In the late 1980s, various artists moved into the New York working-class neighbourhood of Williamsburg which, at the time, was still populated by small manufacturers, Polish butchers, and auto repair shops etc. If SoHo took 30 years to evolve from an artists’ bohemia to an art gallery hotspot, to an outdoor shopping mall, Williamsburg’s demise was much faster – due in part to a 2005 zoning law change.
With a jaundiced eye and a combination of wit, anger and political savvy, film-maker Su Friedrich records how the neighbourhood has changed from when she arrived in the 1980s to the rich-hipster haven it has now become: she hovers on the sleek granite kitchen counters featured at the condo openings she attends; she paints ironic graffiti on construction fences; she comments wryly on her new neighbours; she captures each demolition on film.
Awards for ›Gut Renovation‹
Audience Award, Brooklyn International Film Festival 2012
Film programme A Better Life
Su Friedrich has lived and worked in New York since the mid-70s. Her 16-mm films and videos have been shown at eighteen retrospectives and are part of the collections at the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Pompidou, among others. She teaches film and video production at Princeton University.
Films by Su Friedrich (Selection)
Gut Renovation 2012 | From the Ground Up 2007 | Seeing Red 2005 | The Head of a Pin 2004 | The Odds of Recovery 2002 | Hide and Seek 1996 | Rules of the Road 1993 | First Comes Love 1991 | Sink or Swim 1990 | Gently Down the Stream 1981