Julie Zando explores identity, desire and the construction of a female self through a complex and provocative discourse on power. Analyzing the psychoanalytic, social and personal dynamics of women's relationships as lovers, friends, mothers and daughters, she examines subjectivity and sexuality in terms of manipulation and submission, exhibitionism and voyeurism, masochism and victimization, obsession and dependency.
Direct, raw and self-revealing, Zando's personal dramas probe the structures and paradigms of power, demonstrating how phenomena as disparate as love, narrative, and exploitation are used as vehicles of control. Interweaving narrative dramatizations and documentary devices, her works reveal an acute awareness of the psychological dynamic of storytelling and the act of recording.
Hey Bud (1987) uses the on-air suicide of a government official for an unflinching inquiry into exhibitionism, exploitation and the construction of female identity. The compelling Let's Play Prisoners (1988) probes the relationship of power and love between women through multiple retellings of a story. Writes Zando: "The camera acts as a tool that directs and controls desire. Its frame forever enslaves the 'self' in a game of passion."
Zando received a B.A. from McGill University, Montreal, and an M.F.A. from the State University of New York, Buffalo. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Maya Deren Award from the American Film Institute, as well as grants and fellowships from Media Bureau, New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment For the Arts, and the New York Foundation For the Arts. Director of Squeaky Wheel, a media resource center in Buffalo, from 1986 to 1989, she has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of California, San Diego, and in 1990 was artist-in-residence at Buffalo Seminary High School. Zando's videotapes have been exhibited at festivals and institutions including the American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); Japan 1989 Video Television Festival, Tokyo; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the 2nd International Video Festival, Kuopio, Finland. Zando lives in Brooklyn, New York.