Minneapolis, MN, September 24, 2011— The Walker Art Center presents two programs in October and November that explore the roots of feminist cinema. From October 27 through December 5, the Walker features the work of pioneering visual artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson with an exhibition, a public lecture, and premiere screenings of her documentary !Women Art Revolution. The series And Yet She Moves, running from November 4 through November 16, showcases groundbreaking early feminist films from the 1970s and early 1980s.
The two programs, co-presented with the University of Minnesota, aim to present the diversity and internationalism of the second-wave feminist movement, according to Walker film/video curator Sheryl Mousley. “In general I think a lot of young women artists are realizing feminism has a long and really complex story,” Mousley said. “The second-wave feminists of the 60s and 70s are seen as standing on the shoulders of the first wave, but in the 21st century artists can be quite removed from that—which allows them to discover its history for themselves and make their mark in a new way.”
Full details on both programs (and related events) follow.
And Yet She Moves: Reviewing Feminist Cinema
Friday, November 4, 7:30 pm
Directed by Věra Chytilová
Introduced by Alice Lovejoy, Assistant Professor Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
“One of the most exhilarating stylistic and psychedelic eruptions of the 60s”—Jonathan Rosenbaum
The visually arresting Daisies, part of the New Wave Cinema movement in 1960s Czechoslovakia leading up to the Prague Spring, challenges gender identity politics. Two women mutiny against the culture around them in actions that range from playful to destructive. Following the Czech political upheaval in 1968, Chytilova was banned from making films until 1975 due to her rebellious style. 1966, 35mm, 74 minutes.
Saturday, November 5, 7:30 pm
Riddles of the Sphinx
Directed by Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen
Introduced by John Mowitt, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota
“Half of you will be trying to guess the riddle, and the other half of you are the riddle.” –Sigmund Freud, on female psychology
Following the landmark 1975 publication of Mulvey’s Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema which investigates the viewer’s relationship to the moving image, Mulvey and Wollen set out to present this theoretical position on screen with this film that confronts the myth of woman as “riddle.” Tackling topics of patriarchy, feminism, and motherhood through the lens of psychoanalysis, the core narrative is told via 13 poetic and dreamlike 360-degree camera pans. “The heady excitement of watching [the film], the sensuality of the color, and the somewhat hypnotic force of the Ratledge score all figure as strongly…as the ideological discourse that motivates its unfolding” (B. Ruby Rich). 1977, video, 92 minutes.
Thursday, November 10, 7:30 pm
Chick Strand: In Retrospect
Directed by Chick Strand
Introduced by Paula Rabinowitz, Professor, Department of English, University of Minnesota
Strand, a prolific experimental filmmaker from the San Francisco Bay Area, was concerned with issues around ethnography, anthropology and class. This selection of early work shows Strand’s virtuosity at optical printing while taking us through historical and intimate stories of women’s lives in Mexico, Venezuela, Germany, and the U.S.
Anselmo (1967, 3 minutes)
Mosori Monika (1970, 20 minutes)
Kristallnacht (1979, 7 minutes)
Soft Fiction (1979, 54 minutes)
1967-1979, 16mm, program length 94 minutes.
In Person: Bette Gordon
In these two groundbreaking works from the early 1980s, Gordon created stories of strong, unapologetic women confronting life in New York.
Friday, November 11, 7:30 pm
Introduced by director Bette Gordon
With a riveting script by Kathy Acker based on Gordon’s original story, a young women navigates the relationship between the image and viewer when she takes a job in the box office at a Times Square porn theater. Curious about the films and the men who attend, she voyeuristically sneaks peaks into the theater and into the lives of the men in the audience. 1983, 35mm, 100 minutes.
Saturday, November 12, 2 pm
Introduced by director Bette Gordon, and followed by an in-depth conversation with curator Sheryl Mousley
One of the most radical and raw films of the 1980s and a key film of the NoWave Movement, Empty Suitcases presents a stark look at a strong photographer living life on the edge. Set within the milieu of the Downtown art world (with a cameo by Nan Goldin), the artist embraces anarchy and terrorism as ways to address the sexual, economic, social and professional struggles she faces. 1980, video, 49 minutes.
Saturday, November 12, 7:30 pm
Surname Viet, Given Name Nam
Directed by Trinh T. Minh-ha
Introduced by Jigna Desai, Associate Professor, Department of Gender, Women and Sexualities Studies, University of Minnesota
One of the most rigorous and challenging works on identity, memory and culture, Trinh shows the lives and histories of women in the resistance movements in Vietnam and the U.S. The film incorporates dance, printed texts, folk poetry, and the words of Vietnamese women, and raises questions of the politics of interviewing and of documentary itself. “Keenly intelligent, sensuously multi-layered. Emotionally, the film leaves you with the courage and persistent strength of Vietnamese women” (The Nation).
Sunday, November 13, 2 pm
Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Directed by Chantal Akerman
Introduced by Paula Rabinowitz, Professor, Department of English, University of Minnesota
Jeanne Dielman meticulously plots a Brussel widow’s (Delphine Seyrig, of Last Year at Marienbad, Stolen Kisses), daily ritual of household chores. This tale of domesticity undone exudes a sense of alienation and dread with a shocker of an ending. Working with an almost all-female crew, 25-year-old Akerman utilized long takes and painstaking framing in creating this highly influential work. “Before Akerman, no one had ever made a film examining emptiness, and made it so empty. It’s a masterpiece that writes its own rules about how movies express themselves—you can’t compare it to other films, not even Akerman’s” (IFC.com). 1975, 35mm, 201 minutes.
Wednesday, November 16, 7:30 pm
One Way or Another (De cierta manera)
Directed by Sara Gómez, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Julio García Espinosa
Introduced by August Nimtz, Jr., Professor, Political Science, University of Minnesota
Gomez, a revolutionary filmmaker focusing on Afro-Cuban cultural and gender issues, tackles the marginalized in this part-documentary, part-fictionalized love story. Set in Miraflores, a residential development built by the Revolution in 1962 for shantytown inhabitants outside of Havana, Yolanda, a teacher, and her lover Mario, a factory worker clash over their divergent socioeconomic backgrounds. 1977, 16mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 78 minutes.
And Yet She Moves: Reviewing Feminist Cinema is copresented by the Arts & Humanities Chair 2011-2013, Moving Image Studies, and the departments of English, German, Scandinavian & Dutch, and Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. Additional support provided by the Morton Zabel Fund of the Department of English.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are screened in the Walker Cinema and are $8 ($6 Walker members and students with valid ID). Cinephile’s package: See five films for the price of three for $24 ($18). Refreshments are available in the Walker’s Garden Café by D’Amico prior to each show.
Related Free Screenings:
Best Buy Film/Video Bay:
These two selections Semiotics of the Kitchen (Martha Rosler, 1975, 6 minutes), and 11 thru 12 (Andrea Callard, 1977, 11 minutes) skewer the idea that women’s work is only in the home.
Walker Lecture Room:
Directed by Elisabeth Subrin
Slipping between past and present as well as fact and fiction, Shulie is a shot-by-shot remake of a 1960s documentary about radical `70s feminist Shulamith Firestone (The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution) before she had discovered feminism. The resulting film is a nostalgic and somewhat cynical reflection on the legacy of feminism. 1997, 16mm film transferred to video, 37 minutes.
Premieres: !Women Art Revolution
Premiere: ! Women Art Revolution
Directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson
Friday, November 18, 7:30 pm
Introduced by the director with a post-screening Q & A
Saturday, November 19; 2, 4 and 7:30 pm
Sunday, November 20, 1 and 3 pm
$8 ($6 Walker members and students with valid ID)
!Women Art Revolution (!W.A.R.) is a fascinating documentary that combines interviews, artwork, and rarely-seen archival film and video footage, collected over the past 40 years, to detail the evolution of the feminist art movement in the United States from 1968 to the present.
!W.A.R. ties the feminist art movement to 1960s anti-war and civil rights demonstrations, showing how historical events, such as the all-male exhibition protesting the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, sparked the first of many feminist actions against major cultural institutions. !W.A.R. also details major developments in women’s art during the 1970s, including the opening of alternative art spaces such as the AIR Gallery in New York and the Los Angeles Woman’s Building. Chronicling the work of activists in recent decades, the film focuses on the Guerrilla Girls, the Women’s Art Coalition and other similar groups, as well as the publications and spaces they’ve engendered, and features such artists as Miranda July, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Marina Abramovic, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, B. Ruby Rich, Ingrid Sischy, Carolee Schneemann, Miriam Schapiro, Marcia Tucker and countless other groundbreaking figures. 2010, video, 83 minutes. An installation based on material collected for the film is on display at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. See below for more details.
The Premieres series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.
Media partner: 89.3 The Current
Minnesota Women Artists Talk Back
Saturday November 19, 2011, noon-5 pm, Free
Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab
Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson encourages other women artists to claim their own history in her film_ !Women Art Revolution_ and has created a website for other artists to upload their images and stories. The Walker Art Center invites the public to contribute information about women artists from the Twin Cities and the Midwest through this workshop where slide scanners and video cameras and assistance will be provided to help upload information to the website and to help artists create or update profiles on MNartists.org.
About Lynn Hershman Leeson
Work by Lynn Hershman Leeson is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the William Lehmbruck Museum, the ZKM (Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Canada, the Walker Art Center, and the University Art Museum, Berkeley, in addition to the celebrated private collections of Donald Hess and Arturo Schwarz, among many others. Commissions include projects for the Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, De Young Museum, Daniel Langois and Stanford University, and Charles Schwab. Secret Agents Private I, The Art and Films of Lynn Hershman Leeson was published by The University of California Press in 2005 on the occasion of a retrospective at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. Her three feature films, Strange Culture, Teknolust, and Conceiving Ada have screened in the Sundance Film Festival and The Berlin International Film Festival, among others, and have won numerous awards.
Recently honored with grants from Creative Capital and the National Endowment for the Arts, she is also the recipient of a Siemens International Media Arts Award, the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, Prix Ars Electronica, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize, Digital Arts Award (Digital Arts Museum, Berlin) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2004 Stanford University Libraries acquired the artist’s working archive. Lynn Hershman Leeson lives and works in San Francisco. She is Chair of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis and an A.D. White Professor at Large at Cornell University.
October 27 through December 3, 2011
Lynn Hershman Leeson: Investigations
Exhibition co-organized by the Katherine E. Nash Gallery in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota and the Walker Art Center. Cosponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study.
Katherine E. Nash Gallery
Regis Center for Art
University of Minnesota
405 21st Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm, Free
Over the last three decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her pioneering use of new technologies and her investigations of issues that are now recognized as key to the working of our society: identity in a time of consumerism, privacy in an era of surveillance, interfacing of humans and machines, and the relationship between real and virtual worlds.
Lynn Hershman Leeson: Investigations brings together three key projects spanning the trajectory of the artist’s career to date: Roberta Breitmore (1974-78), in which the artist created, lived and documented the life of a fictional persona; Lorna (1983-84), the first interactive art video in which the users make choices for an agoraphobic protagonist; and RAW/WAR (2011), a user-generated and constantly evolving interactive history of women artists and feminist art.
Wednesday in Process
Lecture: Laura Wertheim
Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 12:15 pm, InFlux
Laura Wertheim, Ph.D. candidate in art history and curatorial assistant for the exhibition Lynn Hershman Leeson: Investigations, will discuss Hershman’s work from a theoretical and critical perspective.
Gallery Talk: Siri Engberg
Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 12:15 pm, Nash Gallery
Siri Engberg is curator of visual arts at Walker Art Center and co-curator of the exhibition Lynn Hershman Leeson: Investigations. She will discuss the Roberta Breitmore series in the gallery.
Thursday, November 17, 5 pm
Lynn Hershman Leeson will discuss her work. A reception follows.