Joan Braderman

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Joan Braderman, award-winning video artist and writer, has been involved with film and video as a screenwriter, artist and producer for over twenty-five years. Born in Washington, DC, she holds degrees from Harvard and New York University. Her works are in the permanent collections of museums such as the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Joan studied 16mm filmmaking in school, then learned to shoot and edit black and white reel-to-reel video in NYC in the 70's, producing documentaries such as FOR A BICENTENNIAL WITHOUT COLONIES, (20 min, 1977) and THE PEOPLES' CONVENTION, SOUTH BRONX, (20.min, 1980.) She has produced other non-fiction such as WAITING FOR THE INVASION, U.S. CITIZENS IN NICARAGUA with Dee Dee Halleck; Skip Blumberg et al (28 min. 1984) made to oppose the Reagan-sponsored support for the counter revolutionaries in that country on Public TV. It won the Global Village Best Documentary Award in 1984. TELL THEM FOR US; MADRE IN NICARAGUA (28 min, 1985, co-produced with CBS camerawoman, Jane Lurie) is about a group of North American women meeting women throughout Nicaragua and presenting an ambulance to the Berta Calderon Hospital in Managua. In 1975, Joan joined the group which founded the ground-breaking journal, "HERESIES; A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics." Braderman is best known for her series of video pieces, which she writes and performs -- about women, desire and popular culture. The first of these, NATALIE DIDN'T DROWN, OR JB READS THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER (28 min, 1983, made with filmmaker, Manuel DeLanda for Paper Tiger TV) begins with her own fascination with tabloids like the National Enquirer. In an original style, which has now been dubbed "stand-up theory", she delivers a "one woman, lunatic performance, at once embodying and sharply analyzing the schizophrenia of U.S. culture." The now infamous 'post-scratch' JOAN DOES DYNASTY (32 min, 1986) uses special video effects to insert her own critical, performative body into found footage of the popular 80's prime time soap opera, hilariously skewering the camp pleasures of the show and its insidious subtext: the greed, oil wealth and hypocrisy of Reagan style America. JDD was included in the 1987 Whitney Bienniel Exhibition and has been called 'the most widely distributed feminist video ever made.' NO MORE NICE GIRLS (44 min. 1989), a more personal work combining scripted fiction, autobiography, and collage, speaks to a generation of "aging feminists from hell" armed with strong histories and friendships but facing the vicious backlash of the New Right. She performs again in THIRTY SECOND SPOT RECONSIDERED (11 min, 1989), which puts a lie to the idea that only 'free' markets regulate freedom of expression in the USA. It took the Critic's Choice Award at the New England Film Festival. JOAN SEES STARS, (59 min, 1992,) co-directed with Dana Master, explores celebrity culture and Braderman's love-hate relationship with Hollywood. Performing in bed where she had suffered a long-term illness, she and dear friend, director, Leland Moss, programmed diva movie festivals on their VCR's as he was on the other coast, dying of AIDS. JSS premiered at the National Film Theater in London; The New York Film Festival in the U.S. Joan received a retrospective at the De Cordova Museum in 1994 and the Koopman Chair in the Visual Arts at Hartford Art School in 1996, where she created her first installation piece. Then, "A Tribute to Joan Braderman" was featured in the Northampton Film Festival in November 1996. Her grants include awards from: The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York and Massachusetts State Councils for the Arts, The American Film Institute, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, et al. Writing by and about Braderman has appeared in such journals and books as The Village Voice, The Independent, Time Out, Afterimage, and The Guardian of London, Contemporanea and Illuminations; An Essential Guide to Video Art. Recently Joan worked with Crescent Diamond (Producer on the current project) to make PARA NO OLVIDAR (6 min, 2004) a digital video collaging images of the streets of Old Havana for use on the website of The Office of the Historian of the City of Havana. She has taught at The School of Visual Arts, The Boston Museum School, The London Institute, and at the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa when she was awarded The Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Video in 2002. Joan likes to swim, dance, sing and hang out with her kitties, Ocho and Cava, her adored friends, her sweetheart, Bob, and her youthful, 90 year-old Father.