<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.
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.
- Tate: Desire Unbound
Artists who use the body as a basis of their work, encorporating elements of sexuality; voyeurism and portraiture.
- Women’s Cinema
How the book ‘Women’s Cinema: The contested Screen’ by Alison Butler has influenced the way I choose to shoot my work as a female video artist
- Allana Clarke
The work of Allana Clarke, video artist, who looks at sexuality and the female body.
- Parris Mayhew
How Parris Mayhew’s directorial and editing style have influenced my own style of layering transparencies in my editing
- Television installation art
Artists who have chosen to show their film work as a video installtion.
Whilst on facebook the other day a Peter Steele group I’ve liked posted a gif of Type O Negative’s song ‘Black No.1’. I went back and watched the full video and realised how similar it is to the style of video I’ve been trying to make.
The thing I was mostly captured by was the use of layering and opacity to explain a narrative.
I then decided to try this technique in a similar way within my own work combining image and video layering, changing the opacity and the noise in the still image to recreate the feeling of movement.
Here is Parris Mayhew’s full video:
Allana Clarke’s work expores similar themes to my own. Sexuality in combination with narrative and video art create strong pieces with vivid narratives. The use of shadow, greyscale and contrast create really beautiful imagery.
I’ve always loved the experimental film work of Andy Warhol to the point where I had somewhat of an Edie Sedgwick phase during my school years. Warhol’s film ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’ has had an influence on a significant portion of my video work over the years. The passivity and voyeuristic insight are reoccurring themes within Warhol’s work. Warhol’s avant-garde experimental films capture the characters of the period, however in an out of focus way, which makes the viewer focus more.
One of the most well-known examples of this voyeurism within Warhol’s work is ‘Sleep’.