Cathy C. Cook, "Immortal Cupboard"

Cathy C. Cook, "Immortal Cupboard"

Premiere date: Jun 13, 2009

Living for years in the solitude of rural Wisconsin, poet and experimental writer Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), chose what many might see as a lonely path. But out of her very deliberate and austere lifestyle came a poetics of observation so acute that some literary critics have described her as the 20th century's Emily Dickinson.

Taking cues from Niedecker's work and the Wisconsin heritage they share, experimental filmmaker Cathy Cook combines original live-action footage, animation, archival images and the poet’s only audio interview to unfurl the poet’s psychological and physical landscape. Through a repetition of images, text and sounds that mirror Niedecker’s own processes and forms, Cook attempts to give new voice and visibility to the extraordinary works of this very private poet.

Niedecker’s ruminations on nature, history, ecology, gender, domesticity, work, culture, family and social politics find new life in the sensitive cinematic interpretations of fellow artist, Cathy Cook, whose own critical and original aesthetics constitute a broad and refreshing challenge to the conventions of both documentary film and the cine-biography. Niedecker and Cook meet up on a path not taken and IMMORTAL CUPBOARD is Cook's report back from way down that path.


Cathy C. Cook | Director/Editor/Cinematographer

Cathy Cook has been creating films, videos, poetry and installations since 1982. On Nov. 6, 2008, she previewed a director’s cut of her latest experimental documentary film, IMMORTAL CUPBOARD: In Search of Lorine Niedecker at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The film explores her responses to the poetry and life of Wisconsin Poet, Lorine Niedecker. The film was screened this year at the 2009 Wisconsin Film Festival where it won a Jury Award. On June 21 the film will be screened at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC.

Cook has exhibited her award-winning work extensively in both solo and group shows including screenings at MOMA and the Whitney Museum. In 2001, Cook was awarded a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She also has received fellowships and grants from the New York State Council of the Arts, The Experimental Television Center, The Jerome Foundation (Film in the Cities) and the Wisconsin Arts Board. Cook’s media works are in the permanent collections of the Donnell Library (NYC), Princeton University, National Library of Australia (Canberra) and the NYU Film Library among others.

Currently Cook is an Associate Professor of Film/Video in Visual Arts at The University of Maryland - Baltimore County (UMBC.) She teaches Film/Video production, Animation, Writing and aesthetics. She holds a MFA in Film/Video and Women Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as BFA’s in Inter-Arts and Fine Art. Prior to moving to Baltimore, Cook worked in New York City for eleven years as an Art Director in the Film/TV industry. While in NYC, she also taught Film/Video production and Animation at various New York area colleges

Cook visits Wisconsin with her adventurous dog Sprocket as much as possible. Sprocket runs Cook's life as well as her production company!

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