: Artem Avakian Best Boy: Sean Lowery Grips: Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon, Gwyneth Anderson Production Assistants: Tommy Heffron, Justyn Mainard, Jared Larson, Crispin Rosenkranz, Emily Buckler, Kathryn Grover, Emily Buckler, Chris Bradley, Amanda Eron, Rodion Galperin, Anna Kipervaser, Ronen Goldstein, Jess Turcios Make Up: Deanna Frost Special Effects Make Up: William Amaya, Jennifer Mosier Art Director: Jerzy Rose Pneumatics: Katrina Chamberlin Location provided by: Joseph Gheith Location Scout: Travis Wyche

Cast: Sebastian Alvarez, Stef Almeida, Misuzu Aoi, Nadav Assor, John Boss, Jefferson Dakota Brown, Sagar Budhe, Justin Cabrillos, Masha Chernyak, Noé Cuéllar, Erin Davette, Ehsan Ghoreshi, Elise Goldstein, Amanda Gutierrez, Jerry Heller, Nadia Hotait, Geoff Hughes, Joshua Johnson, Sharon Kluge, Kunal Kumar, Zihan Loo, Lauren Mardirosian, Hally Marlino, Jeff Matheis, Laura Meyer, Anisa Pashaj, Balta Peña, Cheryl Pope, Casilda Sanchez, Louis E. Sather, Jr., Lynn Stransky, Earl Smith, Lynn Stransky, Jaroslaw Studencki, Daniel Teafoe, Gregg Valentine, Roberto Vega-Morales, Joette Waters, Ryan Wilson, Collins Yearwood

On Set Photographers: Alexandra Dietz, Beverly Jensen, Rodion Galperin, Justyn Mainard, Academic Adviser: Frédéric Moffet