Experiencing Interruptions?

Sneeze

Sneeze explores the stigmatized symptom of common cold—the involuntary expulsion of air and bodily fluid—as an allegory of social ruptures that might mediate infectious resistance. Mixing the Cold War era's educational film footage promoting personal hygiene as a 'war against germs' with images of explosive creation, this film aesthetically subverts the uniquely modern fantasy of separation and isolation of the "healthy" from the "ill."

  • Yunjin La-mei Woo
    Director
  • Zachary Carlisle Davidson
    Key Cast
  • Jihyun Kim
    Composer
  • Kevin Weinberg
    Sound Engineer
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 11 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 8, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    16mm & found footage
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Unstable Zone: Videoart, Essay, and Experimentation (FICAE Parallel Section)
    Valencia
    Spain
    February 27, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Festival of (In)appropriation #9
    Los Angeles
    United States
    February 12, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Blow-Up: Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival
    Chicago
    United States
    November 18, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Iris Film Festival
    Bloomington
    United States
    January 22, 2016
    Brian Friedman Award
  • LUMA: Watch My Face To Read My Thoughts
    Expanded Media, Texas State University School of Art & Design, San Marcos, TX
    November 30, 2015
    Official Selection
  • Double Exposure
    Indiana University Cinema, Bloomington, IN
    March 8, 2015
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Yunjin La-mei Woo

Yunjin La-mei Woo is an interdisciplinary artist and Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Indiana University, Kokomo. Her research focuses on contagion metaphors and how they can be critically appropriated as a ‘counter-performance’ to the dominant narrative of ‘life itself’ in neoliberal biopolitics. Her performance and “para-sitic” practices have borrowed and intervened various systems and modes of conduct in South Korea, China, and the United States. Woo holds an MFA from Seoul National University and is a Ph.D. candidate in Communication and Culture at Indiana University, Bloomington. Her doctoral dissertation project auto-ethnographically follows the pathological discourse around spirit possessions in South Korean shamanism.

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Director Statement

I wait for a sneeze. A long sneeze. A long, quaking expulsion of slimy mucus from an old wound. A long, unexpected burst that sets out new lives. A long, unannounced explosion that wakes us up from a lingering nap, breaking the equilibrium of our body, being, living, thinking, feeling, knowing, and doing. A body asleep can’t sneeze. Only a keen becoming can endure the tearing combustion and scattering shards of seeds into the open air.

I search for a sneeze. A sneeze that borrows my bodies to awake others’ bodies. A sneeze from others inside my bodies. When we sneeze, when we are shaken and quaked, we will see we live in a borrowed world of others’ bodies. Only then, we will escape from containment through contamination. A resistance will be born from infection.