Director: Michael Mersereau
Bio: Michael Mersereau (b. 1977) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Oakland, California. He uses the boundaries of cinema and television genres, such as horror, suspense, and soap operas, to create experimental sound, video, performance, and installation that elevate particular production elements to create absurd and uncanny worlds. Mersereau has exhibited internationally at museums and galleries such as Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, The Diego Rivera Anahuacali Museum, Eastern Bloc in Montréal, Wassaic Project in New York, Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco, and Maison de la Culture Claude-Léveillée in Montréal, Canada. His videos have been screened at the Lausanne Underground Film Festival, Toronto Underground Film Festival, Traverse Video Festival, and ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Denmark, amongst numerous other film festivals and galleries. As a composer and experimental musician, he has performed at The Lab with Jeanie Aprille Tang, Galerie B312 in Montréal for Thomas Begin, and Mills College Art Museum with choreographer and dancer Molissa Fenley. Mersereau was faculty at Mills College, where he taught in the Music Department and consults on projects for the Mills College Art Museum. Mersereau holds an MFA from Mills College and a BFA from California College of the Arts.
Film: “Haxan: Reducida” is an abridged recreation of the 1922 silent documentary horror film “Haxan.” Using new machine learning / AI videography, and English to Spanish translators, select scenes from “Haxan” are recreated in the style of a lost middle class, leisure, and vacation. This film reinterprets the phantasmatic beliefs of witchcraft in the Middle Ages and applies them to modern contemporary environments, such as the motel, the home, and the vacation spot. All of these sites become fully out of reach in the new era of growing class differences and irreversible destruction. However, in this world of “Haxan: Reducida”, it is in the superstitious present that enjoyment is still considered possible but unsustainable.