Duration: 00:09:20; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 70.090; Saturation: 0.079; Lightness: 0.266; Volume: 0.179; Cuts per Minute: 0.107
In a short text titled "Whose History?" (1977), the British filmmaker
Lis Rhodes sets out a compelling treatise broadly concerned with the way
in which histories are remembered and who by. Discussing the way women
have used the medium of film, Rhodes turns to personal reflection in
order to account for the way in which history comes to define the
present. Rhodes’ account serves to demonstrate how affectual readings of
archives can allow us to account for the powerful feeling codes that
can work to reinforce or conversely de-stabilize the dominant social,
cultural or political structures that organize our sense of history.
Film is here understood as a surface through which these affective
encounters can occur. Taking "Whose History?" as a point of departure,
this proposed presentation features films and videos by a number of
feminist artists that all deal with questions surrounding the
construction of personal or public archives and histories.
In Lisa Steele’s 'Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects' (1974, b/w, 11
min) the artist narrates stories of the scars on her body as the camera
scans across her skin. Word and image work to produce an intimate
archive of her young self as her body carries its history into future;
In 'Framing the Family' (1984, b/w, 15 min) the artist Jo Spence
reflects on the family album in order to challenge the illusionary
promise of photographic representation to organize coherent narratives
of our lives and ourselves; Leah Gilliam’s 'Now Pretend' (1991, b/w, 10
min) registers constructs of race and nationality as arbitrary
signifiers as she deploys an archive of images set to a soundtrack that
reflects on memory in relation to language; Vivienne Dick’s 'Visibility:
Moderate' (1981, color, 15 min excerpt) employs parody in order to
address the problematic mythologizing of national past and the feeling
codes that organize our cultural identifications; and in Ronna Bloom’s
'I Feel Hopeful About the Future' (1986, b/w, 11 min) categories of
identity are likewise troubled as they are literally constituted and
reconstituted through the stories that women tell of ourselves.
Registering the affect that human and non-human agents have on our
histories or else framing a series of affectual responses in relation to
archives, each of these works produces an excess of meaning that
threatens to the flood the fixity of historical signification. In doing
so they suggest the radical potential of affect as a methodological
approach for the production of feminist histories.
Introduction / discussion by the curators of the screening program 'There is another history,' Laura Guy and Charlotte Procter.