artist / participant

press release

Deborah Stratman describes her work Described by the artist as “an uncompromising look at the ways privacy, safety, convenience, and surveillance determine our environment," In Order Not To Be Here, 2002, is also a lyrical meditation on the suburban American landscape. Shot completely at night, it unfolds in a series of grainy shots of empty parking lots, unattended ATMs, brightly lit subdivision nameplates, and nighttime freeway traffic. These relatively quiet images are bracketed by infrared footage of what appear to be an arrest and an escape. Interspersed throughout are snippets of police radio conversations, TV newscasts, sirens, and car alarms. Recently screened at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Stratman’s piece offers us evidence of a crime (or crimes) while simultaneously withholding a narrative.

Biography Deborah Stratman is an award-winning filmmaker and artist based in Chicago. She received her M.F.A. from the California Institute of Arts and her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since 1990 she has completed more than a dozen film projects, both on sixteen-millimeter film and on video. These works have been shown at international film festivals—including the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands, and the Vienna International Film Festival in Austria—and at art institutions such as the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, and the San Francisco Art Institute.

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Deborah Stratman