Feminism

2012
Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas

Video Data Bank is proud to present the wonderful work of prolific video artist Ximena Cuevas in our latest DVD box set, Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas. This four volume box set features 25 videos by the award-winning artist, spanning 21 years, and is accompanied by a 75-page booklet containing the following essays that examine aspects of Cuevas’s work: 

1973

This tape, Harriet, created by Videofreex member Nancy Cain, unfolds much like a short play or literary character study. With very little directed dialogue, we gain intimate entry into a day in the life of Harriet—a long-time resident of Lanesville and mother of five—over the course of one day. No stranger to the Videofreex, Harriet was a frequent guest on the collective’s television production of Lanesville Television, as both an on-screen visitor and routine hotline caller. 

2000
have script, will destroy

“For quite some time the Hamburg artist Cornelia Sollfrank has been researching female hackers and found that hacking is a field completely under male domination. Nonetheless she was able to produce a series of several videos in which she interviewed female hackers. In December 1999 she came to know a U.S. hacker who attended the annual hackers’ convention held by the Chaos Computer Club (CCC). She did the video interview have script, will destroy with her on condition that the woman, code-named Clara G.

2000
Heal Me

A woman is standing barefoot on a tile floor.  In slow motion, the investigative camera circles around her.  Her breasts are bared and liquid runs down her legs.  Bit by bit, every part of her body is shown, except her face, which remains hidden behind her hair.  The camera besets the woman, who remains silent.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

1978
Hey, Chicky!!!

In this cooking demonstration/performance, Sobell wears a chicken carcass over her face while dressing (literally, in baby clothes) a chicken to be cooked for dinner. Cooing and breast feeding the chicken as she would an infant, Sobell brings two stereotypical female roles—that of care giver and that of cook—psychotically close, emphasizing the potential dark side of women’s intimate association with food in a way similar to Suzanne Lacy’s Learn Where the Meat Comes From.

1994
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

An eloquent personal narrative about the meaning of childhood and the use of children as political tools—specifically by “Right-to-Lifers” participating in the blockades of abortion clinics. Rather than merely constructing a video document of the daily drama surrounding the protests, Wrobel slows down the event and extracts the children's stories. She interlaces this with personal memories of her playful and carefree childhood, and exposes how she too was susceptible when young.

1972

Taped shortly after the creation of the Air Gallery, this conversation between painter Howardena Pindell and Hermine Freed concerns the women’s independent gallery and its role in the feminist movement. Pindell also discusses the development of her work and the relation between black artists and the art world.

2016
Juliana Huxtable: An Interview

Juliana Huxtable was born in Texas and studied at Bard College, NY. An artist working across video, photography, poetry, and music, her practice demands a reexamination of the canon of art history in order to break the cycle of misrepresentation and under-representation in the contemporary art world.

2000
I Must Be Beautiful Too

The title gives a bitter meaning to the uneasy image of a woman who is brushing her hair over her face with fierce movements. Mostly the face remains impersonally hidden under her hair; when it is uncovered, we see how the rough scratches of the brush against the skin have smeared her lipstick.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

1989
I Need Your Full Cooperation

Juxtaposing feminist readings of medical tracts, narratives of patient treatment and archival footage, I Need Your Full Cooperation reveals the evolution of women’s relationship to modern medicine. The video dramatizes Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “rest cure”, adapting her 1892 story "The Yellow Wallpaper", and includes critical commentary by activist/writer Barbara Ehrenreich and historian Carroll Smith-Rosenberg.

1998
I Say I Am: Program 1 & 2

A collection of early feminist videos curated by Maria Troy, Associate Curator of Media at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio. These video performances by eleven women artists, made between 1972 and 1980, sketch a time when feminism was a new and powerful liberatory movement, when video was a relatively new invention, and when social institutions—including the art world—were undergoing radical reevaluation.

1998
I Say I Am: Program 1

Desire and the Home: Program 1

Challenging the dominant ways of making and critiquing art, feminist art practice in the 1970s stressed personal connections to materials and immediacy of context over formal abstraction.

1998
I Say I Am: Program 2

The tapes in Facing the Self: Program 2 are organized around the appearance of the female form, particularly the face. Using at times elaborate, but more often very limited, visual means and divergent visual and theatrical strategies, each tape explores, asserts, withholds, and/or claims power over the representation of the artist’s body, its appearance and experiences. Focusing on the problematic relationship of power between the artist and her audience, the artist bodily appears on screen but keeps herself somehow unavailable to the viewer.

2001
I Wanted You

I Wanted You shows a woman who is crawling over the floor. She is wearing only tights and a pair of red shoes with high heels. Her hair-covered face makes her an anonymous victim of the camera, which is making converging circles around her body.

This title is also available on Hester Scheurwater Videoworks: Volume 1.

1989
Identity Crisis, Mindy Faber

With wit and humor, seven-year-old Kendra portrays ten female stereotypes, including an ingratiating Southern belle, a motorcycle-riding tough chick, and a simpering housewife. Under the rubric of playing dress-up, the video illustrates the pervasive, prescribed personalities available to women, and the early age at which girls recognize these choices. But, as outtakes reveal, spirited Kendra’s is infinitely more complex than the cardboard cut-outs she depicts.