“Big Film is the title of the work on view, shown in conjunction with Julie’s video Collaboration with the Earth. The process used to create Collaboration with the Earth is particularly interesting to me. Julie is experimenting with the material properties of celluloid film. In this case, the film is appropriated footage from a General Electric advertisement. During the summer of 2011 she cut the film into two-second strips and buried them in the ground. Over the course of twenty days, Julie unearthed one strip of film at a time, then she reassembled the footage. Gradually both sounds and images deteriorate as a result of the amount of time the film spent underground. In a statement about her work, Julie explains that she “makes public…privet encounters with her collaborators: dirt, worms, water, and other earthly forces”.
The film itself depicts a middle-aged woman nervously walking down a dimly lit street. There is a slightly ominous tone to the film as the woman glances several times over her shoulder and her pace quickens. As viewers, we are trained to expect the unknown person or thing lurking in the shadows, the catalyst that incites her fear, to emerge; we predict disaster. Towards the end of the film, there is a close-up of the woman’s face as she gazes up toward a streetlight and breaks into a relieved smile. Then the words “General Electric” along with the G.E. logo flash across the screen, layered on top of an image of a house. This reminds us of the appropriated nature of the footage.”