dontate now

Join Email List

Facebook  Become a Fan on Facebook
twitter  Follow Us on Twitter

329 West 18th Street Suite #610
Chicago, Illinois 60616
(312) 243-1808

Search Collections


Bookmark and Share
Film Identifier: F.2011-01-0146
Run Time
0h 11m 1s
Date Produced
circa 1975
"Groundwork," along with its counterpart "Groundwork / Backyard 2" (F.2011-01-0145) appears to be a version of "Groundwork (Original)" (F.2011-01-0171) edited for presentation as double projection, in which the left and right portions of the film would be presented side by side simultaneously. The film is a poetic tribute to the establishment of the maple farm in Monterey, MA, owned and operated by JoAnn Elam's friend Bonner McAllester and her husband Joe Baker. Elam and McAllester were close friends since their time at Antioch College together, and Elam would return to the farm and make films many times through the 1980s. Using double exposure and occasional rapid editing, this film follows McAllester, Baker, and a group of friends as they live in the teepee first built on the property, dig the foundation for a more permanent structure, harvest and prepare their crops, and build a new wooden structure on top of the dug-out foundation. Elam films the workers with a focus on their bodies and hands, emphasizing the tactility of their labor, but at other times also foregrounds the ethereal quality of their natural surroundings.
Main Credits
Elam, JoAnn (is filmmaker)
Actors, Performers and Participants
McAllester, Bonner (is participant)
Baker, Joe (is participant)
Related Place
Monterey (production location of)