September 25th, 2008
“Boris” Berman is the subject of Fotoaktion! a documentary
film that traces her evolution from teen-age Austrian pop
star to avant-garde photographer and San Francisco art noise
diva. Fotoaktion is the term Berman used to describe the
interactive events she first staged as an art student at San
Francisco City College in 1981. Her fotoaktion idea has its
roots in the Happenings of the 1960s and even more
specifically in the movement called Vienna Aktionism that
occurred during the same time. The film follows Berman and
Perry Vasquez, who produced and directed the film, as they
prepare to collaborate on a fotoaktion at the Museum of
Contemporary Art San Diego. Vasquez first met Berman in 1981
while he was producing Nihl Magazine at Stanford University
where he published her photos and assisted her at her early
fotoaktions. Along the way, the film also takes us on a
mini-tour of the San Francisco 80s underground art world
through a series interviews and archival videotape. In one
segment we see Berman directing a fotoaktion performance.
The performance, complete with primitive video editing
effects, captures the experimental iconoclasm and
spontaneous spirit of the times. Artist/musician Walter
Alter, Berman’s partner in crime on a variety of projects
throughout the 80s, also appears in the film. Crackling with
creative energy and verve, Fotoaktion! is a candid and
revealing portrait of Doris Berman as a young punk rock
performance artist and the world around her.
Fotoaktion! is a City Works Press Production.
More about Fotoaktion! on Perry Vasquez's WebsiteCity Works Press is a non-profit press, funded by local San Diego writers and friends of the arts, committed to the publication of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and art by members of the San Diego City College community and the community at large.
Copyright © 2008 City Works Press. All rights reserved.