A Wonderful Plague

Artist Statement A Wonderful Plague

A Wonderful Plague was created in direct response to the COVID 19 pandemic in the months of March and April of 2020.

On March 17th, fear about the spreading virus in America was reaching a fever pitch; schools and businesses everywhere were closing. In the space of 24 hours, Stephen traveled from Vermont to Massachusetts and back to find and photograph a Smallpox cemetery he had heard rumors about.

Eve then researched the long history of plagues and their intersection in this particular geographic area.

The resulting six panels pair text with photographic imagery from Provincetown, Massachusetts – a site repeatedly afflicted by pandemics of history, from smallpox and leptospirosis brought by the earliest European traders and fishermen, to the "hidden" pandemic of HIV/AIDS that hit communities like Provincetown especially hard, to the Coronavirus of today.

Hand-inscribed over and around the images are quotes, statistics, comments, facts and myths exploring the intersection of crisis, disease, and power. The fact that A Wonderful Plague lists 146,000 deaths from Coronavirus acts as a time stamp for the creation of the work (as of Oct. 13 the worldwide death toll stood at 1.08 million.)

The title A Wonderful Plague comes to us from a phrase found in the 1620 charter of New England, pointing to the idea that a divine hand had removed the native inhabitants through plague deliberately, in preparation for the arrival of the pilgrims.

Man always looks for meaning in times of crisis. Who controls the narrative of disease? Who decides the meaning of a pandemic?

  • Stephen Schaub
    Director
    The Home Of My Choice, Rokeby, Each One A Soul
  • Eve Schaub
    Writer
    The Home Of My Choice, Rokeby, Each One A Soul
  • EveNSteve Artists
    Producer
    The Home Of My Choice, Rokeby, Each One A Soul
  • Ric Kasini Kadour
    Essay Voice Over
  • Stephen Schaub
    Cinematography
    The Home Of My Choice, Rokeby, Each One A Soul
  • Stephen Schaub
    Still Photography
    The Home Of My Choice, Rokeby, Each One A Soul
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Web / New Media
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Digital 8mm, Film BW
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • New Wave Short Film Festival
    Munich
    Germany
    April 3, 2021
    German Premier
    WINNER Short Documentary
  • Best Shorts Competition
    La Jolla
    United States
    March 23, 2021
    WINNER Documentary Short
  • Global Shorts
    Los Angeles
    United States
    April 3, 2021
    WINNER Best Documentary Short
  • Tokyo International Short Film Festival
    Tokyo
    Japan
    April 1, 2021
    Japan Premier
    Short Documentary Finalist
  • New York Tri-State International Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    April 25, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Seoul International Short Film Festival
    Seoul
    Korea, Republic of
    May 1, 2021
    Official Selection
  • The IndieFEST Film Awards
    La Jolla
    United States
    April 4, 2021
    WINNER History / Biographical
  • Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift
    Toronto
    Canada
    May 7, 2021
    FINALIST - Best Short Covid19 Film
  • Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift
    Toronto
    Canada
    May 7, 2021
    FINALIST - Best Documentary Short
  • Berlin Movie Awards
    Berlin
    Germany
    May 2, 2021
    Official Selection - Best Documentary Short
  • Film Today

    May 1, 2021
    FINALIST Short Documentary
  • Roma Short Film Festival
    Rome
    Italy
    May 2, 2021
    HONORABLE MENTION Short Documentary
Director Biography - Stephen Schaub

Stephen Schaub is an artist and a Marine Corps Veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm and a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal. After receiving his BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, he founded FigitalRevolution.com, a groundbreaking website that between 2005 and 2020 has advocated for the use of film as well as the merging of digital and traditional photographic techniques. He has curated shows focusing on contemporary photographic practice, published two collections of his work (Through A Glass Darkly, 1999, and A Sense of Place, 2004) and is well respected in the industry as a leader in the field of hybrid photographic film technologies and innovative printing techniques. His work has been exhibited in Asia and Europe as well as throughout the United States. Schaub's artworks have been described as "art dreaming about itself." In 2019 he teamed up with his wife, noted author Eve O. Schaub to create artworks under the name EveNSteve.

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