Catalina Jordan Alvarez’s Sound Spring Seq. #6: The School and the Home is an excerpt from a feature-length documentary exploring the civil rights history of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The piece focuses on the memories of a former student at the Antioch School and her experience of meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a child.
The work is shot like a traditional talking head interview, but with one key stylistic manipulation: the on-screen interviewees are two girls who lip sync to the overdubbed audio. This change creatively subverts one of the basic tropes of documentary filmmaking and brings new meaning to the artist’s otherwise minimalist approach.
Instead of directly documenting her subject, Alvarez creates an impression of her as she might have been at the time of her recollections. Casting the young girls as the on-screen avatars of the original subjects creates a generational dialogue and a sense of a parallel, shared experience. Alvarez further heightens the surreality of the scene by splicing in diegetic audio where she can be heard directing the girls from behind the camera.
Following Monday’s premiere, join the artist and Lino Kino in conversation on Wednesday, August 12.