As part of their fem-focussed art festival, Sweet ‘Art are presenting #femfilm, a night of selected films, specially curated for the festival by emerging curator Christine Pungong. Join us for an hour of 6 short films which range from the funny to the thought-provoking, whilst comfortably settled in the midst of our pop-up exhibition. Grab a snack and a drink courtesy of our sponsor #Fentimans, sit back and enjoy!
“As a curator I am interested in art work that explores the full range of experiences that embody modern womanhood. Though the idea of a collective #womanhood is fraught with discrepancies that leave some women with privilege over others, by taking an inter-sectional approach to #feminism and acknowledging the existence of overlapping social identities, I believe we can ensure that our approach to feminism is as inclusive and radical as possible. The films included in this screening focus primarily around the various facets of female identity. Between them they explore a multitude of themes such as female abjection, desire, friendship, trauma, assault and misogynoir – though all in their own very distinct ways.
For example, films such as Affections by Bridley Elliot, White Trash Girl by Jennifer Reader and Black Like Her by Constance Strickland all explore the common theme of trauma, but using unique and completely different methods. White Trash Girl explores a kind of trauma that is inarguable and obvious to us; the sexual and physical violence that ‘White Trash Girl’ is a product of and is subjected to are the kinds of disturbing experiences that come to mind in most people’s conceptualisation of the word ‘trauma’ (though the scope of the word extends far beyond that definition). ‘White Trash Girl’ embodies the monstruous feminine; she is an example of how femininity and the female body is abjected in contemporary society despite being the victim of terrible trauma and violence against its will and consent – and Reader’s filmmaking reflects this. Affections however, looks at a more subtle kind of emotional trauma, that occurs as a result of untreated neurosis, isolation and loneliness. The film looks at how this kind of trauma can become material through the protagonists’ emotions, affections and actions. Lastly, Black Like Her again focuses on a different kind of trauma: generational and collective-community trauma. Black Like Her takes us on a journey of black womanhood through history and forces us to confront the critical reality of the power of this kind of trauma in distorting how #blackwomen experience the world.
These are just a few examples of breadth of subject matter that is explored in the films listed in this screening. While some use comedy and humour, others are more thoughtful and serious, and some incorporate music and dance, they all are successful examples of modern feminist film-making and have been chosen because they complement each other in portraying the reality of the range of experiences most women and non-binary people face in the 21st century.” Christine Pungong, 2017
Affections (16 minutes 8 seconds) by Bridey Elliott: Affections is a short comedy written, directed by, and starring Bridey Elliott. Touching on the themes of trauma, loneliness and reinvention, the film follows a young woman, clearly lost and bored with the predictability of her relationship, as she ends up seeking change and intimacy “in the most unlikely places.” Using daring and sometimes even uncomfortable humour, Bridey Elliot forces the audience to confront the neuroses and very real problems of isolation and rejection that most young people face in their 20s and 30s.
Mansplaining, Please Tell Me Bout It Bout It (2 minutes 38 seconds) by Tracy Brown: Mansplaining, Tell Me Bout It Bout It is a super short by Tracy Brown which aims to highlight the absurdity of the #cultural phenomenon known as mansplaining – a term that can be traced to Rebecca Solnit’s 2008 essay “Men Explain Things to Me”, in which men condescendingly lecture women on basic principles they assume she knows nothing about. Tracy Brown’s witty short makes a point of accentuating the absurdity of this sexist mode of operating using a compilation of well-curated images and clips.
Part of Something Bigger (4 minutes 33 seconds) by Sabrina Fuller: Part of Something Bigger is a short video by Sabrina Fuller that uses image, sound and voice to tell the story of two women’s working together in the making of a film exploring female subjectivity. It raises issues of representation and of the complexities of working in collaboration.
Mind Out! (3 minutes 36 seconds) by Jennifer Schwartze and Laura Skocek: Mind Out!, a music video starring Schirin Charlot for the Belgian artist Chez Debs is a comical mini- narration animated together by artists Jennifer Schwartze and Laura Skocek. In a utopian tale, an unsuspecting young woman stumbles upon the chance to become a superheroin and fight against villains, namely the mysterious Evil Corp – a manifestation of consumerism and late stage capitalism.
Black Like Her (13 minutes 32 seconds) by Constance Strickland: #BlackLikeHer is an experimental film short that pays homage to the untold stories and struggles of black womanhood throughout history. It uses #jazz music and dance – two art forms that have historically been used by African Americans and an instrument of resistance and an emblem for hope and freedom – to depict and voice the black experience.
White Trash Girl Part I and III (25 minutes 42 seconds total) by Jennifer Reeder: (Please be aware that this film includes depictions of or allusions to incest, race, rape/sexual assault and bodily fluids). White Trash Girl is an unfinished punk feminist trilogy by Jennifer Reeder that depicts the monstrous adventures of ‘White Trash Girl’. Born as the result of an incestuous rape, flushed down the toilet and raised in a chemical dump, the female outcast struggles for her survival. Despite her almost parodically clichéd origin story, ‘White Trash Girl’ defies the odds of her birth and grows up to become the leader of a group of extremely rugged individuals.