|J. MORGAN PUETT: A PRACTICE OF BE(E)ING|
|Crew: ||Cinematographer: William Babcock
J. Morgan Puett is an internationally renowned artist living on a 95-acre compound in the deciduous forests of northeastern Pennsylvania. Touching on ideas of creative domestication, radical pedagogy, and a critical engagement with one’s environment, Ms. Puett describes her unique home, which she calls Mildred’s Lane.
Roderick Angle is a filmmaker based in New York City. He specializes in documentary portraiture and is dedicated to the short film format. Roderick is a storyteller focused on establishing deep connections with his subjects to communicate the true nature of their contribution to our world. After receiving a BFA in photography from The School of Visual Arts, Roderick started his creative career as a fashion photographer. He apprenticed with famed photographer David LaChapelle and went on to establish himself as a sought after shooter with a long list of editorial and advertising credits. After many years of creating brand stories in the commercial realm, Roderick has followed his primary storytelling inspiration back to its roots… people, who they are and what they do.
J. Morgan Puett is an internationally renowned artist living on a 95-acre compound in the forests of northeastern Pennsylvania. Her home, which she calls Mildred’s Lane, blossoms every summer into a series of lectures, performance events, creative workshops, dinner parties and sculptural bonfires. Despite the influx of young creatives, established artists and traveling merrymakers, Ms. Puett insists that her compound not be referred to as a commune, an artist’s colony, or even a retreat. Mildred’s Lane is, rather, a “Modern Art Complexity”.
The first time I visited Mildred’s Lane was in the spring of 2013. The place is a world unto itself. It has it’s own language, it’s own hierarchy and it’s own set of values. I immediately knew there was a story there. When I met Ms. Puett, it was obvious that her ideas, art, and spirit provided the lifeblood for Mildred’s Lane. Ms. Puett insists that she is not an artist, she’s “The Ambassador of Entanglement” and Mildred’s Lane is an “experiment in living that attempts to coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy”; to elevate the banalities of everyday life into considered acts of political resistance.
When I proposed a film project, Ms. Puett was initially quite clear that she was not interested and that cooperating with an “outside” filmmaker who would only serve to “pin her down”. After I spent the next year working with Morgan, I was able to gain her trust and enlist her as a collaborator in the making of this film. I have worked closely with Morgan on the editing of this film to ensure that it represents her accurately and, in the process, we have become good friends.
The finished film, touching on the ideas of creative domestication, radical pedagogy, and a critical engagement with one’s environment, explores the “complexity” that is Mildred’s Lane. It tells a unique story of an important artist that truly lives her art. It’s an exclusive biography of a woman who is widely known to the art world but, as yet, undiscovered by our culture.