Classic Conversations

1975, 23:28 min, color, sound

Hayward has described her work as a confluence of narrative, emotion, melody, and light, with her dialogue informed more by the way people think than by the way they talk. In Classic Conversations, Heyward narrates a series of cultural images and references: New York's Twin Towers, Chinatown in the 1970s, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, anxieties about nuclear war. These images are paired with more personal investigations into embodiment. The artist is seen lying on her bed, lamenting the absence of her lover, who gives her less pleasure than the technology through which their relationship is mediated. Later, Heyward's camera lingers in close-ups of her friends' bodies on the beach as she demands, "Look at your face. Think about your race. Don't think about your race. Look at your face." With her dulcet tones (at once playful and commanding), rhythmic editing, and graphic framing, Heyward ponders life's minutiae, situating them within the fabric of larger cultural dilemmas.

Produced by Fifi Corday Prod with technical assistance from Shelby Johnson. Beach Girls: Cassia Besson, Robin Schiff, Ellen Herman, Duka Delight.You Either Pay to Do It, You Get Paid to Do It or You Do It for Free. Paula Longendyke.