sair goetz, me and my army (still), 2018, 11 min., color, sound. Courtesy of the artist

sair goetz, me and my army (still), 2018, 11 min., color, sound. Courtesy of the artist

Screening Room

seen only, heard only through someone else’s description

Short films offer new temporal spaces for considering how images and narratives construct meaning, artifice, and memory.

seen only, heard only through someone else’s description engages filmmakers and artists whose interdisciplinary practices draw from performance, film, photography, research, and writing. The program’s title stems from Audience Distant Relative (1977) by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951–1982)—a poem, performance, and mail art piece that uses language to unravel dynamics of distance, visibility, hearing, and communication.

The program is organized in two sections of experimental short films by women and nonbinary artists from the 1970s through the 2010s. Session One – Portraits and Fleeting Glimpses: Sometimes We Stand Alone explores personal identity and history through experimental processes and found footage. Session Two – Drawing Energy: Collectives, Communities and Lineage is concerned with communities of women and their collective power to document and deeply engage with artistic, cultural, or familial lineages. The collected works interweave varied perspectives to probe formal tensions between the moving image and still photography. Featured filmmakers include Brenda Contreras, sair goetz, Onyeka Igwe, Lily Jue Sheng, Lucy Kerr, Deborah Stratman, Tina Takemoto, and Paige Taul, among others.

seen only, heard only through someone else’s description is guest curated by Gina Basso in conjunction with Image Gardeners, an exhibition of modern and contemporary photography from the McEvoy Family Collection. The exhibition identifies an emergent vision of womanhood through photographic representation. Sessions One and Two screen sequentially, for eight weeks each, throughout the run of the exhibition.


Gina Basso is a San Francisco-based independent film programmer and visual artist. She has organized programs for revered San Francisco movie houses including The Roxie Theater, The Castro Theater, and Alamo Drafthouse. Additionally, she has curated programs for Design Within Reach, San Francisco, CA; Hunter’s Point Shipyard, San Francisco, CA; and the Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA and is currently the film curator for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In her creative practice, she uses video to explore transitional or altered states of being. Through moving collage, handmade animation, and sound she draws on a rich tradition of experimentation with various forms, materials, and processes, combining found and original footage to harness the energy of poetic montage. Her video work has been presented in the Bay Area at San Francisco’s Cinematheque’s Crossroads Festival, Artist Television Access, San Francisco, the Roxie Theater, HAXAN Film Festival, Antimatter Experimental Film Festival, Vancouver, BC, and online via She was the 2017 recipient of a Curatorial Travel Grant for film research awarded by the French American Cultural Society and San Francisco French Consulate.