Agnė Jokšė and Su Friedrich: Unconditional Love and Rules of the Road

Agnė Jokšė and Su Friedrich: Unconditional Love and Rules of the Road

Agnė Jokšė, Unconditional Love Extended (still), 2023.

Agnė Jokšė and Su Friedrich: Unconditional Love and Rules of the Road
​Screening and discussion

Admissions starts at $5

May 16, 2023, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, May 16 at 7pm for a screening of Agnė Jokšė’s Unconditional Love (2021, 50 minutes) and Unconditional Love Extended (2023, 6 minutes), and Su Friedrich’s Rules of the Road (1993, 31 minutes), curated by Inesa Brašiškė. The films will be followed by a discussion between Jokšė and Friedrich.

Unconditional Love consists of several interlinked chapters, exploring themes related to care, compassion, and love through the lens of intergenerational relations that were constituted in parallel to the societal and political changes taking place in Lithuania around the 1990s, while transitioning from the Soviet Union and its economic and ideological models into the independent state of today (and its neoliberal, capitalist, and so-called western ideology). With this specific geography and sociopolitical context in mind, Agnė Jokšė questions how two sociologically distinct generations —the so-called “lost” and “independence” generations, formed prior to the 1990s transition period and born after the reestablishment of sovereign Lithuania, respectively—became so connected while remaining politically and ideologically far apart. How do generational clashes affect the relationship dynamics between these two groups that are often closely linked by family bonds? In Unconditional Love, Jokšė observes and follows the thread of family relations as it takes her to seemingly ordinary, but tender emotional places. By filming her extended family in Lithuania and the Lithuanian diaspora in Europe, she chronicles their rituals and collects their memories in an attempt to piece together the portrait of the “lost” generation that her parents belong to. Even though Jokšė’s research originates in the idea of generational divide and cultural trauma, the space of Unconditional Love is tranquil. It reaches beyond disappointment or conflict into a state of shared familiarity, where the two generations are resigned, resting, joking, worrying, and sharing with each other. The hours reveal the banality of unconditional love and its necessity and brilliance against the banality of evil.

Rules of the Road tells the story of a love affair and its demise through one of the objects shared by the couple: an old beige station wagon with fake wood panel. A typical American family car for an atypical American family, it provides the women at first with all the familiar comforts. But when their relationship ends, the car becomes the property of one and the bane of the other’s existence. Even long after their separation, this tangible reminder of their life together—and thousands of its imitators—continues to prowl the streets of the city, haunting the woman who no longer holds the keys either to the car or the other woman’s heart. Through spoken text, popular music, and images from the streets of New York, Rules of the Road takes a somewhat whimsical, somewhat caustic look at how our dreams of freedom, pleasure, security, and family are so often symbolized by the automobile.

With thanks to the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Lithuanian cultural attaché in New York, and to the Danish Arts Foundation for their support.

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.      
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.               
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Family, Soviet Union, Love, Eastern Europe, Post-socialism, USA, Queer Art & Theory, Pop Culture

Agnė Jokšė (b. 1993) is an artist and writer working in media such as video and performative text, and currently based in Vilnius. Using tools characteristic of autoethnography, Jokšė tells stories in which personal experiences and past events related to contemplations of love, intimacy, and friendship intertwine with imaginative reflections, and investigates questions concerning parallel histories, compassion, entanglement, queerness, and language.

Su Friedrich has produced and directed twenty-four 16mm films and digital videos, including I Cannot Tell You How I Feel (2016), 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), Damned If You Don’t (1987), The Ties That Bind (1984), Gently Down the Stream (1981), and Cool Hands, Warm Heart (1979). With the exception of Hide and Seek, Friedrich is the writer, director, cinematographer, sound recordist, and editor of all her films. In 2019 Friedrich created EDITED BY, a website that covers the work of 206 women film editors and includes a 95-minute film document of their work, and in 2020 she created a comprehensive website about the African-American filmmaker William Greaves. Her DVD collection is distributed by Outcast Films and her films are also now available for streaming via Outcast. In 2022, The University Press of Mississippi published Su Friedrich: Interviews, edited by Sonia Misra and Rox Samer.

Inesa Brašiškė is an art historian and curator based in Vilnius, Lithuania. She holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MODA) from Columbia University. Her research interests span postwar European and American art and avant-garde film. She regularly contributes to academic publications, catalogues, and journals. As a curator, she has organized exhibitions and film programs on the works of Babette Mangolte, Sharon Lockhart, Marie Menken, and Jonas Mekas among others.

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