Left-Handed Memories

This program of readings and short films pays tribute to longtime School of the Art Institute professor Shellie Fleming, who died in December 2013. The four films—Left-Handed Memories (1989), Private Property (Public Domain) (1991), Devotio Moderna (1993), and Life/Expectancy (1999)—show a strong poetic sensibility, interweaving intimate observations and numerous film and literary references. Fleming develops a personal visual language through repetition of particular allusions and imagery (seashells are one motif); her collagelike superimpositions often communicate the same inward-looking wonder as Joseph Cornell’s boxes. The approach proves especially affecting in Life/Expectancy, whose voice-over (by Fleming’s partner, Zack Stiglicz) combines narrative fragments about a solitary woman and excerpts from books on psychology to create a sense of everyday melancholy.