Private Project

Elegy (2020-22)

Grand ambitions and failures: cinema, fraternity, whiteness, consent, appropriation. Content warning for hateful language and discussions of sexual assault.

“(…) For all of its pervasiveness, however, the 'elegy' remains remarkably ill defined: sometimes used as a catch-all to denominate texts of a somber or pessimistic tone, sometimes as a marker for textual monumentalizing, and sometimes strictly as a sign of a lament for the dead." - Karen Weisman

Note: "2020-22" is both the year label and part of the film title. Please default to 2022 if your system requires a single year label, but the full film title should still be "Elegy (2020-22)".

  • Charles de Agustin
    Writer, Director, Producer, Editor
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 37 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Rutgers University
Director Biography

Charles de Agustin is an artist primarily making films, performances, texts; moving language and image; contend with critique, complicity; the moment you stop yourself from saying something; listen to noise, overwhelm; bewildered white people; a pollution, a possession, a primary source; show your panic, contempt; maintain a sense of humor, suspicion of efficiency; where storytelling and punctation begin to implode.

Charles is from New Jersey, currently based in Brooklyn. BFA Rutgers University (US), MFA University of Oxford (UK). Recent and upcoming presentations of his work include Bloomberg New Contemporaries (South London Gallery and Firstsite UK), Kassel Dokfest (DE), RISD (US), Alternative Film/Video Belgrade (RS), Stockholm University of the Arts (SE), LoosenArt (IT), Athens International Film + Video Festival (US), Brooklyn College NYC (US), Whitworth Art Gallery (UK), Film and Video Poetry Symposium LA (US). Support from The Elephant Trust (UK), Mansfield-Ruddock Art Prize (UK), Aesthetica Art Prize (UK). Further education at Doclisboa Filmmaking Seminar (PT), Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (DE). Charles has also led curatorial and pedagogical projects at various institutions in the US and UK.

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Director Statement

What is the obvious; what do we do with it? The logic of caricature is a vital tool in my efforts to consider what might be valuable about a “new didacticism” as it relates to spectatorship and appropriation. Suspicions around autoethnographic writing/drawing/speaking have fueled my use of caricatural logics. At the moment, I’m researching the caricatural stakes between love and labor via Ghislaine Leung and Gillian Rose.

Sprouting from personal and institutional surroundings, my practice contributes to examining what Ajay Kurian calls our “contemporary pollution” of white victimhood. I continually revisit how artists like Steffani Jemison and James N. Kienitz Wilkins dance with problems of hegemonic narrative and visual primacy. Writing is always the first thing to emerge from my research smorgasbord as prose, poetry, or script. This text becomes video with origins in hybrid cinema traditions, though byproducts of this process are increasingly across print/text, drawing, performance, and installation. Sometimes the byproducts swallow the original.