Film, Feminism and Fun at West Space!

Film, Feminism and Fun at West Space!

Inez de Vega, 2010, Hit me if I Smile, video still.

 September 5 – 15, West Space, Melbourne

A Dinner Party: Setting the table – feminist art forum, events and art exhibition

A Dinner Party: setting the table, is a collaborative project curated by Caroline Phillips and Victoria Duckett. It is a cross- media forum and series of events that brings a range of feminist artists, scholars, and social commentators together to explore feminist art today. The project is the first step towards the realization of a larger feminist exhibition The F Word which will tour Regional and metropolitan Victoria in 2014/15.

Events programme

Thursday, September 6, 6-8pmKnitting Circle with Kate Just.

Bring a piece your working on, or just bring some needles and wool and Kate will help you get started.

Friday, September 7, 6-8pm | Film: Imaging Her World: Feminist Visions

A screening dedicated to feminist experimental film and women’s cinema from the ‘60’s, 70’s and ‘80’s.

Programmed by John Dale and Danni Zuvela, Co-presented by Other Film.

Saturday, September 8 | Feminist Forum Day

11am-1pm: Dialogues in 1970’s Feminist Art featuring Juliette Peers, Dr. Kate MacNeill, Stephanie Alexander and more!

2pm-4pm: Where are we now? guests including Dr. Anne Marsh, curator Victoria Bennett and artist Lyndal Walker.

Thursday, September 13, 6-8pm | Her Humour: Sex and Satire in Contemporary Victorian Art

Featuring: Catherine Deveny, curator Laura Castagnini and rising video/performance artist Inez de Vega.

Saturday, September 15, 2pm – 4pm | Time Capsule

Film program curated by Virginia Fraser

A program of short films made in Australia and the United States between 1969 and 1976 during a historical moment when sexism, ‘sexual liberation’ and feminism collided and feminism got the upper hand.

During gallery hours, visitors can view art and learn more in an open studio environment in the West space, Back space, between 12-5pm

West Space:

Level 1, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Vic, 3000

Exhibition hours:  Wed-Fri 12-6pm, Sat 12-5pm

Full programme details

Friday, September 7 and Saturday, September 15: Two Feminist Film Programs at West Space

September 7, 6-8pm:  Imaging Her World: Feminist Visions

A screening dedicated to feminist experimental film and women’s cinema from the ‘60’s, 70’s and ‘80’s. Taking off from the liberated visions of experimental film makers in the 1960s, female experimental film makers called into question the representation of woman on the screen. Using experimental tactics and the materiality of film itself they created radical new film works with a spirit of rigorous experiment and terrific fun.

This program screens a range of short works from the USA, Australia and UK.

From Hammer & Saxton’s Dyketactics, 1974, a ‘lesbian commercial’ in kinaesthesic editing mode, to the formal experiments of Lis Rhodes’ Dresden Dynamo, UK, 1974 (applying Letraset and Letratone to clear film stock), the fragmented narratives and explorations of gendered and family life in Leslie thornton’s Adynata, 1983, and Merilee Bennett’s A Song Of Air 1988, closing with Gunvor Nelson’s Take Off/The Stripper, two short films which function as a feminist address of striptease.

The films will all be screened in 16mm. This program is co-curated by Danni Zuvela, of Brisbane-based experimental and avant-garde collective Other Film, and local critic and researcher Jon Dale.

September 15, 2pm – 4pm: Time Capsule

Curated by Virginia Fraser. A program of short films made in Australia and the United States between 1969 and 1976 during a historical moment when sexism, ‘sexual liberation’ and feminism collided and feminism got the upper hand. From naïve, playful and aesthetically blunt to politically and aesthetically subtle and astute, the films in this program focus on two of the preoccupations of seventies feminism – the gendered body, and aspirations to different, better lives.

Selection from program includes:

We Should Call It a Living Room 1974

8.5 mins colour sound (Australia)

Joan Grounds, Alecks Danko, David Lourie, David Stewart and Roger Frampton  from an idea by Mischka Buhler

River Body 1970

5 mins b/w sound (US)

Anne Severson (AliceAnne Parker)

Near the Big Chakra 1972

15 mins colour silent (US)

Anne Severson (AliceAnne Parker)

Woman in a House 1974

13 mins b/w sound (Australia)

Sue Ford

Saturday, September 8 – Feminist Forum Day at West Space

11am – 1pm: Dialogues in 1970’s Feminist Art

2pm – 4pm: Where are we now?

Panel One: 11-1pm | Dialogues in 1970s feminist art

Guests: Dr. Kate MacNeill, Juliette Peers, Virginia Fraser and Stephanie Alexander

Lunch:  donated by Moroccan Soup Bar.

Panel Two: 2-4 pm  | Where we are now? A discussion on contemporary feminist art

Guests: Dr. Anne Marsh, Victoria Bennett, Hana Assafiri, Lyndal Walker.

The curators have chosen to use Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist work The Dinner Party, which came to Melbourne in 1988, as a point of departure for current research and dialogue. The workshop will explore the multiplicities of Victorian feminist art today, asking not only how far we have come since then, but what does the new generation of feminist art look like and what does it stand for?

Traversing visual art, craft, film, performance and design, this is not just a survey show, but rather uses cross platform practices as a strategy to address generational complexities, regional iterations and practice-led enquiries.

Thursday, September 13, 6-8pm -  ‘Her Humour: Sex and Satire in Contemporary Art’

A provocative and lively evening of feminist humour, satire and art.

Satire has long been part of feminist art practice. We can trace its use from first wave feminists comically performing gender on silent film through to the humour brought to the work of local artists today. ‘Her Humour: Sex and Satire in Contemporary Art’ features a panel including Melbourne’s foremost ‘funny feminist’ Catherine Deveny, contemporary curator Laura Castagnini, feminist film historian Victoria Duckett and rising video/performance artist Inez de Vega.

Beyond a narrow definition of ‘fine arts’ this forum will cross traditional boundaries and explore the use of satire in film, art and beyond. Building on feminist histories from the twentieth century, the presenters will underline that feminist art can today use jest, satire, humour, laughter, and plain stupidity to communicate and get itself seen/ heard/ acknowledged.  Rather than see feminism as necessarily confrontational, we will explore the ways that satire is used in a range of media to express feminist values, debates, and ideals. Taking a page from Caitlin Moran’s recent book, How to be  Woman, we too would state:

What I AM going to urge you to do, however, is say ‘I am a feminist.’ For preference, I would like you to stand on a chair, and shout ‘I AM A FEMINIST’-but this is simply because I believe everything is more exciting if you stand on a chair to do it.
It really is important you say these words out loud. ‘I AM A FEMINIST.’ If you feel you can not say it- not even standing on the ground-I would be alarmed. It’s probably one of the most important things a woman will ever say: the equal of ‘I love you’, ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ or ‘No! I’ve changed my mind! Do NOT cut me a fringe!’
Sat it. SAY IT NOW! Because if you can’t, you’re basically bending over, saying, ‘Kick my arse and take my vote, please, the patriarchy.’