Ben Fain (‘08)
“The Doors of Life”
Tuesday October 7th, 2014,7:30 pm
Wythe Hotel Cinema (Located in the basement of the hotel)
80 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11249
PRESS RELEASE By Joe Jeffers (Director of 8550 Ohio)
In the minds of many Ohioans interviewed for Ben Fain’s The Doors of Life, one man’s death was not an accident, and was not suicide, but that’s neither here nor there. The important part is that they think about it, they talk about it and it doing so they’ve fashioned a ghost story, which will outlive their children. The Doors of Life is the first narrative film by New York based artist and director Ben Fain. Fain is best known for orchestrating experimental parades, deployed in diverse communities across America. For the last seven years Fain has applied his parade work and sculptural practice to filmmaking, indexing this otherwise ephemeral work, while further developing their already narrative content. In his production of The Doors of Life Fain turns his attention to another aspect of community, gossip. Mining rumors of foul play among the local population in Morgan County, Ohio, The Doors of Life regards gossip around this man’s death as a means of transportation to a less specific investigation of morality, mortality, and mythmaking in small town Appalachia.
Initially attracted to the area by an artist’s residency (8550 Ohio) held at the scene of the crime, Fain immediately began conducting interviews with over a dozen Morgan County residents in 2010. This documentary footage in tow with his own spectacular low-budget interpretations of the event(s), including Fain’s 9-float narrative recreation The Who What Where Why Parade, a flash parade through “downtown.” Through this effort and other abstract “recreations” of the death, Fain fashions a public celebration of a well known story, emphasizing the absurdity of its variations. The Doors of Life, like much of Fain’s narrative work, tells us more about what it means to have a body than it does about what arises between pairs of people. The Doors of Life wants to offer you a documentary drama, but Fain is not at liberty to provide this. Fain wants to show you the monsters made with our mouths, the myths that rise from the water, and voices that beckon from the infinite riots of the subconscious. Enter through The Doors of Life.