Call Her Applebroog
In 2012, Ida Applebroog presented an installation at the 13th Documenta. The exhibition's leitmotif was Collapse and Recovery; a title just as suitable for the New York artist's complete works.
Applebroog, born Ida Applebaum to orthodox Jewish immigrants in 1929, grew up in the Bronx. She soon experienced her surroundings as restrictive and menacing. To her, in this environment, art meant the possibility of growth and self-preservation. Thus her work repeatedly broaches the issue of human relationships marked by power struggles and role assignments. In the process, the artist uses sexuality and physicality as a screen onto which she projects the varieties of these ongoing themes.
Call Her Applebroog is the cool and intimate portrait of Ida Applebroog by the artist’s daughter, filmmaker Beth B. The film is concurrently the collective work of two equally strong artistic figures. At times, such as when sketches have to be allocated or text decoded, the project resembles an archaeological excavation. But because Applebroog's life and work are the objects of this excavation, she does not always share her daughter’s interest in bringing things to light: “This is a description of I have no idea!“ she states coolly about an old notebook entry at the beginning of the film. Such moments of impatience and weariness are illuminating. They reveal the necessity of a silent space which alone seems to enable the artist to respond to life’s impositions. Between mother and daughter, this is not always without problems. Call Her Applebroog is not only a film about life and art, but also the continuation of both.
Beth B is an interdisciplinary artist working in narrative, documentary and experimental films, photography, z painting, theatre and sculpture installations for museums, galleries, and public art spaces. Beth B exploded onto the New York film scene in the late ‘70s directing Super-8 films. These breakthrough films were shown at Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s, New York Film Festival and Film Forum. These and recent films have been shown at the Whitney Museum and MoMA. Throughout her prolific career, Beth B has produced over 30 films and worked in television as an executive producer and director for eight years. Her films have shown at cinemas worldwide and festivals including: New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Nuremberg Int’l Human Rights Festival, and others.