Feminism

1990
If Every Girl Had a Diary

Setting her pixelvision camera on herself and her room, Benning searches for a sense of identity and respect as a woman and a lesbian. Acting alternately as confessor and accuser, the camera captures Benning’s anger and frustration at feeling trapped by social prejudices.

This title is also available on Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volume 1.

1991
(In) Visible Women

(In) Visible Women shows the heroic responses of three women with AIDS in the context of their respective communities. In the face of adversity, these women confront all aspects of the AIDS crisis in their lives. Through poetry, art, activism, and dance, they explode notions of female invisibility and complacency in the face of AIDS. We hear each woman describe how she came to terms with being HIV+ and joined others in speaking out about the neglected needs of women.

1991
Involuntary Conversion

A chilling and revealing look at bureaucratic techno-speak, Finley provides a course in “official” media rhetoric, presenting terms and decoding for the audience (i.e. "soft target = city”, “involuntary conversion = crash”) against a slow-motion collage of military imagery. This intensely visual video illustrates how the urban environment has become the site of tactical language, rendering our daily lives in a science-fiction state of constant fear. The visual elements create a rhythm of threat that is punctuated by high altitude shots of military jets.

1992
It Wasn't Love

Benning illustrates a lustful encounter with a “bad girl,” through the gender posturing and genre interplay of Hollywood stereotypes: posing for the camera as the rebel, the platinum blonde, the gangster, the '50s crooner, and the heavy-lidded vamp. Cigarette poses, romantic slow dancing, and fast-action heavy metal street shots propel the viewer through the story of the love affair. Benning’s video goes farther than romantic fantasy, describing other facets of physical attraction including fear, violence, lust, guilt and total excitement.

1982
Diane Itter: An Interview

The 1970s witnessed unprecedented artistic development of non-traditional media – chief among them were textiles and fabrics. Diane Itter was at the forefront of this boom in craft-oriented art making, designing colorful, geometric and exceedingly intricate fiber works that demanded near countless hours of time to execute. In this interview she discusses her practice, as well as the pitfalls that are encountered while working in what was – at the time of the interview – a still largely marginalized art form.

1986
Joan Does Dynasty

In Joan Does Dynasty—a hilarious classic of feminist media deconstruction—critic Braderman literally projects herself onto the set of the favorite series of one hundred million people in 78 countries. Her do-it-yourself deconstruction of TV’s most successful night-time soap opera is at once a succinct critical analysis of the disturbing cultural assumptions inherent in the narrative, and an unabashed appreciation of the show’s seductive power.

1993
Joan Sees Stars

A video in two parts ("Starstruck" and " MGM: Movie Goddess Machine"), focusing on celebrity culture, identity, and the body. “What is Liz Taylor doing in my bed, in the bed of my friend Leland, as he dies of AIDS?” These and related questions are enacted in a series of encounters between the artist/ performer/spectator and a host of famous people from la Liz to Anita Hill. In Joan Sees Stars, Braderman addresses the subversive potential of masquerade in a parade of video-assisted star sightings.

1993
Joe-Joe

Taking queer artistic license, Dougherty and Leslie Singer together portray a gay male playwright who took 1960s London by storm. The result is a witty play on narcissism and split personality that captures the banality of stardom while paying tribute to promiscuity and transgression. Filmed in black and white pixelvision and color video, this tape continues Dougherty’s exploration of counter-culture identity through lesbian portrayal, the same ingenious bait-and-switch device seen at work in the lesbian portrayal of the Beatles in her earlier tape, Grapefruit.

1990
Jollies

Benning gives a chronology of her crushes and kisses, tracing the development of her nascent sexuality. Addressing the camera with an air of seduction and romance, giving the viewer a sense of her anxiety and special delight as she came to realize her lesbian identity.

This title is also available on Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volume 1.

1995
The Judy Spots

These five short videos introduce Judy, a paper maché puppet who ruminates on her position in society. Like Judy, of the famous Punch and Judy puppet duo, Benning’s Judy seems to experience the world from the outside, letting things happen to her rather than making things happen around her.

This title is also available on Sadie Benning Videoworks: Volume 3.

2002
Miranda July: An Interview

Miranda July (b.1974) makes performances, movies, and recordings—often in combination. Her videos (The Amateurist, Nest of Tens, Getting Stronger Every Day) present complicated parallel narratives with characters who experience loneliness, exploitation, unexpected phobias, and often inexplicable relationships. July has also recorded several performance albums released by Kill Rock Stars and K Records. In 1995 she founded Joanie 4 Jackie, an on-going movie distribution network for independent women movie makers.

1989
Mary Kelly: An Interview

Since the 1970s Mary Kelly (b.1941) has worked at the fore of feminist art and theory. She has continued to address issues and methods of activist politics, psychoanalysis, political science, literature, and the history of women and gender. Kelly received recognition in the early ’80s for her epic six-year project, The Post Partum Document, a mixed-media work chronicling her and her son’s development. Kelly says her work revolves “around the recurring themes of body, money, history, and power” in this interview with Judith Russi Kirschner.

1979
Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry

Using selected details of TV’s Hollywood Squares, Birnbaum constructs an analysis of the coded gestures and “looks” of the actors, including Eileen Brennen and Melissa Gilbert. Birnbaum exposes television as an agent of cultural mimicry and instruction. The actors’ expressions are far from valueless; they are the ideological content of such programming.

1994
kore

 

By focusing on the blindfold, kore explores the eye as purveyor of desire, sexual fear, and the fantasy of blindness. An alternative sexuality is founded in touch-based (feminine?) pleasure as opposed to a vision-based (masculine?) pleasure. An examination of institutional blindspots towards women, and people of color, concerning AIDS expands on the issue of vision, visibility and the disease.

This title is also available on Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series.

1996

Joyce Kozloff was at the forefront of the 1970s pattern and decoration movement—a feminist effort to incorporate typically “feminine” and popular decorative arts into the fine arts. She has been involved with public art and murals for more than two decades. In this video, Kozloff prepares and installs her mural Around the World on the 44th Parallel, which features sections of maps from 12 cities around the world on the same latitude. The work was constructed at the Tile Guild in Los Angeles and installed at the library at Minnesota State University-Mankato.