Stand in the Stream

Stand in the Stream
Director: Stanya Kahn

USA, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, 2017, documentary, 58 minutes, english with lithuanian subtitles, N-13

Stand in the Stream is a profound meditation on intimacy, alienation and resistance from the renowned American interdisciplinary artist Stanya Kahn. Whilst painting a portrait of four generations of her family – her grandmother, mother, son and herself – the director slowly unveils a poignant hymn to life and the flow of time. The film‘s title references Bertold Brecht‘s play Man Equals Man, dedicated to the examination of the instrumentalisation of humans. Kahn observes this process both in the private and the public sphere, following the ilness and subsequent death of her activist mother and the events of the 2016 USA presidential elections. She talks to strangers on internet chat rooms while wearing a gruesome Halloween mask, almost voyeuristically records people on public transport, documents the post-election protests, punctuating these images with depictions of solidarity and violence. Stand in the Stream is a contemplation of bodies, time, motherhood, community and the quotidian at the intersection between the public and the private in contemporary USA.

About the director:

Stanya Kahn (b. 1968, San Francisco, USA) is an interdisciplinary artist. She gained her MFA at Bard College, USA in 2003. Kahn’s main medium is video, which also features design, writing, drawing and performance. Humor, pathos and the uncanny feature as the main elements of a practice that features the joys, challenges, triumphs and losses of the everyday. Kahn has participated in the Whitney biennial, the California biennial, the Sundance film festival, exhibitions at the MoMa and elsewhere. She has collaborated with artists such as Harry Dodge, Ishmael Houston-Jones and others. Kahn is currently adjunct faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute and UCLA.

Section: Ocean for Earthly Survival