Opening: May 9, 7-9pm (suggested $10 [tickets])

Installation open to Public:

May 9 – 23, Monday through Friday, 11am – 6pm, Saturday 11-4

VSW Project Space Resident Sarah Friedland is a filmmaker and choreographer working at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. For this installation in the VSW Salon, Friedland has selected films and videos from the VSW archives that resonate with a selection of her own videos, and created a multimedia installation that will launch in the VSW microcinema.

  • Social Guidance pairs Sarah Friedland’s Movement Exercises Trilogy with social guidance films and videos from the VSW archives. Movement Exercises deconstructs and revises the choreographic vocabularies of exercises practiced across home, work, and school spaces. The trilogy consists of three short films: Home Exercises (2017), Drills (2020), and Trust Exercises (2022). In making this trilogy, Friedland looked to social guidance and instructional films — from the home exercise video to safety instructionals — as moving image forms which stage choreographies that attempt to mold, train, and make-up the social body. Her trilogy both emulates their structures, while arranging mutations and revisions of the found choreographies presented within them. Through choreographic deconstruction and revision, her trilogy asks: how else might we move together? Finding resonances between the found movements in VSW’s archive and the choreographies performed within her trilogy, Social Guidance’s four-channel installation considers the choreo-political work of exercises, drills, and instructions for American moving bodies, both past and present. While the top projection presents Movement Exercises in a loop, the bottom triptych of monitors displays fragments and full works from the VSW archive as footnotes which annotate the relationship between choreography and the work of the social guidance film and video. [Download Program PDF]

  • Click the image to watch Sarah Friedland’s Movement Exercises Trilogy on Video Data Bank:

    A line of people standing with their arms on each other's shoulders

    Still from “Drills” by Sarah Friedland, courtesy of the artist

  • About Sarah Friedland: Sarah Friedland is a filmmaker and choreographer working at the intersection of moving images and moving bodies. Her work has been presented in festivals and art spaces including the New York Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Mubi, MoMA and the Performa19 Biennial. Sarah graduated from Brown University’s department of Modern Culture and Media and started her career assisting filmmakers including Steve McQueen, Mike S. Ryan, and Kelly Reichardt. From 2021-2022, she was both a Pina Bausch Fellow for Choreography and a NYSCA/NYFA Fellow in Film/Video, and was named to Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2023. Her short film trilogy, Movement Exercises, is distributed by Video Data Bank.

    The VSW Salon is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts and by the ArtWorks program of the National Endowment for the Arts.


  • Showcase of the films and videos excerpted in this exhibition:

  • Films and videos from the VSW Archive include:

    A Sports Suite (1977)
    Shows the excitement of participation in sports activities. Presents four vignettes, accompanied by classical music, in which youthful participants demonstrate the exuberance and joy they find in physical education and team sports, including gymnastics, volleyball, swimming, and soccer.
    16mm film
    Color; sound
    8 min

    Alone at Home (1983)
    Provides guidance for children who spend part of the day at home without adult supervision. Includes basic information about safety and emergency procedures, and suggests how “latchkey children” can manage their time and feelings.
    16mm film
    Color; sound
    17 min

    Body Builders (1977)
    “A lively perspective on this grueling self-disciplined sport that climaxes in the annual Mr. Minnesota contest”.
    University Community Video Minneapolis
    1/2″ Open Reel Tape
    B/W; sound
    30 min

    One Step at a Time (1973)
    Suggests that behavior modification techniques are still experimental. Shows programs in state mental hospitals and special schools, and programs with multiple handicapped. Stresses positive reinforcement is successful and encouraging in dealing with behavior modification.
    16mm film
    Color; sound
    32 min

    Survival Skills for Parents (1979)
    A group of parents learn relaxation techniques in a classroom.
    1/2″ Open Reel video
    B/W; sound
    33 min

    Speaking Effectively: To One or One Thousand (1980)
    Describes ten key communication skills and techniques for effective, interpersonal communication, and attempts to link public speaking to everyday interpersonal communication. Acting naturally, body language, eye contact, gestures and appearance are all part of communication skills.
    16mm film
    Color; sound
    21 min

    The Touch Film (1983)
    Explains the importance of positive physical contact in our personal lives through clips from a lecture by Dr. Jessie Potter and live action scenes.
    16mm Film
    Color; sound
    22 min