Feminism

2004
Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh

This 3-disc DVD collection features nine works by maverick film and video maker Peggy Ahwesh. The set also includes title descriptions, a biography, film/videography, a selected bibliography, and the following texts:

  • Pistolary! Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh -- Eileen Myles
  • Film, Baby -- Peggy Ahwesh
  • Interview with Peggy Ahwesh -- Scott MacDonald

 

1991
A Place Called Lovely

“Nicky is seven. His parents are older and meaner.” A Place Called Lovely references the types of violence individuals find in life, from actual beatings, accidents and murders, to the more insidious violence of lies, social expectations, and betrayed faith. Benning collects images of this socially-pervasive violence from a variety of sources, tracing events from childhood: movies, tabloids, children's games (like mumbledy-peg), personal experiences, and those of others.

1980
PM Magazine/Acid Rock

Appropriating material from the introduction to the nightly television show, PM Magazine and a commercial for Wang Computers, Birnbaum uses enlarged still-frames from each of the sources to compound a new image of the indelible American Dream. To the soundtrack of an acid rock version of The Doors' L.A. Woman, repetitive images of an ice skater, baton twirler, cheerleader, and young girls licking ice cream, exemplify dominant cultural images of women — images that emphasize their performative nature: the idea that woman is a spectacle arranged for the (male) viewer's pleasure.

1974
The Politics of Intimacy

The setting for The Politics of Intimacy recalls the widespread consciousness-raising (CR) groups in the late '60s and early '70s inspired by the emerging feminist movement. CR groups provided a forum to openly and collectively validate women's otherwise private experiences. In the tape Dr. Sherfy, one of the first doctors to write about female sexuality, and nine women of different ages, sexual preferences, and economic and social situations discuss their sexual experiences.

1980
Pop-Pop Video: General Hospital/Olympic Women Speed Skate

The "cross-over" in Olympic Women Speed Skating is juxtaposed against General Hospital's whites in reverse angle shots. A couple tries disparagingly to reach an understanding. Skaters continuously return to the starting line. Frustration and exertion combine with originally scored soundtracks of disco, rock, and jazz.

1980
Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang

Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang takes a shootout from Kojak and extends the shot and counter-shot into a potentially endless battle. In the original TV fragment, images, gestures and actions rebound off one another like the echoes of repeated bursts of gunfire. Birnbaum compares gunfire with the beams of laser light from a computer in a Wang commercial, connecting destruction and violence with the products of advancing technology.

1983
Possibly in Michigan

Possibly In Michigan is an operatic fairytale about cannibalism in Middle America. A masked man stalks a woman through a shopping mall and follows her home. In the end, their roles are reversed when the heroine deposits a mysterious Hefty bag at the curb. Like Condit's other video narratives, Possibly In Michigan shows bizarre events disrupting mundane lives. Combining the commonplace with the macabre, humor with the absurd, she constructs a world of divided reality.

2003
Poster Girl

As if trapped inside a nightmare, the main protagonist of Poster Girl is haunted by disturbing visions, thoughts and fantasies, which the viewer is privy to. She is joined at various points in the video by another woman, whose role in the narrative remains unclear – is she meant to function as a guardian or a demon? The video further complicates the matter by representing both women as simultaneously wounded and wounding, inviting and threatening, vulnerable and menacing.

1980
Primal Scenes

Over grainy, black and white images of a woman giving birth, Montano reads the story of a nun’s sexual self-discovery—recounting Sister Joan’s growing awareness of her body’s sensuousness and sexuality. Primal Scenes is an excellent example of women’s erotica, focusing on a woman’s experience of her body as both sexually powerful and deeply mysterious.

2017

VDB TV: Decades
1980s: Problematizing Pleasure / Punk Theory

An original program for VDB TV: Decades curated by Steve Reinke.

2007
Purify

Purify shows a disconnected women washing herself in blood.

2008
Putting the Balls Away

Putting the Balls Away is a reenactment of the historic September 21, 1973, tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, created for broadcast on the 35th anniversary of the original event. The Battle of the Sexes was the most-watched live sporting event at that time, and pitted chauvinist against feminist, when women tennis players demanded equal pay to that of their male counterparts. Both players are performed by Mateik, whose work wages strategic operations to overthrow institutions of compulsory gender. After each game the competitors "switch sides".

2010
Birthday Suit with scars and defects, Lisa Steele

How useful is personal testimony to History? The most abstract of all the works that focus on personal narrative in this program is certainly Lisa Steele’s Birthday Suit with scars and defects, in which the artist gently caresses every scar on her body, names it, dates it, and describes the circumstances in which the scar was inscribed. These are traces that defy memory, and that indeed become an alternative memory. Steele’s video presents us with an abstraction of oneself, almost a schema of the body as it becomes a register of violence.

1979
Arlene Raven: An Interview

Arlene Raven (1944-2006) was a feminist historian, theoretician, poet, and art historian who has published numerous books on contemporary art and written criticism for The Village Voice and a variety of other newspapers, art magazines, exhibition catalogues, and scholarly journals since 1969. She is a pioneer in progressive education and was an architect of the educational programs of the Feminist Studio Workshop, an independent school. She is also the founder of the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, and Chrysalis magazine.