sábado, 22 de agosto de 2009

Ephemeral bodies: resistance and transgression

Since 1994 I began to experiment in video during my studies in communication science. I finished and graduated, my major is in media (Photography, television, video, filmmaking theory). I enrolled in graduated school in 2000, during the master studies my research was focus in videoart. I graduated in February 2006 presenting the thesis “Women through video: Intimacy and subversion”. I studied the works Mexican artist like Pola Weiss, the first woman who made video dance and experimented with videoart, also I found the works of Ximena Cuevas very interesting, her videos are mixed with element of movies, TV, realities and lies of the Mexican vision, also she has been working in feminist projects.

I stared my doctoral studies in art history looking for pieces related with feminist ideas, I chose artist from different countries. It is important to search differences between artists but what I’m trying to find out are worries about gender construction and possibilities to get out of the feminine stereotypes. I choose videoart, photo, installation, performance and movies because are tools with possibilities to experiment with technologies, its used in contemporary art, light’s arts that lead woman to reflect themselves and function like a mirror. Frequently represent a cheap way to produce indoors, to joy the intimacy; a lot of secrets are share between the artist and the audience. What’s happen with the conscience it is what I want to know. I select differents characters, nationalities, ideologies, experiences, a few pieces from an especial creative time, a review of 1970-1990´s, then focus in pieces presented during 2006-2009.

Last year (2006) I received a support for research, I got an invitation from Barcelona University for a semester (Art History department). During that time I went to London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, and Amsterdam, looking for information in research centers, libraries, foundations. I visited exhibitions in galleries and museums and I saw women’s images in picture and sculptures, first at all women into the mainstream. That was my goal, look for creative contemporary women and review her representation or invisibility in art since centuries. I found artist like Orlan working in surgery to endeavor identity, opposite Shirin Neshat worry about the use of Chador in Muslim countries. Mona Hatoum talking about the exile’s experience and Ana Mendieta representing rape and violence against woman.

Another artist that I have been study for my thesis is Pipilotti Rist, she does a very special kind of video, a combination of fantasy, surreal experiences. I already viewed a very good collection of videos of her in Barcelona (Caixa foundation) and Electronic Art Intermix. Last November I watched a video installation in the MOMA NY. From far away Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland), she works on film mixing reality with fiction. Ana de Matos is a Spanish artist that reflects about the oppositions of East and West representation of women and rules for in India women; she made a great video installation in Barcelona in 2006.

I had travel New York City 4 times, to visit the viewer room in Electronic Art Intermix, because there are a lot of videos made for women that I wanted to study. Reading in The Public Library in Mid-Manhattan I found books about Americans artists that perform and made installation including video like a very important element into the composition, reflection and expression. For example: Judy Chicago, Cindy Sherman, Sadie Benning (I already know her), Joan Jonas, Laurie Anderson, but in the other hand I found a group of feminist using video like activist and doctors, they work in elements that help to empower, for example “Our bodies our selves”, a group of women in Boston and Betty Dodson using video to educate women’s sexuality, also the works of Annie Sprinkle about embodiment. I visited museums and galleries to attend conferences and galleries talks.

I have to say that feminist art is my subject now, I have been studying Alexandra Juhasz books, especially because she make video and research, she knows who women have used video to empowered themselves and she has interview a lot of women to used to document experiences with illness like cancer and AIDS. It is another vision that I want to get know; it is a documentary use of video.

I will find that video, photography, film, installation and performance had been used with differents intentions, for self knowledge, for experiment new ways to express feelings and ideas. Discussing women situation with people involve in feminist theory and practice, learning about politics. I visited exposition of woman in Houston (African-american videoartist) and the Brooklyn Museum in New York for Global feminist, both focus in resistance and transgression. I visited the National Museum of Women in Art in Washington D.C. The idea was to notice how women are included in the Museum and mainstream, the struggle got its goal.

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