Feminist Video/Film Artists
October 2, 2013 2:16 PM   Subscribe

ROSLER, Martha: Martha Rosler Reads Vogue (1983) and Born to be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads The Strange Case of Baby S/M (1988) are accessible works of video art created by Martha Rosler in association with Paper Tiger Television to illustrate basic issues in feminist thought. Rosler is also well-known for her video performance piece, Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975), which continues to inspire new work. Her Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained (1977) has a similar take on the measurement of a woman's body. KREISINGER, Elisa: Pop Culture Pirate is the home of remix artist Elisa Kreisinger's feminist utopian works, including videos related to Mad Men: Set Me Free (2012); Don Loves Roger (2012); and The Evolution of Peggy Olson (2013). But also Queer Housewives of NYC (2009): One & Two. Queer Carrie (2009-2010): One, Two, & Three. The Real Feminists of Beverly Hills (2011). The Real House Husbands of New Jersey (2012). Ann Romney Loves Women (Remix) (2012). And For Your Consideration: Oscars 2011 (2012). That's two ...

Here are a few more:
  • AHTILA, Eija-Liisa: In If 6 Was 9 (1995-1996), Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila presents a "complex fiction" about the desires and sexuality of a group of adolescents.
  • AHWESH, Peggy: Peggy Ahwesh's She Puppet (2001) appropriates video captured from the game Tomb Raider and adds voiceovers and other soundtrack elements to make Lara Croft an avatar of the uncanny: an alien, orphan, and clone. The Star Eaters (2003) is "[a]n inconclusive treatise on women and gambling. The allure of risk taking and excessive behavior, play acting and a penchant for failure combine in this fairy-tale set in the abject landscape of decay and abandonment that was once glamorous Atlantic City. A sentimental education at the seashore off-season."
  • AKERMAN, Chantal: The short film Saute ma ville (1968) prefigures several visual and structural elements of Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman's much more well-known Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)--kitchen scenes, quiet moments, and a dramatic twist ending [trigger warning: summary with spoiler].
  • ANTIN, Eleanor: From the Archives of Modern Art (1987) by Eleanor Antin is a fictional collection of silent films that assembles "the 'lost years' of Eleanor Antinova, the once-celebrated black ballerina of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, when she returned to her native America to eke out a meager living in vaudeville and early cinema."
  • BARTANA, Yael: In Kings of the Hill (2003), Israeli artist Yael Bartana documents a gathering of 4-wheel drive owners engaging in a simple, understated public performance of their passions and identities.
  • BENGLIS, Lynda: In Lynda Benglis's Female Sensibility (1973), "[a]s two heavily made-up women take turns directing each other and submitting to each other's kisses and caresses, it becomes increasingly obvious that the camera is their main point of focus. Read against feminist film theory of the 'male gaze,' the action becomes a highly charged statement of the sexual politics of viewing and role-playing; and, as such, is a crucial text in the development of early feminist video."
  • BERNADETTE CORPORATION: Get Rid of Yourself (2001) is Bernadette Corporation's "video-film-tract addressed to those who anonymously embody the return of political activism within Empire. While its initial sounds and images were filmed during the riots in Genoa, 2001, these materials are pulled apart and recomposed in order to locate the intensity of a shared experience, rather than producing one more documentary version of the programmed and hyper-mediatized confrontation of the G8 counter-summit."
  • BRADERMAN, Joan: Joan Braderman creatively examines the tropes and the pathos of a popular TV soap opera in Joan Does Dynasty (excerpt; 1986).
  • CALLE, Sophie and Gregory Shephard: In Double Blind (excerpt; 1992), "French conceptual artist Sophie Calle joins with Gregory Shephard ... Armed with camcorders, Calle and her collaborator/partner Shephard head West in his Cadillac convertible to produce and document a real-life narrative of their journey and their relationship. With America as the backdrop for this unconventional coast-to-coast road movie, Calle and Shephard each narrates and records a personal diary, presenting strikingly different versions of the narrative/relationship."
  • CAMPBELL, Colin: In an excerpt from The Woman From Malibu (1976), Colleena (Canadian artist Colin Campbell) narrates a brief, tragic story.
  • DASH, Julie: Julie Dash wrote and directed the independent feature film Daughters of the Dust (1991), which "tells the story of a large African-American family as it prepares to move North at the dawn of the the 20th Century" and "explores the unique culture of the Gullah people, descendants of slaves who lived in relative isolation on the Sea Islands off the Georgia coast." Trailer, director's clips, and 'the making of' videos.
  • DUFRESNE, Angela: not (2007) is Angela Dufresne's short, ironic video about a woman visiting and appreciating the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • EMIN, Tracey: In Why I Never Became a Dancer (1995), English artist Tracey Emin tells a story about her "early teenage years spent kicking against the boredom of the seaside town, Margate, where she grew up, and experimenting with sex from an early age until she became disillusioned with men and turned instead to dancing ... Humiliated by a group of local boys, most of whom she'd slept with, Emin discovered the hypocrisy of small-town attitudes towards liberated female sexuality."
  • GILLIGAN, Melanie: Popular Unrest (2010) is Canadian artist Melanie Gilligan's online "multi-episode drama set in a future much like the present. Here, however, all exchange transactions and social interactions are overseen by a system called ‘the Spirit’. A rash of unexplained killings have broken out across the globe. They often take place in public but witnesses never see an assailant. Just as mysteriously, groups of unrelated people are suddenly coming together everywhere, amassing new members rapidly. Unaccountably, they feel a deep and persistent sense of connection to one another."
  • HAMILTON METCALFE, Rohesia: Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe's La Blanchisseuse (1995) evokes paintings of laundresses by Edgar Degas, Honoré Daumier, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Edward Stott, and others in a meditative examination of domestic work, the emotional pull toward nurturing others, and the "sense of betrayal and rejection that can be the reward for providing such care."
  • HARNEY, Tanja: In Talo (The House) (2012), Irish/Finnish artist Tanja Harney creates a sublime portrait of a home, carefully maintained but mysteriously unoccupied. In Repair, Rewind, Restore (2009), she peels apples and stitches the peels back together to hang them on a tree.
  • HAYES, Sharon: In Symbionese Liberation Army (excerpt; 2003), Sharon Hayes enlists the audience's help with her lines as she re-enacts Patty Hearst's taped messages to her family.
  • HEISE, Henriette, and Jakob Jakobsen: Trauma 1 - 11: Stories about the Copenhagen Free University and the surrounding society in the last ten years reflexively and hypnotically evokes an abstraction--the invention of an institution--by Danish artists Henriette Heise, Jakob Jakobsen, and others.
  • HERE'S LUCK: here's luck is a "fangirl (spoiler-free), occasional vidder, all-purpose geek" who appropriates video from popular TV shows and edits them into music videos: Come On (2002); New Frontier (2006); Strength in You (2008); All We Have (2010); Love at First Sight (2011); and more.
  • JONAS, Joan: In the pioneering work Vertical Roll (1972), we see Joan Jonas's "alter-ego Organic Honey performing a series of actions in a series of costumes, mediated by the intentional use of a common televisual malfunction for which the piece is titled, the vertical roll."
  • JULY, Miranda: Getting Stronger Every Day (2001) is a short video by Miranda July, which she explains: "There are two movies I saw on TV about boys who were taken from their families and then returned to them years later. One boy was on a fun spaceship for years and the other boy was kidnapped and molested. These boys were never the same again and they just couldn't re-integrate into the family. I saw these movies when I was little. I've often described them to people, always paired together. They are sort of the comedy and tragedy version of the same story and it is a mundanely spiritual story. Getting Stronger Every Day includes these boys' tales, but they are like mystical objects placed on the living reality of the man storyteller. In other parts of the movie actual mystical objects hover in peoples lives without a myth or story attached. I like to think about how these dimensions interact simply and can be enacted: real life / story / worldly / spirit / video / flat drawing." [As an aside, Miranda July's email project We Think Alone has around six weeks remaining.]
  • KUSAMA, Yayoi: The experimental film Kusama's Self-Obliteration (1967)--parts one, two, and three--showcases the early work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, which builds productively on the atypical neurology she has chosen to embrace.
  • LINDEN, Liz: Liz Linden's Inside Out (2009) collects clips from popular TV shows in which pregnant actresses portray characters who aren't pregnant. The Truth About Advertising (2011) is "a dual-screen video juxtaposing and inflecting the near-identical opening scenes of 'Boomerang,' (1992) starring Eddie Murphy, and 'Nothing in Common,' (1986) starring Tom Hanks, both movies about greedy, womanizing advertising executives whose priorities are changed by the love of a good woman."
  • MINTER, Marilyn: In Marilyn Minter's Green Pink Caviar (2009), a woman's nose, lips, and tongue press in slow motion against a clear glass surface coated in brilliant viscous fluids to create a strange but aesthetically compelling effect.
  • MIR, Aleksandra: Organized Movement (2004) is Aleksandra Mir's video diary of a one-month-long project in which 20 artists gathered in Mexico City to produce a series of works which had, as their one creative constraint, to be made with materials and labor available in the city's historic center.
  • MOGUL, Susan: In Dressing Up (excerpt; 1973), Susan Mogul puts on clothes while talking about her and her mother's shopping habits. In Take Off (1974), she sits behind a table and demonstrates the use of a vibrator.
  • NASAWIYA: The Adventures of Salwa (2011) is a series of brief animated shorts by Nasawiya, a collective of feminist activists, intended to raise awareness about sexual harassment in Lebanon.
  • NEGUS, Christine: Canadian artist Christine Negus makes short videos (often animated) that are witty, vulgar, morbid, strange, and sometimes moving: secret galaxy (2009) [trigger warning: molestation]; we can't see their shape from this far away, but we can hear them (2009); wild horses couldn't drag me away (2009); forget. (2010); hope/alone (2010); stillborns (2010); the only light (2010); bloodbath (2012); frozen giants (2013); host or ghost (2013); our home (2013); slit me a river (2013).
  • ONO, Yoko: In Yoko Ono's Fly (1970), "[t]he camera follows a fly as it walks about the body of a nude woman. Shot in extreme closeup (and accompanied by Ono's eponymous song), the film sets out to celebrate the human body."
  • ORR, Elizabeth and Emma Hedditch: Elizabeth Orr (US) and Emma Hedditch (UK) collaborated on the music video "Lost Triangle" (2012) as well as Sitting Up (2012), a meditation on production, consumption, and the web. Orr's work also includes the music video "Little Bone of Pain" (2012) and short pieces such as $$$ (2011) and Steak (2013)
  • PLUMB, Shannon: In short films such as Commercials (2001), Paper Collection (2007), and Matinee (2009), video artist Shannon Plumb playfully evokes the history of TV, film, and fashion from a feminist point of view.
  • RIST, Pipilotti: (Entlastungen) Pipilottis Fehler (excerpt; 1988), a.k.a. (Absolutions) Pipilotti's Mistakes by Pipilotti Rist, richly exemplifies 80s-era video styles: "[p]recisely edited to the start-stop rhythm of a martial beat and post-punk rock music, Absolutions glories in organized disjunction, juxtaposing images of the artist collapsing to the ground with bursts of wildly scrambled electronic distortion."
  • SHERMAN, Cindy: Doll Clothes (1975) is Cindy Sherman's stop motion animation of a realistic paper doll trying to get dressed and admire herself in the mirror. A concluding image calls to mind the ghost images of a moving figure, akin to Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.
  • STEELE, Lisa: The Gloria Tapes (excerpt; 1980) and Talking Tongues (excerpt; 1982) portray mundane but difficult scenarios faced by imaginary women, illustrating typical strategies of representation in Lisa Steele's conceptual anthropology.
  • STEINER, A. L. and Nicole Eisenman: A. L. Steiner joins with Nicole Eisenman to form Ridykeulous and create Times Square SCUM MANifesto (2011), a video that features ordinary people in Times Square reading aloud sections of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men) by Valerie Solanas.
  • WELBON, Yvonne: Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 (trailer; 2013) is a documentary by Yvonne Welbon. "Born July 23, 1899, in Springfield, Illinois, Ruth Ellis was the oldest 'out' African American lesbian known. The film offers a rare opportunity to experience a century of our American history as lived by one inspiring woman. By example, Ruth Ellis shows us what is possible and what can be realized, if one not only lives long and ages well but also lives with pride. Ruth Ellis died at home peacefully in her sleep on October 5, 2000. She was 101."
  • WIELAND, Joyce: Rat Life and Diet in North America (1968) is an aggressively challenging political allegory by Canadian experimental filmmaker Joyce Wieland. It uses manipulated footage of rodents overlaid with text and accompanied by an ear-splitting soundtrack to send a message "against the corporate military industrial structure of global village." However, peace obtains as the rodents escape to a happy life of cherry festivals and flower ceremonies in Canada.
  • WILKE, Hannah: With Gestures (excerpt; 1974), Hannah Wilke drew attention to movements, poses, expressions, and meanings of the human body.
  • WILLIAMSON, Margaux: In Teenager Hamlet (2010/2012), Margaux Williamson "explores how young people make art and make their morality in the city," generally through direct interviews, but occasionally through music, brief animations, appropriated TV footage, monologues and dialogues that keep returning to the topic of Hamlet, and a very loose sort of play in the woods.
  • ZIEGLER, Kortney Ryan: Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen (trailer/excerpt; 2008) by Kortney Ryan Ziegler presents "the stories of six thoughtful, eloquent and diverse transmen. Preachers, teachers, students and activists educate us simply by making their presence known. Each man brings a colorful and complex richness as he describes his relationship to himself, as well as others in his life--the cadence of his voice keeping in rhythm with how the speaker displays himself to the camera" (additional clip).
Sources (obviously not to blame for framing, editing, limited investigation of alternatives, errors, etc.): Previously: Akerman - Calle - Dash - Emin - Gilligan - Hayes - Jonas - July - Kreisinger (1) - Kreisinger (2) - Kusama - Minter - Mir - Ono - Rist - Rosler - Sherman - Wieland - Wilke.
posted by Monsieur Caution (13 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
Amazing post. Lots to get into here. Definitely don't start with Don Loves Roger though, or you may never leave.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:45 PM on October 2, 2013

Absolutely amazing!
posted by suedehead at 3:02 PM on October 2, 2013

Oh I see, an artist does it and it's art but I do it and it's " an insane crack pairing no one can take seriously."
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

What is the source of the Conde Nast story in the first video?
posted by lovelyzoo at 4:04 PM on October 2, 2013

No mention of Fitzgerald & Sanborn?

I still vividly remember "Don't Ask."
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:46 PM on October 2, 2013

What a cornucopia! I've sampled a few and bookmarked the post to savor at leisure.
posted by languagehat at 5:41 PM on October 2, 2013

Thank you so much for this. I have no time to delve in tonight but this is bookmarked and I will be back to appreciate your hard work.
posted by Cuke at 6:02 PM on October 2, 2013

Amazing post.
posted by Sebmojo at 6:22 PM on October 2, 2013

Oh hell yes.
posted by book 'em dano at 7:02 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

This is a truly masterful compilation! I shall have to spend some time watching a lot of these.

My only complaint is that you're missing fanvidder Laura Shapiro. She vids in a multitude of fandoms with both squee and a critical eye. Only a Lad challenges the fondness for the Bad Boys of pop culture. And Stay Awake will make you think twice about all those television plotlines about women's reproduction. But there's also Mothership, a gleeful expression of love for Doctor Who.

(Note: I'm a friend of Laura's, but her vids are truly marvelous.)
posted by suelac at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Theta States at 8:48 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Minter! Rist! July! Calle! Ono!
so many favourites.
posted by Theta States at 8:49 AM on October 3, 2013

Great post! I would also include a big up for Sadie Benning, PixelVision pioneer, co-founder of Le Tigre, and all-around Interesting Artist.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

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