Feminism

1988
Laura Kipnis, A Man's Woman

This fictional docudrama—based in part on the careers of Anita Bryant, Phyllis Schlafly, and Marabel Morgan—covers the fictitious assassination of Clovis Kingsley, a powerful, pro-family, anti-feminist ideologue, and fictional author of The Power of Total Submission. The narrative is reconstructed in fractured and contradictory flashbacks by those who knew her best and liked her least. The tape travels beyond the faux biography to suggest that the logic of anti-feminism is a strategy of the disempowered.

1990
Marx: The Video

Kipnis describes this tape as "an appropriation of the aesthetics of both late capitalism and early Soviet cinema—MTV meets Eisenstein—reconstructing Karl Marx for the video age.” She presents a postmodern lecture delivered by a chorus of drag queens on the unexpected corelations between Marx’s theories and the carbuncles that plagued the body of the rotund thinker for over thirty years. Marx’s erupting, diseased body is juxtaposed with the “body politic", and posited as a symbol of contemporary society proceeding the failed revolutions of the late 1960s.

1987
Mayhem

Through a catalogue of looks, movements, and gestures, Mayhem presents a social order run amok in a libidinous retracing of film noir conventions. Sexuality flows in an atmosphere of sexual tension, danger, violence, and glamour; antagonism between the sexes is symbolized in the costuming of women in polka dots and men in stripes. Censored in Tokyo for its use of Japanese lesbian erotica, this tape creates an image bank of what signifies the sexual and the seductive in the history of imagemaking, pointing to the way we learn about our bodies, and how to use them from images.

1990
Me and Rubyfruit

Based on a novel by Rita Mae Brown, Me and Rubyfruit chronicles the enchantment of teenage lesbian love against a backdrop of pornographic images and phone sex ads. Benning portrays the innocence of female romance and the taboo prospect of female marriage.

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

1988
Measures of Distance

In this video, the artist tries to overcome the effects of distance, and reflects on geography represented in exile due to war, and on the psychological distance represented in each one’s approach to her womanhood. The video beautifully weaves personal images and audio recordings of a very intimate nature, binding the personal with the political.

1987
Ana Mendieta: Fuego De Tierra

Performance artist/sculptor Ana Mendieta used the raw materials of nature: water, mud, fire, rock, and grass. The consciousness of her politics and the poetics of her expression fill her work with an emotionally charged vision that is powerfully conveyed in this posthumous video profile. Drawing upon the raw spiritual power of Afro-Cuban religion, Mendieta used her art as a ritualistic and symbolic activity to celebrate the forces of life and the continuum of change.

1989
Mercy

Child masterfully composes a rhythmic collage of symmetries and asymmetries in a fluid essay that forefronts the treatment of the body as a mechanized instrument — placing the body in relation to the man-made landscape of factories, amusement parks and urban office complexes. Vocals performed by Shelley Hirsch.

 

1995

An interactive CD-ROM inspired by the lives and work of ten famous women: Josephine Baker, Simone de Beauvoir, Catherine the Great, Colette, Marie Curie, Marlene Deitrich, Isadora Duncan, Frida Kahlo, Margaret Mead, and Gertrude Stein. The CD-ROM is an investigation into the intersecting economies of sexuality, authorship, eroticism, and gender that inform the lives of women. Their identities are configured in the negotiated space between self and other, a negotiation that continues in Tamblyn's relationship to them as narrator.

 

1979
Modern Times

Originally presented as a live performance piece using actors, multiple monitors, and music, Modern Times is a consolidation of seven short chapters in the life of a modern woman. In the first sequence, the objects in a suburban home are inventoried: "nice couch", "nice car", and so on — ending with the titles "nice concept", "nice image" — and unmasking this materialistic world as an impossible consumer fantasy. In the next scene, an attractive man sunbathes.

1978
Mom in Famous Women, Ilene Segalove

The artist's mother comments about the status of women while reading a doll house sized book titled Encyclopedia of Famous Women.

1974
The Mom Tapes

Segalove takes her mom as subject in these short pieces, recording her stories, her advice, and her daily routine. What results is a portrait of a contemporary mother-daughter relationship, touchingly devoid of drama and full of whimsical humor. For example, in one piece, Ilene’s mother laments over a pair of shoes her daughter has chosen to hang on the wall instead of wearing, saying,”With you, everything is art.” In another segment the camera focuses on a pair of unoccupied, overstuffed chairs.

2018
Susan Mogul "Mom's Move"

Part bio, part memoir, Mom’s Move is an intergenerational film about mothers and daughters, women and photography, remembering and forgetting, and the tension between women’s private and public selves.

Rhoda Mogul, housewife and mother of six, was a lifelong avid amateur photographer.  Her creative drive – though confined to the home – had a major influence on my public life as an artist and filmmaker.

1994

A video collage that chronicles the issues and events that arose in Linda M. Montano’s life while she devoted a year to each of the seven chakras. Beginning as a piece devoted to themes of commitment and limitation, the work becomes a fascinating hybrid of art and life, as Montano experiences the onset of menopause, her mother’s death, her choice to enter and then leave a convent, the suffering of a stroke, and thoughts of her own death—all within the structural confines of an intense work of art.

1995
My Failure to Assimilate

My Failure to Assimilate muses on the profound sense of melancholy that sets in after the end of a relationship. The tape uses poetry, songs, collage, interviews, and narrative elements to construct a complex picture of the resulting loss of direction and loss of identity. The tape is organized into three sections: Part 1: 'Schizophrenia'; Part II: 'Alienation'; and Part III: 'True Self'. Central to the question of identity is the interplay between imaginary and symbolic identification.

—Maria Troy and Thompson Owen

1975
My Father

In this classic personal elegy, Kubota mourns her father's death and recounts the last days of his life. Reflecting on Kubota's use of the video medium, the television emerges as the link between Kubota and her father, with the melodramatic crooning of Japanese pop singers providing a backdrop for Kubota's real-life tragedy.

This title is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.