Elisabeth Subrin’s films and videos examine the intersections of history and subjectivity within female biography. Engaging conventions of documentary and personal narrative, the works strategically undermine their own forms, shifting historical periods, genres and characters to explore the residual impact of the 1960’s, and the hazy boundaries between fiction and nonfiction. The Fancy (2000), is Subrin’s foray into “experimental biography,” lifts the veil of mystery around the life and suicide of photographer Francesca Woodman and her disturbing artistic legacy. The Caretakers is a new narrative short also engaged with issues of myth and biography.
“Continuing her exploration of experimental biographical forms, the maker of Swallow and Shulie turns her critical gaze to the life and art of a renowned young female photographer whose early death left behind a controversial body of work rife with psychosexual implication. Rigorously structural in form, this speculative bringing-to-light meticulously sifts physical evidence and sketchy facts in an attempt to uncover the traces of a seemingly suppressed history embedded behind the photographer’s pictures.”
—Nicole Armour, “Disappearing Acts,” Film Comment 36:6 (November/December 2000)