A program of film and video work about embodying / performing motherhood, domestic labor, and the quotidian. The idea for this program was generated by the artists themselves who were frustrated about the challenges of getting work about maternity screened in the film and art world. From poetic gesture to direct address to the everyday labor of the domestic space, the works themselves borrow from documentary, experimental and installation traditions. This program seeks to reframe motherhood as a valuable site of intellectual exploration and artistic production and expand on a decades-long dialogue considering maternity as an essential feminist concern.
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Sunday, Sep 9 at 7:30 pm
Mothering Every Day
Screening to be followed by a discussion with Irene Lusztig and Mathilde Walker-Billaud
Farheen Haq, 5 min., 2017, Victoria, BC.
A video diptych of gestures that emerge from my subconscious where I tap into a lineage of women who have come before: those who washed by hand, made rotis, ground up spices, swaddled, wrapped and comforted. By wrapping myself in the long tablecloth, I am the baby, the young child and also the grandmother wrapped in a white sari.
Irene Lusztig, 14 min., Santa Cruz, CA.
Eleven women are invited to read a text composited from anonymous mothering.com forum posts. In turns, they narrate an intimate experience of traumatic c-section birth. The collective reading raises shifting questions about idealized birth, maternal language, reality, performance, public feminism, and private confession. Maternity Test is a screen test, an audition, and an exercise in empathy and embodiment.
Mama Virtual: Ana & Aleyda
Jeny Amaya, 12 min, LA.
A selection from a longer, episodic series of portraits of immigrant mothers, Mama Virtual: Ana & Aleyda materializes the virtual sphere that transnational mothers construct in order to maintain contact with their children and families back in their home countries. Separated from their children, Ana and Aleyda externalize this virtual realm through their performance of the “mother’s touch” through the touchscreen of a phone, digital images, phone cards, and other mediated technologies.
Our Summer Made Her Light Escape
Sasha Waters Freyer, 4.5 min., Richmond,
Our Summer Made Her Light Escape is a wordless portrait of interiority, maternal ambivalence and the passage of time.
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, 60 min, Los Angeles, CA.
Embracing the action-oriented technology of the Go-Pro camera, Mothertime is an essayistic portrait sweeping us into a corporeal experience in parenting. By using a very small, portable camera worn by mother and child, or left on any surface and turned on and off remotely, this video is a real-time, sensorial journey that plays in the physical and emotional space between mother and child.
Irene Lusztig’s film and video work mines old images and technologies for new meanings in order to reframe, recuperate, and reanimate forgotten and neglected histories. Often beginning with rigorous research in archives, her work brings historical materials into conversation with the present day, inviting viewers to explore historical spaces as a way to contemplate larger questions of politics, ideology, and the production of personal, collective, and national memories. Much of her current work is centered on public feminism, language, and histories of women and women’s bodies, including her debut feature Reconstruction (2001) the feature length archival film essay The Motherhood Archives (2013) and the ongoing web-based Worry Box Project (2011). Born in England to Romanian parents, Irene grew up in Boston and has lived in France, Italy, Romania, China, and Russia. She teaches filmmaking at UC Santa Cruz where she is Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media; she lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Mathilde Walker-Billaud is an independent curator and cultural producer based in New York, City. She trained and worked as an art editor in Paris. As a Program Director at the cultural services of the French Embassy in New York City, she organized multidisciplinary programs related to fiction and non fiction writings translated from French. She also co-programmed and produced five editions of the international festival of performances and ideas “Walls and Bridges” for Villa Gillet in New York City. For UnionDocs, Walker-Billaud programs workshops and hosts a series of mixed media talks about spectatorship “What You Get Is What You see” which featured Nora Chipaumire, Luc Sante, David Levine, DJ /rupture, Melanie Bonajo, Martha Rosler, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and more.