Sphinxes Without Secrets

Maria Beatty

1990 | 00:58:00 | United States | English | Color | 4:3 |

Collection: On Art and Artists, Single Titles

Tags: Art History, Artist Portraits, Conceptual Art, Documentation, Feminism, Interview, LGBTQ, Performance

Sphinxes Without Secrets is an energetic and transgressive acount of outstanding female performance artists, and an invaluable document of feminist avant-garde work of the 70s and 80s. No Mona Lisa smiles here, as performance artists spill their guts about what outrages and delights them. Performers, curators, and critics unravel the mysteries of a new art form and ponder the world women confront today. Since its inception, performance art has provided a forum for artists who create work that challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo. This tape establishes that it was women artists who first exploited performance for purposes of self-empowerment, cultural criticism, and the presentation of revisionist histories—creating a legacy that continues today for a wide range of culturally-concerned artists. Sphinxes Without Secrets is an invaluable teaching tool: insightful, thorough, and engaging.

Featured performance artists include: Diamanda Galas, Holly Hughes, Robbie McCauley, Rachel Rosenthal; also brief clips with Lenora Champagne, Ellie Covan, Ron Ehmke, Adrian Piper, Arlene Raven, Mark Russell, Carolee Schneeman, Dianne Torr, and Martha Wilson; plus Laurie Anderson, Laurie Carlos, Ann Carlson, DanceNoise, Jessica Hagadorn, Jennie Hutchins, Judith Jackson, Joan Jonas, Lisa Kron, Suzanne Lacy, Carol Leigh, Pat Oleszko, Marty Pottenger, Liz Prince, Nancy Reilly, Reno, Beatrice Roth, Louise Smith, Annie Sprinkle, Johanna Went and more. 

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