I decided to create some gifs from my videos as I really like how unsettling the images look when taken out of context to the video, despite them just being gifs of my body. I think this shows the importance of seeing the video as a whole as although the clips in the video may seem disjointed and fragmented it is clear there is a narrative of the body within it.
<her> Video as Female Terrain was an group exhibition of video artists who use women and the female form as the inspiration and basis of their work.
An exhibition with 22 female artists and three male artists could perhaps appear feminist if one looks at the list of participating artists. I would prefer for it not to be called into question and accepted as much. The theme of <hers> is not women’s art but rather the artistic confrontation with women and with their representation in the media. By using the save image technology as the mass media, female artists confirm the dominating role – Excerpt from <hers>
Here are some of the pieces and artists which stood out to me in the exhibition:
Pia Greschner – Oriental Gravity.
Oriental Gravity is a video installation by Greschner that focuses on a young woman with the accompanying text
SUPERNATURAL I FEEL LIGHT … 24 HOURS SUN … AND BLACK BEACHES … I’M A VIRGIN SACRIFICED TO A VOLCANO … WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY … I’M THE WARMEST GIRL IN THE WORLD … PEOPLE TELL ME I’M ROMANTIC ONLY WITH NATURE … I GUESS I MUST HAVE MISSED IT … EXCUSE ME … BUT I’M THE WARMEST GIRL IN THE WORLD
This ties into the way in which I have been looking at the female form in terms of landscape and nature. The hazy, almost surreal look of the piece creates a dreamlike atmosphere.
Diane Nerwen – Under the Skin Game
Nerwen has described her work as using ‘fragmentation, appropriation and digital manipulation are used as strategies of resistance and as ways to subvert the power of images and ideologies portrayed by dominant media culture’. This is shown in Under the Skin Games through fragmented images that create a distorted narrative. The use of black and white highlights the absurdity of the images and the abstraction of the narrative.
Chloe Piene – You’re Gonna be my Woman
Chloe Piene is interested in extreme forms of power and survival. In You’re Gonna Be My Woman a bestial woman is cornered but not defeated by the video camera which takes the role of a surveillance camera, representing power which the woman furiously challenges with her behaviour. She will not accept the camera’s or viewers’ power over her, and her instincts drive her to intimidate, a direct and basic form of using power. The woman lashes out at her inferior.
After looking at the work of Ansel Adams I wanted to look further into artists who use high contract images of nature to show texture and planes of spaces within their work.
After reading ‘Written on the Body’ I felt inclined to take some photographs of my body in a way which makes it feel like a part of a larger landscape. I tried to use portions of my body as a texture of a natural setting whilst keeping the high contrast black and white look present in my video work.
‘Written on the Body’ is a book by writer Jennifer Winterson. The book describes relationships through passion and metaphor.
Winterson’s writing style chooses to show the body as a living organism, describing it less through emotion but more through physical attributes.
I especially enjoy the use of nature metaphors as that is something I’m trying to visually represent my body as in my art work.
Earlier this week I picked up one of the most breath-taking books I’ve ever read. Kenneth Anger by Alice L. Hutchinson is a book which looks at the complete works of the artist Kenneth Anger.
Due to this I found a lot of his work that I wasn’t aware of in the past. I did not know that Anger had worked in a similar style to the way in which I work, with high-contrast images of people and the body, as I mostly associate Anger with his brightly coloured films.
I love the use of shadow and energy to tell a visual story within these film stills, as well as the interesting use of visual cues such as abstract angles and shadows.