We're honoured to be announcing the 3rd date to Shorts On Tap's first recurrent series: WOMEN IN REVOLT.
Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.
A queer feminist short film and video event curated by Club des Femmes that investigates the most material dimension of sex and sexuality: the body.
In an age when commodification has almost completely silenced any mainstream political discussion of the casual use of female nudity, we revisit some seminal and look to recent film work made by artists exploring the queer/female form.
TAPP – UND TAST-KINO (TAP AND TOUCH CINEMA)
Dir. VALIE EXPORT, 1968, Austria, 2 mins
Tap and Touch Cinema belongs to Austrian artist VALIE EXPORT’s early guerilla performances that attained an iconic status in art history. She wore a tiny ‘movie theatre’ around her naked upper body, so that her body could not be seen but could be touched by anyone reaching through the curtained front and into the dark of her mobile ‘theatre’. Tap and Touch Cinema was performed in the street and all passers-by, men, women, and children were invited to ‘tap and touch’.
Tap and Touch Cinema was performed in ten European cities between 1968-71.
Dir. Barbara Hammer, 1974, USA, 4mins
Hammer’s films of the 70’s are the first made by an openly lesbian American filmmaker to explore lesbian identity, desire and sexuality through avant-garde strategies. Merging the physicality of the female body with that of the film medium, Hammer’s films remain memorable for their pioneering articulation of a lesbian aesthetic.
Dir. Barbara Hammer, 1978, USA, 16mins
Four stages of a lesbian relationship explored in an experimental film starring performance artists Terry Sendgraff and Barbara Hammer on suspended trapezes and ropes.
Dir. Hans Scheirl & Ursula Pürrer, 1984, Austria, 3 mins
Body-Building is one of a number of super 8 shorts, executed between 1984-1986 in Vienna, that exude a fresh intimacy and vitality. Referred to by the filmmakers as ‘home movies’, they record actionistic performances in the directors’ own homes, with added soundtracks of intermittent percussive sounds.
MEASURES OF DISTANCE
Dir. Mona Hatoum, 1988, UK, 16mins
Measures of Distance is a video work comprising several layered elements. Letters written by Hatoum’s mother in Beirut to her daughter in London appear as Arabic text moving over the screen and are read aloud in English by Hatoum. The background images are slides of Hatoum’s mother in the shower, taken by the artist during a visit to Lebanon. Taped conversations in Arabic between mother and daughter, in which her mother speaks openly about her feelings, her sexuality and her husband’s objections to Hatoum’s intimate observation of her mother’s naked body are intercut with Hatoum’s voice in English reading the letters.
Dir. Jayne Parker, 1989, UK, 13mins
Making an external order out of an internal tangle. (K. – abbreviation of ‘to knit’).
Part 1: a woman pulls her intestine out of her mouth and lets it fall in a soft pile at her feet. Then she knits the intestine using only her arms.
Part 2: she stands on the edge of a pool and makes herself dive again and again.
‘I bring out into the open all the things I have taken in that are not mine and thereby make room for something new. I make an external order out of an internal tangle’ J.P.
Jayne Parker herself is the central performer in her film K. Her closely observed actions build through repetition and montage into metaphors for states of mind, or being.
Dir. Jules Nurrish, 2007, UK, 3mins
Performance piece inspired by the ‘Bend It’ dance made famous by artists Gilbert & George starring Heather Cassils and Anat Ben David. The film premiered at Sundance 2008.
Dir. Laure Prouvost, 2013, UK, 12mins
Inspired by the aesthetic and sensuous pleasures of Italy and referencing the genre of panoramic painting, Swallow shows fragments of footage, from birds to women bathing in waterfalls. Exploring language and translation, 2014 Turner Prize winner Prouvost plays on the historic idea of visiting the Mediterranean for inspiration.
Commissioned as part of the Max Mara Prize for Women, in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery).
Dir. Ursula Mayer, 2013, UK, 12mins
Medea takes its starting point from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Medea of 1969. Mayer brings this ancient legend up to date by casting JD Samson (Le Tigre, Men), a contemporary icon of Queerness and pop culture.
The ancient legend of Medea contrasts two worlds that are no longer compatible with one another – the old archaic world of Medea and the modern rational world of Jason. Both individuals, who confront each other here as representatives of their opposing systems and raise the great question of peaceful coexistence between cultures in times of globalization.
Thus it is fitting that Mayer lets the filmed scenes be repeatedly interrupted by short documentary insertions, which show extracts from the current unrest in the Arab region as they are circulating on YouTube and on television.
Austrian born, London based artist and film-maker Mayer won the 2014 Jarman Award for her pioneering work on gender division, identity and consumerism.
TRT: 81 MINS
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In the age of the sound-bite, Club des Femmes is a much-needed open platform for more radical contextualization and forward-looking future vision: a chance to look beyond the mainstream.
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