Serpentine Cinema: CINACT - Jesse Jones' The Selfish Act of Community
The Selfish Act of Community is a film work by artist Jesse Jones that explores historical experiments in conflict resolution therapy as a type of Brechtian script.
The film is an adaptation of an iconic group therapy session originally staged in 1968 by American psychologist Carl Rogers. The encounter aimed to bring together a cross section of American citizens to examine the role of ‘self’ in social dynamics. Focusing particularly on how the ideas of the 1960s counterculture permeated the desires of the ‘silent majority’, Jones re-stages this historical event as an adapted verbatim script, revealing the shifts in our understanding of feminism and politics over the past half century.
The film is structured around a rotating single shot, creating a cinematic platform that aims to mimic the liveness of Bertolt Brecht’s theatre-in-the-round. The intense performances by the cast articulate the complexities between human emotion and the broader social sphere of experience. The role of dramaturge and therapist are scrambled in this attempt to see the evolution of political experience as an embodied relation to reality and to community.
Jesse Jones’s practice reflects and re-presents historical moments of collective resistance and dissent. In her films and videos she explores the gesture of the revolutionary action and finds resonance in our current social and political landscape. Jones has exhibited extensively internationally including recent solo exhibitions at Spike Island, Bristol; Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; REDCAT, Los Angeles (all 2012). Upcoming solo exhibitions include Artsonje Centre, Seoul and CCA, Derry.
Serpentine Cinema: CINACT is a series of monthly film screenings and events at Picturehouse Cinemas in London that presents the opportunity to view rarely-seen artists’ films in a cinema context.