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w o m e n HANNA ISUA SARAH ONESCHUK OR WOLFF LEYLA HAUBOIS MAGENTA artistic collaboration FLORINDA CIUCIO MARILOU PONCIN EMMA ZUKOVIC PATRICIA VIDAL DELGADO JOHANNA WERNMO

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04 Johanna Wernmo

Contents 148

Platz Null

MAGENTA artistic collaboration Puck’s Dream

34

178

Patricia Vidal Delgado

Leyla Haubois

ICO

Daughters

64

204

Emma Zukovic

Or Wolff

Post Memory

Olympia

92

222

Marilou Poncin

Sarah Oneschuk

Welcome to my Room

The Rise and Fall of Kingdoms

116

244

Florinda Ciucio

Hanna Isua

OXYMORON

NARANJA


Women Cinemakers meets

Johanna Wernmo Lives and works in Dundee, Scotland

Platz Null could be the place visited when for a split second time stands still, moves extremely fast or extremely slow or everything at once. It could be the physical place or state of mind which links reality to imagination. Or perhaps it is its own place beyond both. This place of co-existing, a constant fade in and fade out, could be a beginning, an end or both. A place to reset, restart or get stuck on repeat. Because you can get stuck here forever (and choose to leave whenever you want). It could be a place for an imaginary goodbye. It could be a recall of something that got lost, a memory, a projection or a made-up situation that suddenly leaves traces and consequences in reality. Above all this, Platz Null could be the place where time is not linear, relative, curved or circular. Because here time is neither measured nor observed.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

Hello Johanna and welcome to : we would start this interview with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training and after having received your dance training at the Royal Swedish Ballet School in Stockholm, you nurtured your education at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance ( ) under the direction of Susan Quinn: how did these

experience influence your evolution as a dancer and as an artist, in general? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum/foundation direct the trajectory of your artistic reserch? These two schools offered me quite diverse aspects of a dance education, which was very exciting to experience and merge together. Most of all, as a foundation underneath all the valuable stream of information, knowledge, technique and movement languages that was shared and absorbed by us students, those educations made me find my own way


at a certain point. And that was for me just what I needed, after many very not straight but knotty and twirly, but perhaps still necessary, pathways (and a few dead ends to find the way back from). Still, each day though, as for everyone I think, is just as much part of my ongoing education as school and university were constantly discovering, building onto, taking apart, questioning and redefining our foundation and therefore our trajectory. And those rollercoaster pathways might just be unavoidable, but being more aware of them helps quite a lot, and sometimes taking a bit of distance in order to see clearer and sooner where one might be heading. From moving away from home when fifteen, abroad at eighteen to study with a hundred students from over thirty countries - and working with companies in different countries, with dancers and choreographers from several continents and ten nationalities in one studio, you kind of understand you have an own culture shaped by all your experiences. All of it has grown little roots in different places in you, and you and your foundation are all of that, not so easy to break down in bits and pieces. In the arts - in the field I am working in and how I like to work - I find that different types of (real or madeup) boundaries has a tendency to fuzz in the edges and melt together into something universal. And when you create I think you often enter an empty landscape, not yet tied to this world, and fill it from all diverse, complex, borderless places and conscious and subconscious layers in you that makes the complete you. When you look at it this way I think it is quite hard to create from only one part of you, from only my Scandinavian heritage for example, when I am - especially in terms of art and dance - deeply influenced from places and

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Women Cinemakers people all over the world. But this is of course only my ideas of my own situation, for other people and other works it is for sure very different. For this special edition of we have selected , an extremely interesting dance short film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at https://youtu.be/HI-6rZwSfKw. We have appreciated your inquiry into the bergsonian and non linear nature of time: when walking our readers through the genesis of Platz Null , would you tell us something about your process? In particular, how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the details of the videos and the need of spontaneity? How importance does play improvisation in your process? In this movie the shooting was the beginning of the creation, at the pure idea stage, leaving the principal creation process to the editing and afterwork. So the scriptmaking, the meticulous scheduling of details and composition, was made from the building stones that already were there, meaning tiny details existed before the storyline and core were even shaped. It made the composing first being about breaking down and unlocking the material, then improvising with the set material to find the score. Extreme scheduling arising out of spontaneously and vice versa - enhancing and helping each other forward. Improvisation is to me a great tool to reveal and access in so many ways, and it is also its own work without serving any other function. One way of viewing it, in a movement oriented way, is as a being of the mind and body, of the consciousness, originating from listening and making


ourselves sensitive to sensing. The received energy we gather from physically sensing (outside of us or inside) we can direct back out again, working in constant cycles - impression to expression - like a conducting metal. One of the preciousnesses of improvisation, I find, is that the translated responses will transpire differently in each body, with its individual structure and movement patterns. Because movement will only come out in the way it can. For this process improvisation was key, movement and actions could not have been pre-set since they responded to sensations and information being lived in that moment - from a lonely, blinded place within us, on the border of reality and imagination, senses heightened, that led us to be and move in the space differently, exchanging differently with each other. We naturally pay more attention to the outside world, from evolutionary aspects, but in this movie we give attention to the inside world. Nowadays, for the ones privileged enough to have other matters than survival only, I believe we have to give also a lot of importance to our inside world. It’s basically all that is us, it’s what evidently determines what we see in the people and world around us and how we respond on it. If we create war, peace, take action or remain silent. We have appreciated the way you have provided your , capable of short film with such establishing emotional involvement with the viewers: what were your aesthetic decisions when shooting and what did you aim at triggering in the spectatorship? One of the reasons I am so attracted to film is the way it selects where our eyes watch and shuts the rest out. Things get another sharpness, another clarity than in real life. And we can

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Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers get close. When getting close, so close we wouldn’t go with our own eyes (as moderately polite people), and on things we normally wouldn’t focus on or dedicate a moment to; ordinary and maybe even boring or ugly things get another importance, another meaning and impact. Fixed ideas of beauty blurs. Just a shadow, a white shirt, a drop of sweat, a breath, a stillness movement and life gets concentrated in those details. Seen from perspectives we’ve never taken before and through details not previously noticed, this hyper vision enhances presence and focus to people and things we in real life might not take the patience for. To really see. That is one thing I wanted to trigger within the spectator, the observing, and all the potential I believe lays in that simple action. I wish we would observe more. We often focus on a person’s face, it's the part of the body we usually understand and connect to in everyday life, in combination with speaking. I wanted to explore the kind of connection that could be establish through observing a person’s complete body and how it moves. The way a foot is being shifted, a position of a freckle on an elbow, why a moment of stillness occurred there - could that make us as audience feel as intimate with the performer, like we know him just as well in other layers, as by following his face and listening to him speak? Does it run even deeper into all that makes a person? I wanted to let movement and details in body and movement get the chance to speak for themselves about humanity and everything inside of us; moments we perhaps never could explain, memories not remembered but that still might be stuck in there, things that stay and get left behind, our physical memories, our subconsciousness. To play with the thought that perhaps all body parts carry equally


Women Cinemakers important messages, memories and stories to be listened to, in order to truly and in complete know ourselves and the people we care about. As you have remarked i your director's statement, could be the physical place or state of mind which links reality to imagination: what has at once impressed us of your film is the way it brings the nature of relationship between the body and the surroundings to a new level of significance, unveiling the ubiquitous bond between the individual and outside reality. How do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination? In particular, do you draw inspiration from your everyday life's experience? I believe we can be in many places at once, the outside reality is one of the various. Our brain does not work to give us the most accurate explanation of that world either, it spins and twists the data and information to a mix it thinks is the most useful. On top of that our sensorial experience of the material world is already partly personalized (for example smells are perceived differently for everyone). Our minds, with its imagination, subconscious and ability to often get tricked, makes an objective reality quite hard to define, especially when we are inside of it all; with the brain emphasizing certain things, ignoring others and repressing some, making up memories and the way our past tends to change, getting new forms, nuances and definitions, as time moves forward.

Time plays a big part of the bond between the outside and inside reality. In everyday life we experience time moving so differently as if it was something unarguably flexible, and perhaps not even linear (to the extend we can grasp it). When we forget about time or time is all we can focus on, when we are hyper present or hyper distant, time can both disappear in front of us but also spread out and fill the distances between two seconds with extra thick and gluey material, holding time back. Like when we are dreaming and waking up with the sensation we just went through several days long experiences; or when thinking intensively, so deep in our thoughts that we are everywhere at once - jumping between places, stories and actions practically simultaneously, going through emotions on another level, until we pop back to the outside world, not being able to tell for sure how much time passed, a minute or an hour. Sometimes I have the feeling I get lost in the billions of pathways working parallelly in my brain. It’s the same feeling as if I was physically lost, or lost something I can’t remember what it was. I wanted to let this sensation hover at some points in the film, let us hover in it, without having to comment nor put words on it. It’s like with dancing, as another kind of language of our body and mind it’s hard to translate it and fit it in perfectly into the alphabet. Maybe when getting lost in ourselves we get closer to something else, just as when we are moving we let other parts of us speak? With a tremendous amount of information, possibilities, data, dreams, options, goals, impressions, must’s, should’s through different means of communication and


A still from


Women Cinemakers technologies - when the mind runs too fast for us to catch up - I also think some people have places they return to in their minds, that we can’t help revisiting, falling into. Patterns of thinking, feeling, dreaming, dealing with or ignoring, sometimes even shutting off into - like a numbness - when things around become too much to take in that you can’t even react properly on them. I believe they are often intertwined with other layers of us, of our previous memories, feelings and experiences, of our projections, prejudgements of ourselves and other people, and reflections interlaced with imaginative parallels of wishes, wants and fears. They tangle up in each other through their interferences and are hard to separate into what they really were, really are and what we believed they were and are. This place might also be a spring board to a place I am trying to define, a place which is somehow above everything; disconnected from us and our life in outside reality, just as you pull a plug, connected to everything but at the same time even than we ever are otherwise. What if this place is just as real as the outside reality (as we apprehend it with our senses)? And even if it somehow weren’t, if this place with all its conscious and subconscious layers keep influencing us everyday, doesn’t it become real as it leaves it imprints on us and our lives in reality? Marked out with such a refined and at the same time seductive beauty on a visual aspect, addresses the viewers to a wide number of narratives: would you tell us howimportant is for you that the spectatorship rethink the concepts you

convey in your pieces, elaborating personal meanings? How open would you like your works to be understood? I think a part of the greatness and beauty of art lays in the personal connection to a work. There isn’t a representation or symbol in that relationship, it’s not (yet) translated. There is not a gap between what we experience and how it is allowed to be impressed and perceived by us, there is no prescript from society - as in our language to correct ourselves to. We don’t have similar experiences to guide ourselves after, no-one before us explaining what we should or what is common or recommended to think and feel about it. Through our senses there is a direct passage between person and artwork, meeting all that is inside of us and turning into a unique communication and experience. All sensorial impulses are going straight to the brain, being actively constructed there, but sensations I like to think of as first of all physical. We can’t use only our thinking minds if we want to really sense and be sensitive for picking up on things. We tend wanting to understand things, put things in boxes, and we easily make own interpretations and conclusions about the outside world without always letting time to process the information in other patterns, trough different routes and layers. Suspending definition comes with admitting we don’t know everything. So what makes me excited is the potential, the billions of them, resting in an artwork. The artwork doesn’t change but depending on who is experiencing it - the personal meetings with both the concepts of a piece and the


physical observing, how we manage to track between the cognitive and the sensations, not making up our mind too fast the output of the piece is changing. The physical sensing and everything we can’t put words on yet, merely scratching lightly the surfaces of, can be very different from what we come up with in our brains. I like that span of contradictionary and undeciphered experiences they challenge us with by leaving in us. Perhaps acknowledging this span also in experiences in our everyday life more often makes for some interesting insights. features unconventional still effective cinematography with a keen eye to details and we have really appreciated your successful attempt to capture : how do you consider the relationship between space and movement playing within your artistic research? To help define the relation between space and movement in my research, I also consider and interpret that what is involved in their relation. Moving is a body and its structure dealing with space and time. Space, inside our body and around it, makes motion possible, and time (hard to imagine a timeless world) makes perceiving motion possible, something stretched over time. Dealing with time and space means the mover gets influenced by them, just as for the viewer the space and time including context and circumstances - and the layers and references they create in us also contribute to how we perceive it all. Dancing is to me neither fully abstract nor concrete; although it’s at its core concrete: a physical matter (body) in motion, the movements themselves are not materialized but dissolve at the very instant they are being executed. Leaving behind just the memories, impressions and qualities of them at

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Women Cinemakers the same time since movement is energy: never disappearing but transforming. The body itself, materialized or unmaterialized, is on top of that, and has always been in different ways, a canvas on which abstract concepts, theories, ideas and states are being projected; so what we physically can see from the body as a matter moving, is not always all there is in the concept of a body in motion. With this dual concrete, abstract - and contradictionary qualities of dance, and with space and time constantly influencing and affecting, the span on which the abstract or concrete is turned up or down can have to do with external, independent things put in relation or in reference, like a wall, a chair, a word, an image, another person etc. The span can also be influenced when we search for a meaning or symbol in the movements that is not, in that sense, there (movement can be just for movement’s sake) making something feel abstract when its simply physical movement and actions being executed. Or when we make out from our everyday life decoded, human actions or gestures in movements, something recognizable that do have a certain meaning or purpose. So a space can all by itself influence the experience of an action or movement as more or less concrete or human or explicit when put in relation to it - just as time can when we for example change the speed of a movement or gesture -, but a change made by the performer in intention, focus, in space or in time can produce a drastic shift in the perception of the movement, which can make that relation or recognition of the action disappear or transform. That borderland between recognition and abstraction we wanted to explore in this movie, and the in-door environment with its (literary) concrete, industrial setting with many references possible, contributed in making that happen quite naturally. The


glimpses of those contrasts existing all at once, and depending on how you change your focus all at once, make a connection to me to all that exists together with the performer in the space - abstractions, or things we can’t see for other reasons. Existing both in this short film and in our lives. Contradictions that are so in opposition that they become similar again, and hard to separate: loneliness and intimacy, reality and imagination, memories and fantasies, presence and absence, measurement of time and loss of time… a warm human body with its ever so changing imagination, emotions, life and future, in a cold, rigid space of concrete with edges and forms that can’t easily be changed or undone. Opposite but perhaps also very alike. The way you have sapiently combined the footage and sound provides Platz Null with such an ethereal atmosphere and sometimes a bit enigmatic atmosphere: how do you see the relationship between sound and movement? As the connection between movement and sound starts at molecule level; sound is energy, movement in matter, there is a lot to think of in their relationship and to use in dance. Imagine if we could hear the sounds of all movement in matter - dancing would be like an (probably incredibly untuned) orchestra playing! In this film the same person who made the sound made the movements, they are just created with different instruments. Besides the music giving a certain indifferent distance to everything although still constantly being there, suspended, never abandoning - like a lullaby you can’t decide soothes or has something sinister about it the origin they shared made sense. It enhanced the thoughts of all these layers and dimensions within a person, as it was

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Women Cinemakers almost as he was playing this lullaby for himself, right in the midst of everything that dawned down on him, that he experienced or went through in the film. As the different apprehensions of reality, imagination, time and space interfered and got mixed up - jumped back and forth in a manner that was impossible to straighten out - there was this still, steady trail, with its constant, hovering accompanying. The song existed before the film did, they were not made for each other. When adding sound from outside to movement or visuals, and vice versa, it’s like building a conversation. The different meeting points they can have trigger different things in each other, letting different things in one another come out; like in a verbal communication. Sound and movement speak similar, wordless languages and therefore communicate at another level, reaches us in another way. That is one thing so precious about dancing to live music this direct, untranslated communication. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their creative processes. German visual artist Gerhard Richter once underlined that "it is always only a matter of seeing: the physical act is unavoidable": as a multidisciplinary artist deeply involved in dance, how do you consider the relation between the abstract feature of the concepts you explore in your artistic research and the physical aspect of your practice? I am very interested in the body, movement, space and time. Both as matters in the material world we perceive but also as unfixed concepts and theories, that we don’t have all answers to or understandings of yet. And on the absolute tiniest


particle the interesting idea that they might be everything at once - how time could be space and space body and body movement. With these thoughts, going from an abstract concept to physical practice might not always be a far leap, and you can look at it from so many different aspects. Without the body representing or symbolizing anything else than all that it already is and potentially may be. As there is a constant stream of information between mind and body, working with the body accesses, reveals and unlocks intelligence and knowledge just the same as the opposite way do. I think if we in some moments manage to pause our thoughts - thoughts take a lot of space in our consciousness, leaving not much left for sensing - declutch and let our body take the steering wheels from the back seat, stop telling it what to do every second, we will find (like we go through a lot in dance, and other physical activities) that our body in many ways is more intelligent than our mind. So once physically starting to work with a concept for example, things will crystallize and be revealed in ways I wasn’t able to cognitively foresee, which is the most exciting thing that happens when you work with the whole of you, body and mind. To increase the sensitivity in both of them, not only the mind, I think is key to a fuller understanding of perhaps everything. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in the contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon',

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Women Cinemakers however in the last decades women are finding their voices in art: as an artist interests in the cinematic arts with feminist theory, how would you describe your personal experience as an unconventional artist? And what's your view on the future of women in this interdisciplinary field? I have had the luck of not given much thought into making conventional or unconventional art, only following myself to the places I went. Perhaps since what I create outside the dance profession is very small scale I haven’t felt the pressure or inequity in this way, neither in dance in that sense. I think much because of the people in my surroundings, from the start of my first education almost a decade ago, as well as the audience. The audience in the countries I have performed were not busy with anything being in their eyes common or not, they cared about how the piece and the performers went into them, what it touched or triggered inside - that was the important thing and on that they could build their opinions. I think the audiences have worried even less about that than some creators have. Throughout the years that kind of support builds up something within an artist, a base from which you feel free to spring, a trust to all that is you and inside of you - even the weirdest parts. In the studio nothing is unconventional or uncommon, to me it is not viewed like that, then I don’t think we could do what we do as contemporary artists. I believe that has colored off on me in all my works and in everyday life, since I have been lucky enough to always work in that way with my creativity, something women in these fields before me couldn’t and too many still can’t.


I can’t stop wondering how the art history would have looked like if women had been as free as men, how contemporary art would be different from the start of it until today. Women would maybe not have felt a need to liberate themselves in those ways through art for example, and perhaps our view and sexualizing of the female body would have been radically different. If all that was not needed to address, what else would have been created and dedicated that amount of time to? What else could we now have changed and made better in the world, and how far could our creativity have taken us today? Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Johanna. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? I have recently started working for the national contemporary dance company of Scotland and am very excited to be part of their journey. I also look forward to evolving my artistic voice with smaller projects, collaborations and in exchanges with other people. Getting pushed to think outside myself, an interesting space to explore. The imagery of film and photography and all that is possible there within, will always hold a big interest in me. By evolving my knowledge and abilities there, I wish to be able to realize all that is in my head and body. And to continue mixing the art forms I am engaged in in different ways. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

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Women Cinemakers meets

Patricia Vidal Delgado Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA

Patricia Vidal Delgado was born in Lisbon in 1987, studied Fine Art Media at Central St. Martins University of the Arts London and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Delgado's artistic practice investigates the intimate and the feminine; and includes video, sound and performance. Her work has featured in several international video festivals and art galleries in Budapest, Stuttgart, Zürich, Luanda, Marrakesh, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and London. Her first narrative-based short film,

, won a total of nine awards at film festivals in Portugal, France and Brazil and had its' European premiere

at London Raindance 2013. To date, it has screened at over thirty film festivals. Her second short film,

, premiered at the 36th Cinemed Film Festival in Montpellier and was voted one of the top films by the audience of the Festi-

val Luso-Brasileiro de Santa Maria da Feira 2014.

was awarded second place in the fiction category of the Farcume Brazil Film Festival 2015 and re-

ceived a special mention at the 37th UNCIPAR Festival - Jornadas Argentinas e Internacionales de Cine y Video Independiente. , her third short film, premiered at the 25th Vila do Conde International Short Film Festival in Portugal and was part of the official selection for Caminhos do Cinema Português, UBICinema’17, Ocean Coast Film Festival, YMotion and SANTACURTAS’18.

received a special mention for Best

Cinematography in a Short Film from AIP (Associação de Imagem Portuguesa) and a special mention for Best Short Film at the International Festival of Short Films of Faro in 2018. Patricia’s feature script,

, made the top twenty finalists for the Film Empire “Fempire” Screenplay Competition in May 2018. There were 159

script submissions. , Patricia’s first feature film, is currently in post-production and scheduled for release in May 2019. The film is a Top 20 Finalist for the Fall 2018 Roy W. Dean Grant. Patricia lives in Los Angeles and has just completed an MFA in Production/Directing at UCLA. She is the recipient of a scholarship from the prestigious Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier

you are a versatile artist and your practice

and Dora S. Tennant

includes video, sound and performance, and

womencinemaker@berlin.com

before starting to elaborate about your film,

Hello Patricia and welcome to

:

we would like to invite our readers to visit


in order to get a wide idea about your artistic production. We would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and studied Fine Art Media at Central St. Martins University of the Arts London and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London: how did these experiences influence your evolution as a filmmaker? Moreover, could you tell us your biggest influences and how did they direct the trajectory of your artistic research? My experiences at art school, as a video artist, taught me to be fearless about film-making. For one of my graduation films, 'Girl with Gun', I chose to execute all tasks by myself. I did this because I felt that the best way to learn how to do something is to get hands on experience. I wrote the script, acted in the film, set up the shots, edited the picture and sound and even recorded foley in my mother's garden! This quasiartisanal mode of making fostered my interest in all aspects of film production from start to finish. Sure, it was challenging and time-consuming but I learnt alot and once I'd accomplished that, I felt empowered to do anything. Which is when I decided to become a director. It was only once I had stepped in the shoes of several crew positions that I could really appreciate the privilege and the honor of working with seasoned film professionals.

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Women Cinemakers While at art school, I was drawn to writers like Roland Barthes, Elizabeth Cowie and Marina Warner. Barthes, because he sensitively psychoanalyzed the lover’s pathological condition and exposed the deep-seated neurosis that lies at the root of feeling-states such as ‘love’ and ‘desire’. Cowie, for her exploration of the power dichotomy of having the phallus and being the phallus, whereby the man requires the unconscious phallic potential of the woman (who perceives herself as castrated) in order to confidently exercise the full extent of his phallic power. And Warner, for deconstructing female archetypes - "Liberty is not represented as a woman, from the colossus in New York to the ubiquitous Marianne, figure of the French Republic, because women were or are free. In the nineteenth century, when so many of these images were made and widely disseminated, the opposite was conspicuously the case; indeed the French Republic was one of the last European countries to give its female citizens the vote." These writings about gender dynamics, female iconography and the mechanics of desire are with me every time I write a script. These topics permeate all my films to one extent or another. we For this special edition of have selected , a captivating short film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and whose trailer can be viewed at . We have been fascinated with the way your clear and


effective approach to narrative provides the viewers with such an , enhanced by elegant composition. When walking our readers through the genesis of , could you tell us what did attract you to this particular story? One of my closest friends in Portugal is a child psychologist who specializes in helping children with Asperger's. She described one aspect of the syndrome to me as if the person is not present with

us, that there is a lack of connectivity in the present moment, that they live in their own mind and in their own reality. I visited APSA, the Portuguese Association for Asperger's Syndrome (Associação Portuguesa de Síndrome de Asperger), with my friend and interacted with the young men at the school there. That was when I felt the impetus to make a film about a young man that has Asperger's and to track his emotional trajectory in the course of one day. Perhaps in a humble attempt to inhabit


that world and gain some understanding of it. Elegantly shot, features stunning camera work and each shot is carefully orchestrated to work within the overall structure: what were your when shooting? In particular, what was your choice about camera and lens? Credit is most certainly due to my brilliant, highly talented and prized creative collaborator, the

Director of Photography Eberhard Schedl. Eberhard and I have worked together on several projects and we have now established a shorthand that makes working with him an absolute dream. Eberhard and I discussed a warmer palette for the start of the film, when Ico is safe and content within his own world, and a cooler palette once he enters the gallery space, which is when the first foreign pressures start to manifest in his psyche. We endeavored to fully embrace Ico's subjective


perspective and the multitude of close-up shots reflects Ico's obsession with detail, which is common amongst individuals with Asperger's. In terms of composition and blocking, it was important to emphasize Ico's solitude and disconnection from others around him. In regards to camera and lenses, we shot with a Blackmagic 2.5K Camera and Canon EF Cinema Primes. This combination made for a richly toned image with an impressive dynamic range. I was also lucky enough to work with the immensely skilled Colorist, Marco Amaral, who graded my first two short films. Marco suggested adding a 16mm film scan onto the footage in DaVinci Resolve and this was the perfect finishing touch. This digital grain imparted a beautiful texture to the film. imparts With its brilliantly structured storytelling to the unparalleled narration, to unveil an ever shifting internal struggle. We have particularly appreciated the way your film gives to the viewers the sense they are watching : would you tell how did you develop the script and the structure of your film in order to achieve such ? Once I had the narrative outline of the script, I visited APSA on several occasions and spoke with the teachers who work with young adults that have Asperger's. I was also fortunate enough to speak to several of the students there, and to observe the mannerisms and body language

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers

of those who were too shy to speak to me. It was through this process of observation that I gathered details to incorporate into Ico's character. The tendency to keep one's hands in one's pockets, wearing clothes that are slightly too warm for the weather out of habit, the gaze that is not entirely present in the moment, the fleeting moments of connection with others... I will always be very grateful for the kindness, openness and generosity of the teaching staff and students at APSA. Authenticity is a very important element to me in my film work, and it was only through the collaboration and support of APSA that I was able to get closer to the world of those students. In your film you leave the floor to your characters, finding an effective way to walk the viewers to between their own develop inner spheres and the characters. We like the way you created entire scenarios out of psychologically charged moments: what was your preparation with actors in terms of rehearsal? In particular, how would you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the details of a scene and ? How importance does play in your cinema? Igor Regalla played the role of Ico, and he accompanied me on several of my visits to APSA. He would have lengthy conversations with the students there and made mental notes of the language they used, the pattern


and rhythm of their speech, the direction of their gaze, their use of gestures and the movements of their bodies. Igor is a professionally trained actor and has a wide range of techniques at his disposal that, together with the work he did in terms of research and observation, enabled him to embody a young man who has Asperger's. The improvisational work happened in rehearsals and on set. I especially remember an emotionally-charged rehearsal with the actress Joana Hilรกrio, who plays the role of Maya in the film, where she was taken aback by Igor's expressive intensity and the captivating power of his performance. Then, on set, Igor would improvise little rituals for Ico - for example, he would count to twenty and take three deep breaths before speaking to another actor within the scene. I believe that this ritual was inspired by his conversations with the students at APSA about the things that they would do in order to alleviate their social anxiety. What would they do to prepare themselves before speaking to a stranger? How would they calm their nerves? How would they control their hands, face and body? Igor was impeccable at absorbing and assimilating these details, at making them his own. Therefore I had complete trust in Igor to improvise within the given parameters of the scene, so that he could feel the full extent of his character. The fact that we also had a relatively short script shot over the course of several days meant that there was time

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers

A still from


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Women Cinemakers built into the schedule to allow for the luxury of improvisation. The relationship between sound and visual is crucial in your film and we have appreciated the way you have created such enigmatic atmosphere, by combining the city's sound and the footage: how would you consider the role of sound within your practice as a filmmaker and how do you see in general? I am immensely grateful to have worked with my longstanding collaborator and friend, Hugo LeitĂŁo, who is arguably one of the best sound designers working in Portugal today. Hugo actually came on board during the script stage and that is when we began discussing the sound design for the film. It was important for me that the sound mirrored the choices we made with camera, in the sense that we wanted to fully embrace Ico's perspective. We should hear exactly like Ico hears an overabundance of external aural stimuli, a crispness and texture that goes beyond what we normally hear. The idea was to contrast these foreign, exterior sounds with a tonal landscape that expresses Ico's inner life in both its' moments of harmony and discord. I believe that it is always important to remember that a film is 50% sound and 50% image. When we allow the image to dominate or negate the potential power of


sound, we do our films a disservice. One of the things I love most about film-making is getting to collaborate with such perceptive and intuitive people such as Hugo, who always brings his passion and high artistry to the project and consistently elevates it to another level through his judicious use of sound and score. is a production of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television: what were the most crucial aspects of the production and what has been the most challenging for you on this film? The problems that beset the production of 'Ico' were, unsurprisingly for an independently-financed production, of a financial nature. At this point I must mention that Bernardo Gomes de Almeida was instrumental in the making of this film. Bernardo works primarily as an assistant director but is also a film director in his own right. Bernardo was kind enough to let us use his personal camera and he also personally contacted all the actors in the film. It was due to his enthusiasm and support that the cast members agreed to come on board. Bernardo even agreed to be my Assistant Director, for which I will be eternally thankful and humbled! Due to Bernardo's assistance and the generosity of several cast and crew members, we were able to complete principal photography. However, because

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers there is a dearth of financial support for young female fiction film-makers in Portugal, I simply did not have funds for the post-production of the film. This is when UCLA awarded me with incentive money that enabled me to complete 'Ico'. is your third short film, and premiered at the in Portugal and was part of the official selection for Caminhos do Cinema Português and UBICinema’17: how importance has for you that you receive in the festival circuit? And what are you hoping will trigger in the audience? The feedback that I have received from audience members has been extremely positive. People comment on the almost hypnotic use of sound and imagery that effectively creates a truly immersive experience. This has been very encouraging for me, as it seems that viewers have been able to momentarily inhabit Ico's world. My hope is that 'Ico' will stimulate discussion and debate in order to help tackle the stigma around mental health that still exists in Portugal, to this day. I feel that young men with Asperger's are especially vulnerable to alienation and non-acceptance due to the fact that Portugal still suffers from an intensely chauvinistic culture that prescribes very rigid patterns of behavior onto young men and boys. APSA has been actively


promoting an anti-bullying campaign across Portuguese schools and I believe that heightened awareness of the issue is the first step towards positive change. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in cinema. For more than half a from century women have been getting behind the camera, however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. Do you think it is harder for women artists to have their projects green lit today? What's your view on ? Having lived in America for the past three years, I have witnessed that Hollywood has started to pay attention to the gender gap that exists between male and female directors. Directing remains a highly competitive field, however I do believe that there are currently more opportunities for young female directors in America. In Portugal, conversely, it doesn't feel to me like the conversation has even begun to take place. Perhaps we could blame it on the lack of a sustainable film industry in Portugal, which in its

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Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers turn creates a lack of opportunity? However, I believe that the problem goes deeper than that. It is extremely rare for there to be a female director at the helm of a big budget fiction film production and I would credit this to cultural norms that imply that women cannot be trusted with great responsibility or great sums of money. I feel as if in Portugal, young female directors are "allowed" to make documentaries, animations and short films. We're not trusted with a bigger canvas. It's still very much a boy's game and we're not allowed to play. Should I ever be in a financial position to positively affect the future of women in cinema, I would very much like to start a grant for first-time female filmmakers in Portugal. This is because I don't feel that there currently exists any governmental body that is interested in giving exclusive opportunities to young female directors and this blind spot must be addressed. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Patricia. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? I have a short film that should premiere at the IndieLisboa Film Festival in May 2019. I also just directed my first feature film, 'La Leyenda Negra', which is scheduled for release next year. This film is


currently in post-production and is a Top 20 Finalist for the Fall 2018 Roy W. Dean Grant. My hope is to direct more feature projects and I currently have a feature script in development, 'Diana', which made the top twenty finalists for the Film Empire "Fempire" Screenplay Competition. Although my main focus is film, I am also open to television projects and commercial work. In terms of how I see my work evolving, I hope to make films that lend voices to the disenfranchised, to those that are on the margins of society and are struggling to find any kind of psychological or emotional balance. Personally feeling unattached to any particular national identity, the characters in my films tend to be immigrants and outsiders. Perhaps this is because I can sympathize with those who drift from place to place, who live on the outside, looking in. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers meets

Emma Zukovic Lives and works in Galway, Ireland ''Post Memory describes the relationship that the 'generation after' bears to the personal, collective and cultural trauma of those who came before - to experience they 'remember' only by means of the stories, images and behaviours among which they grew up. But these experiences are transmitted to them so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.'' (Hirsch, 2008) The stories which we are told allow us to fabricate our realms of imagination, creating utopians of a place never before visited by us personally. My work is concerned with the disappearance of a country, and those who struggled with cultural identity as a direct result. I am interested in the juxtaposition of Post Memory and contemporary printmaking. Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in learning of others past lives in the country, I am delving into my own exploration of the self and my affinity with the land that no longer exists. Being of Macedonian descent, with first-hand experience of life in the countries of this former collective state, personal considerations play a significant role in the discussion. Through means of being submitted to others behaviours and stories of this place has been imprinted in my mind, a 'memory' of another life. Experiences and reminiscences, my personal stories and memories of my early life in Lymington at the time of turmoil in Macedonia, have been relevant in the aim of developing a model to critically explore my practice through mediums of film, installation and print.

Emma Zukovic was born in Lymington, England and is now based in Galway, Ireland. She received her BA in Fine Art Printmaking and Contemporary Practice in Limerick School of Art and Design. The artist's mother is of Irish nationality and her father is from Macedonia. Being of Macedonian descent, Zukovic's work is concerned with the theory of Post-Memory and it's relevance to the lost country, Yugoslavia. The artist primarily focuses in the medium of video installation and etchings. Being of Macedonian descent, Zukovic has an affinity with the former collective state and the stories of the turmoil of its inhabitants it has left behind. Emma Zukovic has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally, including Russia, Ukraine and Italy as well as receiving awards for her work in Ireland, Macedonia and Canada.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

Hello Emma and welcome to : we would like to ask

you some questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you hold a BA in Fine Art Printmaking and Contemporary Practice, that you received from Limerick School of


Emma Zukovic Photo by Meadhbh McNutt


Art and Design: how did this experience influence as an artist? Moreover, how does your due to your Macedonian roots direct the trajectory of your artistic research? Thank you very much for having me. I always knew I wanted to be an artist, and when I joined Limerick School of Art I found a love for printmaking and contemporary practice. It gave me the freedom and scope to work in a variety of mediums which began with traditional printmaking and evolved to video art and projection installations. I’ve always had a fascination with the rich culture and history of Macedonia and being an artist allows me to tell a story that I feel very passionate about; the diverse cultural underbelly and its melancholic past. I visit my family there as often as I can and its my love for them as well as the landscape that directs my artistic research. You are an eclectic artist and your versatile practice embraces installation, video, drawing and etchings: before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we would invite to our readers to visit in order

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers to get a synoptic idea about your artistic production: would you tell us what does address you to such captivating multidisciplinary approach? How do you select in order to explore a particular aspect of your artistic inquiry? I’ve always enjoyed working in a variety of disciplines, and am constantly learning new skills and creating different processes, it’s really interesting to discover new ways of working with materials and how this can open up your way of working as well as giving me an alternative way of approaching a task. In choosing a certain discipline it really depends on what I want to talk about through my work; for instance when discussing the tumultuous uprooting of cultural identity I opted for etched aluminium plates as the process of using acid to etch into the aluminium is erratic and the result is sometimes unpredictable. However another kind of ‘burning’ played a role in my video work as the house, the former collective state, begins a gradual immolation, as the flames slowly engulf the house and the objects within. The items contained within the four walls depicted all hold personal meaning and appear in the form of a


Balkan rug, a map and Macedonian clay dishes. Everything in this short video was intentionally curated and as a result its almost romantic in terms of the colour pallet and the vibrating memorising soundtrack. Your artistic practice is centered on the concept of elaborated by

Marianne Hirsch and that is the relationship the generation after bears to the personal, cultural, collective trauma of those who came before. For this special edition of we have selected ,a captivating experimental film that our readers have already started to get to know


in the introductory pages of this article. When walking our readers through the genesis of , could you tell us how did you become interested in the theme of ?

realised is not unusual to have experienced.

Its a really interesting concept that resonates with me personally, and is something that I’ve

These ‘memories’ which are inherited, a family

Hirsch writes beautifully in depth on Post Memory and the results of an experience or memory that is handed down through generations, usually a consequence of trauma. heirloom of sorts, were transmitted to them so


deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right. Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in learning of others past lives in the country, I am delving into my own exploration of the self and my affinity with the land that no longer exists. Being of Macedonian descent, with first-hand experience of life in the countries of this former collective state, personal considerations play a significant role in the discussion. Through means of being submitted to others behaviours and stories of this place has been imprinted in my mind, a 'memory' of another life. Experiences and reminiscences, my personal stories and memories of my early life in Lymington at the time of turmoil in Macedonia. Featuring brilliant cinematography with sapient use of temps mort, is a transporting experience, reminding us of FrĂŠdĂŠric Tcheng's work and we have appreciated the way your storytelling captures hidden emotional reactions with thoughtful detachment: what were your

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers when shooting? In particular, what was your choice about camera and lens? Thank you for that flattering comparison! At the beginning of every shoot, before I turn the camera on, I focus on the composition of the room and will adjust the structure if needed and spend a considerable amount of time on lighting and tones. Colour can change a lot about what you want to depict so for me its very important to get everything perfect before I shoot. When I shoot outside I usually aim for an overcast or foggy day, I find it gives me a lot more room to mimic lighting and set the mood. As I mentioned earlier my subject and what I intentionally place in the scene always has a personal meaning that may not always be clear at first. For instance, before shooting the third part of this triptych video, I painstakingly uprooted a large tree stump by hand; I wanted the viewer to see the roots displayed to represent those ‘uprooted’ from their cultural identity as a result of the turmoil. As for my preference with camera and lens I shoot on a simple DSLR, usually with a 50mm or 14mm prime lens, in using temps mort I find its nice to have wider angle lenses. Though most of


my shots are stagnant I usually only have a select few scenes where the camera is on a rig or a slider, keeping these moving transitions to a minimum makes them that much more powerful and keeps in tempo with the gradual transitions of the video. Drawing from your being of Macedonian descent, imparts unparalleled psychological intensity to the viewing experience: would you tell us how important it was for you to make , about something you knew a lot? I think that it can be difficult and perhaps intimidating to make something very personal but once you get over that initial barrier of exploring the self through your work it just opens up a whole new realm to explore. Its something I feel strongly about and I want to put it out there not only for the satisfaction of artwork but to hopefully impart some knowledge or incise the viewer to delve deeper into this subject. has drawn heavily from

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A still from


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Women Cinemakers and we have highly appreciated the way you have created such powerful resonance between the landscape and human condition: as an artist particularly interested in investigating the themes of memory and cultural identity, how did you select the locations and how did they affect your shooting process? That’s interesting because I shot some scenes in Macedonia and some in Irish bogland, being half Irish I spend a lot of my childhood in the Western countryside and I have always had an affinity with the bog and common land. It’s a wilderness in itself and will consume you if you let it. I took advantage of that in the shooting process and turned this untamed place into something romantic and calming to view. I was also aware or the dissimilarity in Irish and Macedonian landscapes so I used this as an opportunity to experiment and portrayed them in such a way that the viewer could not tell what land it is, a utopia of sorts. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that "


": what could be in your opinion in our unstable, everchanging contemporary age? In particular, does your artistic research respond to cultural moment? As I’ve mentioned earlier my inspiration is derived from the separation of Yugoslavia in 1992 and the subsequent turmoil surrounding that period. I believe its important for artists to have an input in relation to cultural phenomenon and more specifically political topics. The artist can give a new insight to a situation that can be expressed in a visual manor, which is really interesting to the viewer. That’s what has made this subject so personal to me, it’s a very broad topic which many people know of, however I am very privileged to have a platform to present work based on personal experiences and to have an audience that appreciate that. In observing my video work of otherwise you will find it is open to interpretation to a certain extent and I am pleased to hear what others may gather from it. I think its important to keep an open dialogue and to have a trading of

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers experiences and opinions between artist and viewer. Over the years your works have been exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally, including Russia, Ukraine and Italy and you also received awards in Ireland, Macedonia and Canada: how do you consider the nature of the relationship with your audience? And what do you hope will trigger in the spectators? Yes I’ve been very fortunate to have been accepted in so many diverse places, It came as a surprise to me that there was such an interest in the work from people in different parts of the globe. I consider the relationship between my video work and the audience to be intimate in nature, my intension is to create an immersive experience in my work, this is the result of a strong personal and emotional connection I portray through these scenes as well as the way the video is presented itself; projected in a darkened room surrounding the viewer with the soundtrack vibrating through the space.


Women Cinemakers I’ve gotten a lot of different responses from spectators; some felt hopeful, melancholic, nostalgic, so in some ways its open to interpretation. I would like the audience to feel that they have seen something in a new light. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. Women are finding their voices in art: since Artemisia Gentileschi's times to our contemporary scene it has been a long process and it will be a long process but we have already seen lots of original awareness among women artists. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something ' ', however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. What's your view on in this field? I think that it is becoming increasingly common for women to make strides in

multidisciplinary fields, and this is an incredibly important achievement for a society such as ours. Women artists may possess an alternative manor of thinking/making, subsequently offering up a valuable perspective for the audience. I believe it is vital that the female aspect in this field continues to flourish. It is with the support of platforms such as the WomenCinemakers that are essential in taking these positive steps forward. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Emma. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? In the coming years I hope to travel extensively and consume as much information and experience as possible, this is what really leads my work and the medium I choose in the process. Thank you very much for having me, its been a pleasure. An interview by Francis L. Quettier


Women Cinemakers meets

Marilou Poncin Lives and works in Paris, France

I am interested in fantasies construction in the collective psyche and particularly how it occurs in a context where modern medias and technology are more and more central. I question the way we stage women’s body and the image it conveys. I have always been fascinated by its attractive power and for this reason I took over the erotic imagery vocabulary. These visual codes collided with Internet are mutating, nowadays fantasies become virtual worlds for us to explore. I create situations, characters or mechanisms that put in perspective those themes and their paradoxes as well as they give a specific importance to the sensory experience proposed to the audience. An interview by Francis L. Quettier

questions regarding your background. You

and Dora S. Tennant

have a solid formal training and after your

womencinemaker@berlin.com

studies in visual art in Lyon Beaux-Arts, you nurtured your education at the

Hello Marilou and welcome to : we would like to introduce you to our readers with a couple of

, in Amsterdam and at , in Paris: how did these experiences influence your artistic evolution? In


particular, how does your inform your current creative process?

Thank you for asking me to participate to this issue. These three schools have had a real influence on my artistic work. My early beginning in Les Beaux Arts Fine Arts opened my mind I think, at that moment everything became possible, as much with form as with meaning. I understood how to formally translate research elements, how to verbalize my work and above all: I have learned to think the relation to the audience. By means of technique, ENSAD gave me a broader view as to the way I consider filming. Rietveld has been the icing on the cake, the perfect synthesis between those two types of school. As a result, my work is at the frontiers between the worlds of Applied Arts, Cinema and Artistic Video. I love to play with these ambivalences. You are an eclectic artist and your versatile practice embraces videos, performance and photography to pursue multilayered visual results: before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we would invite to our readers to visit in order to get a synoptic idea about your artistic

interview

Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers

Welcome to my Room


Women Cinemakers

Welcome to my Room


interview

Women Cinemakers production: would you tell us what does address you to such captivating multidisciplinary approach? How do you select in order to explore a particular aspect of your artist research?

I see myself as a visual artist, I work on Image in all its forms. Most of the time, the “main” medium imposes upon me because it makes sense altogether with the subject and my willing to tell it. I say “main” because I like to mix them, I always take photographs of the actresses on set when I shoot films. I sometimes introduce images in my films or make films with my images. Eventually, I create situations that can be recorded by different means. The experience I want to put forward to the audience, how to include its body and mind into the reading of my work, is also a determinant factor. For this special edition of we have selected , an extremely interesting experimental film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. We have been really impressed with your insightful inquiry into , providing the viewers with a multilayered


Welcome to my Room


Welcome to my Room


Women Cinemakers experience. When walking our readers through the genesis of , would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea?

I did research for a year to make that film. For a long time, I have been investigating on contemporary practises of sexuality and fulfilment of fantasy online. I had heard about the Camgirl phenomenon without knowing the way it worked, to be honest I was fascinated right away. A Camgirl is a person who sells her video image online. Shows are broadcasted live in the world, then transmitted to platforms that give their clients access to it. Most of the time, we talk about Camgirl whose shows are sexual (Strip-tease, masturbation in front of the camera or dirty talks for example) but few people know that it is not a uniform practice, for it answers to the diversity of human fantasies. Men, couples, groups, film characters, transgenders etc. also perform this kind of shows. Shows that can have many different forms, from artistic-poetic performance to the most unexpected staging. Sometimes, it can be just a regular chat between the camer and the audience.

For the purpose of my films, I decided to focus on the main form of caming: between a woman and her clients. “Roxy’s Room” is made to put the audience in the position of the client. The film recreates the dispositive client/screen/girl. Here Roxy, generic character, individually addresses the audience from a fake dressed-up room. She does her show and give the client what he came for: a sexual experience with an authentic girl. Nevertheless, Roxy’s speech sounds made-up, everything about her seems created to please him, until she disappears little by little in front of him. Only her voice remains in the virtual space, leaving him bystander in front of a pornographic image, of which the object of desire has vanished. He is confronted to a reality: these images are nothing but projection supports and are not at all a real life experience with one another. In “Cam girl next door” I wanted to show the example of a real young woman, who tries to decipher the preconceived ideas about femininity she grew up with. She represents a generation that, while aware of medias’


Welcome to my Room


Women Cinemakers influence on her own femininity, paradoxically can’t help but incarnate its codes. In this endearing contradiction, she tries to represent the voices of those who think of caming as a way of taking back control over their bodies, their sexuality and to emancipate. Contrast and sometimes contradiction between these two points of view, I hope so, give its strength to the film. Exploring off-time moments in a virtual fantasies’ world, also explores the notion and the consequence of surrogate reality that affects our media driven societies: as an artist particularly interested in , how do you view playing within your artworks?

It is essential to me, imagination is the piece of magic in our brain that enables us to create worlds and explore them. In these worlds, there are places where sex is more present than others, where we can live stories that excite us at a sexual level, these stories are fantasies. These fantasies find a way to exist in

the real world, by staging, by meeting someone who shares the same desire or even the simple fact of observing what surrounds us‌ The internet has made easier our researches thanks to the combination distance/anonymity. Smelling the profitable business, companies decided to give it space and time. My works make the link between the imaginary world and the real one. This is where collective psyche operates. People have to relate to these imaginary elements, this is why fantasies are a good basis, they are commonplaces that excite larger or smaller group of people. Foot fetishists are obviously more numerous than balloon fetishists (looners). You just have to know what you want to talk about, to who and more importantly how. We have appreciated your insightful exploration of the influence of modern medias and technology in our everchanging contemporary age, as you did in : do you think that has changed these days with the new


Welcome to my Room


Let out the inner Bitch


Women Cinemakers

global communications and the new sensibility created by new media? Moreover, what's your opinion about ?

New media such as social networks are a luck as well as a trap. They are a luck because they give us the possibility to release our artistic work, to be able to share with others or to have a comprehensive overview of our society’s movements. They are a trap because they make images lose their strength. We scroll endlessly without even watching what passes by, we categorize images by theme, hashtag, filter… it is a mutation of our relation to image that we must be aware of, an over which we must learn to hold sway, in order not to create images like an industry. Facing this statement, we can invest clichés as I wanted to do with “Let out the inner bitch”, or try to pull away from them, but it seems harder to me. As to new technologies in general, such as VR videos, robots, connected objects, artificial intelligence… I think we should look at them more as new tools we can use than as a threat.


Let out the inner Bitch


A still from

Let out the inner Bitch


Women Cinemakers Your artworks often draws from universal imagery and we dare say that it responds to German photographer Andreas Gursky's quote, when he stated that

: how much important is for you to create images capable of triggering the spectatorship perceptual substratum in order to address them to elaborate ? How would you like your works to be understood?

I like to let the audience in a kind of a blur, I like the experience to be disturbing and nondetermined. To use elements that are familiar to the watcher, a teenager room, a bimbo character, even a speech he has already heard and mix everything a non-evidential, “nonnatural” way. This is when we take distance from clichés and, by the way, we interrogate clichés. The interest resides in interrogation, not in resolution. Mockery is also a good mean, it enables to pass on subtly some information and to desacralize the work of art and it is

sometimes necessary, especially when we deal with sensitive topics. How does your personal experience fuel your creative process? In particular, how would you consider the relationship between with other people and your creative process? Do you think that a creative process could be from everyday life's reality?

To me it is impossible to dissociate life experience from work. Simply because I show my own body in my work, an important part of it comes from interaction and interpretation people have of my body in the given context. Dialogue is, therefore, fundamental. I also used a lot of my memories and experiences to write the monologue in “Cam girl next door”, it is what makes the character likeable and real. She asks herself questions that I asked myself at that moment. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body


Women Cinemakers

Erotic Body Experience

and by using their own bodies, as you did in

relation between

the interesting the

ideas you aim to communicate and

series. German visual artist Gerhard Richter

of the

of creating your artworks?

once underlined that "

Fundamentally, film or image exist by ": how do you consider the

capturing reality, while it is possible to make


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an abstract work in photograph or video, the basis of the image will mainly be something that belongs to reality, a light beam, a piece of body… I chose to make images that function on a realistic regime, I show a situation that is familiar to us. Therefore, I need to find the

“shape” of this situation in a repertoire that everybody knows, it is like a puzzle. To put together pieces to create a situation that makes the image. The oeuvre only functions when no one can tell the shape of each piece but only sees the image they compose.


Women Cinemakers We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something ' ', however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. How would you describe your personal experience as an unconventional artist? And what's your view on the future of women in this interdisciplinary field?

As a matter of principles, an artist is somebody that doesn’t care about conventions, or either plays with it. I don’t think I am more unconventional than anybody else. Nonetheless, being a woman is a good place to create a subversive work. Unfortunately, we know that women’s work is less represented and promoted than men’s. It is a reality that we can fight by producing a quality work and by playing with these codes that divide us.

Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Marilou. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving?

I would like to write a new film, I have some ideas about a dominant/dominated couple who, while very accomplice, would be unable to blossom sexually speaking. I am actually looking for contacts on that topic, I make a call! I would also like to continue my experimentation on erotic photography, I feel like it is a work that never ends because it evolves with me. I also started a photo/video studio: CAMP std with a friend. Our ambition is to work on specific commands who have artistiques and esthetiques qualities, I’ll let you make your own opinion by checking our website: http://campstd.com. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com


Erotic Body Experience


Women Cinemakers meets

Florinda Ciucio Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium

The poetic observations of an Italian mountain village allow the viewer to enter another time zone. A place where the repetitive approach of time is influenced by the magnificence of the environment. There is nothing more expected than what exists, which creates a kind of meditative cycle of time, pace and actions.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

Captivating and refined in its balanced and is a effective storytelling, stimulating short film by Florinda Ciucio: marked out with carefully orchestrated photography, it walks the viewers through a multilayered inquiry into the notion of landscape and our relationship between our surroundings.. This captivating short film offers an emotionally charged visual experience, inviting the viewers to unveil the ubiquitous beauty hidden into the

details of our the landscape: we are particularly pleased to introduce our readers to Ciucio's captivating and multifaceted artistic production. Hello Florinda and welcome to : to start this interview we would ask you a couple of question about your background. You have a solid formal training: how do your studies influence your artistic evolution? During my studies I discovered quite quickly that I wanted to work within the field of documentary and work with real stories and situations. I


searched for a long time what would be for me a satisfying way of expressing myself. . When you choose to work with real situations, it really gives you an opportunity of getting to know a lot of different areas and people from all corners of society, which really enriched my perspectives. But as much as I loved to explore and started capturing the different communities in which I found myself in, my studies taught me to take a step back and oblige myself time to reflect and analyse in order to end up with a more layered result. For this special edition of we have selected , a captivating short film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. What has at once captured our attention of your insightful inquiry into the relationship between the notions of time and space is the way your sapient narrative provides the viewers with with such an intense visual experience. When walking our readers through the genesis of 14:26 CEST, would you tell how did you develop the initial idea? I started working on this project when I travelled to this specific area with no other purpose than to relax. The longer I stayed, the more this environment triggered me. I wasn’t sure what it was that I wanted to capture, but this village lingered in my thoughts both visually and cinematically. At that time, I had somewhat conflicted feelings towards what cinema meant to me, and so I didn’t want to let go of the fascination I had felt. As I travelled

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Women Cinemakers back home, I decided to follow my intuition and started to develop it more thoroughly. I went to the library and searched for literature, films, paintings themed around the idea of ‘the mountain’. One sentence I read somewhere remained stuck in my mind: “Why not be like the mountains? Vast, content and in their place”. This, for me, embodied a notion of freedom, of not wanting more, which I repeat in the film itself. “They are destined to look at the same scene forever, nothing else to expect.” So I tried to write something which embraced these limits and turned them into something peaceful to strive for. With this new input, I went back to the village.There I searched for characters which emphasised my personal feelings in this setting. The characters I had in mind had to have something repetitive, I wanted to treat them as if they were part of some still life that would never disappear. I soon realised that I wanted to observe them from a distance, that I didn’t want to interact with them directly. They had this natural way of being, I didn’t want to neglect. As an observer, I wanted to record these scenes as documents. After collecting them, I wanted to use them to recreate this initial fascinating feeling I had, in the film. The result visually shows these still documented images, and the audio echoes a world which was present in my own perception. After the shooting period, I had a lot of footage which I thought was essential to create on screen the world that


I saw in front of me. However, when I started working on it, I found difficulty in translating these intuitive feelings into an understandable film. It was difficult to describe what exactly had driven me to this village and urged me to go back to create this film. So, I started editing from a relatively empty canvas. I followed the same intuition which lead me to create the film and put together the images based on instinct and aesthetic reasoning. I tried to find a perfect balance on screen, a rhythm in the silent movements of the charachters and the scenery in order to reach something that felt perfectly harmonious. Before I was shooting the

film, I was already writing the text, and continued this parallel during the editing process, where it really naturally came together. All things considered, it was a long search, but it ultimately taught me to describe an atmosphere both in film as in word. More specifically, that this atmosphere was something made up of indefinable elements such as ‘the sense of time’ of the notion of joining a dimension where there is another perception of time. Where there is no need for spectacle. Part of the learning process was transforming these abstract concepts into a


balanced film. Moreover, it also taught me to stress the poetry of an image into the power of the film itself rather than the image being only a component. In the end, the most remarkable thing I discovered by making this film was that I had to experience each singular step: exploring, researching, filming, editing in order to finally realise what it was exactly that fascinated me so much about this village. For me, this is one of the greatest things about filmmaking: by translating the world in front of you

into images, you start to gain a better understanding of it. Elegantly composed, features stunning landscape cinematography and each shot is carefully orchestrated to work within the overall structure: what were your aesthetic decisions when shooting? In particular, what was your choice about camera and lens? I knew I preferred an immersive visual experience to a filmic one. This is why I stepped away from droneshots and elegant slides or such. So


consequently I decided to shoot everything in a fixed frame and wide as if you are quietly beholding a view. Another important aspect regarding my aesthetic decisions was the fact that I didn't want any digital component in front of the camera, nor embodied in the structure of the image. I wanted it to be as timeless as possible, neither past nor present. So together with the choice of not indulging in too many digital machinery, I also decided to work with a camera and lenses that carried a more analogue aesthetic as it represents something more neutral for me. Using a naturalistic veritÊ style and well orchestrated has drawn heavily from camera work, the specifics of the environment of the Italian mountain village where you shot and we have highly appreciated the way you have created such insightful resonance between the environment and performative getures: how did you select the location and how did it affect your shooting process? I’m not sure why I immediately fell in love with this mountain village that I crossed somewhere in the north of Italy. In fact, there was nothing spectacular about it, it wasn’t touristic either. It could have looked like the same mountain village 30 or 3000 km away. The only thing this village differs from another one is that it came along my path. It was a more about being at the right place at the right time. I choose to follow these

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Women Cinemakers coincidental encounters to limit myself, so I don’t get lost in an endless array of choices. It gives me the freedom of letting go of a neverending doubt, and in turn makes my process more productive. I received a lot or support from the local villagers in order to find specific profiles for the characters I had in mind. Most of these towns only have one or two bars, so it’s easy to get to know the community in only one night. The people that I met there most of the times had a friend or a cousin which were suitable for the image I wanted to create. I’m really grateful for the help these people offered me, in a way making it into a teamwork. What also helped a lot was the fact that in a small town, there’s always a lot of curiosity when it comes to newcomers. This made the search for characters easier, as they instantly sympathised with our project. We even made the local newspaper! In the end, with a lot of help from the people of the village, we had a daily planning of the characters we were going to visit. Between these appointments we drove endlessly and stopped whenever something caught our eye. An anecdotal example: The film shows a shot of caterpillars which I really love, and it’s something I would initially never come up with or look for. Feras, the sound guy needed to go to the toilet on one of our long and wandering drives through the area. We


stopped somewhere in the middle of nowhere and suddenly we heard him shout “come out, I’ve seen something amazing!”. In the middle of the bushes, we found a pile of caterpillars crawling perfectly synchronised in a circle, as if they were doing this by duty or instinct. In the end, this turned out to be one of my favourite shots as it really worked symbolically for the ideas I was trying to portray. This may be trivial, but it’s a good example for how coincidental moments can lead to the shots which end up characterising your film. So for me it’s not about searching for specific locations, but more about making use of what you encounter on the way, and furthermore, to trust on these encounters to happen. We have been particularly fascinated with the way you used the landscape to create a sense of intimacy: what are you hoping will trigger in the spectatorship? I wanted to confront the viewer with the real time pace in which smoke flows out of a chimney, or sheep eating grass. There’s just something about taking your time to look at something, which, in a way, I wanted to force on the viewer as I have to force myself as well from time to time to stop and look. Eventually, I wanted to imitate the feeling of staring at something, to create an intimate moment between yourself where you let your mind wander and reflect.

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This is why the shots are long, creating a feeling of timelessness. They are blank and simultaneously also well filled. They are empty enough to create space for imagination and at the same time they are full enough to inspire the viewer. What I really like about cinema is that you get the opportunity to hold the viewer hostage for a certain amount of time, wether it is to evoke emotions or to change their perspective. This was an important factor for being able to succeed in the objective of the film. Essentially to force people to stop and stare at images that brought me - and hopefully also the viewer some relief and peace in an age where we are confronted with hundreds of images each day. We have been highly fascinated with the poetic and with the way it allows quality of you to combine realism and dreamlike atmosphere to explore the interstitialpoint between our inner landscape and outside reality: in this sense we daresay that you seem to urge your spectatorship to challenge their perceptual categories to create personal narratives. How important is for you to trigger the viewer's imagination in order to address them to elaborate personal associations? The pure observation and registration in film can appear completely different than the way it appears in


real life. So, in order to express my personal vision, I started constructing my own reality with the things I captured. Although I worked with realistic situations, the fabricated result can be interpreted as fiction. I constructed something which allows the viewer a space for inside reflection as well as experiencing the notion of real life events. But I think it's important to realize that transmitting a certain atmosphere requires a precise construction, even though it may appear like a mere observation. Actually, I find this mechanism similar to what you already naturally do inside of your mind while observing something. You always create your own belief of what you see. features effective editing and use of temps mort has reminded us of Anne-Marie Miéville's work: could you tell us your biggest influence and how did they affect your work? There are many films, texts and conversations that inspire me, but if I had to choose in relation to 14:26 CEST, I would go for the documentary series of Vittorio de Seta titled « Il Mondo Perduto ». This series consists of 10 short documentaries which focussed on artisanal crafts and habits he felt were disappearing in the south of Italy. The documentary portrays people making clay pots, engaging in non-industrial fishing and washing their clothes in the river. There lies a satisfaction in their rhythmical actions and a sense of purpose in the cycle

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Women Cinemakers of the subject’s crafts and habits. He really captured the beauty of their repetition to express a universal essence. So the series affect me in the way that I value the poetry of daily repetitive movements more than an exciting storyline. The idea of this poetry being enough to construct a compelling film, brought a great sense of freedom in my perspective on how I wanted to make films myself. Another fascinating thing lies in the way he captured these actions and rituals as a document which will be forever preserved, a kind of history lesson. At the same time, he managed to achieve this with a unique sense of poetry. In this sense he combined both artistic and anthropological value. This combination is truly inspiring because the artistic perspective stimulates an ‘out of the box’ type of thinking which is often lacking in science. And on the other hand, in contemporary art we do not often see a true documented reality, the realistic perspective disappears quickly. So the search for some middle ground between these two fields really piques my interest. Your artistic practice seems to stem from noticing the world around you: how would you consider the relationship between everyday life's experience and your artistic practice? Does in your opinion direct experience fuels your creative process?


I don't know if this is a good side effect or a default but I can't stop observing and analysing everything I see around me. From time to time I love to travel by myself to some random places to see with my own eyes how people live their life there. I’ll have my own little anthropological investigation. What I love to do on these travels is simply hanging around in local bars and observe how people come home from their work, how people greet each other, ... I always prefer to gain information and increase my knowledge this way, rather than reading books or taking an extra workshop. I am not an expert on film history nor do I perfectly know how a camera functions, but I do know what people like to do after work in a little town of some deserted island near Turkey. In a way the memories of these encounters become a visual library in my mind, I tend to seek inspiration from afterwards. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in cinema. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from getting behind the camera, however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. What's your view on the future of women in cinema? We mirror ourselves to the images we percieve daily. Therefore I believe the making of images should be

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Women Cinemakers made equally by women as well as by men in order to have a true representation of reality. For too long we were surrounded by images of women made through a man's viewing point, going from music videos to cornflakes advertisement, and this has had an influence on how we started to look at ourselves too. So I think it’s very important to finally look at women through a woman's eye. In cinema, for example, there are already a lot more female lead characters or in depth developed situations regarding women. But I really believe people underestimate the necessity of enlarging the number of women also behind the camera. For too long we have had male directors portray relationships between women and men, women with other women or even women with themselves. This is something that still feels a bit strange to me because I would have no clue how to portray a man’s intimate and reflective relationship with himself or with other men. Of course we find inspiration in things we are not familiar with and not everything you portray has to stem from a lived experience. But I think it would be healthy to see more of women's relationships towards other people or themselves, actually being portrayed by women in order to become a balanced and nuanced source of representation.


Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Florinda. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? I finished ’14:26 CEST’ one year ago and for the past year I have been focusing on finishing a master in Audiovisual Arts. During this year I produced, wrote and directed another documentary that is called ‘A collection of hours’.This documentary gives an insight in the life of 80 Bulgarian workers picking cherries in Belgian fields for six weeks. They have a very controlled schedule and you see them working hard in order to have a better future. I wanted to capture the obliged necessity of dedicating their life for a period of time to nothing more than collecting working hours. I just finished this a couple of months ago and now I am slowly developing some new ideas. This time I’ll have to find a way of bringing these ideas to life without the framework of a university, so I am sure I will be confronted with some difficulties to overcome. But I can’t wait to get started again; To explore, learn, develop, create and than do it all over again… I believe I created a never-ending cycle for myself as well. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

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Magenta Artistic Collaboration Magenta artistic collaboration was born from the need to explore the crossroads between visual arts, theatre/performance and media. Magenta’s founding members are Katerina Sotiriou, visual artist/set and costume designer, and Elena Timplalexi, post-doc researcher in Theatre Studies, theatre director and playwright. Other artists and performers may be invited to join in the creative process depending on each project. Most of our artworks are materialized in video art and the performance medium. Theatre, a background for both of us involved in Magenta, becomes both a source of inspiration as well as reaction. We think of performance and video art as more effective routes to discuss theatricality and performativity rather than bourgeois theatre conventions and even the normalized theatrical avant garde. We do not set out to produce art about any particular subject. Our thematic focus varies from anticonsumerism and feminism to climate change and war. But, our artistic need springs out from the need to contemplate fear and defeatism on an individual and collective level. Through our works, we try to provide the spectator with a space in which they may find their own space to contemplate fear and defeat. We do not intend to terrify or even provoke the audience, we do not use the code of shock because we do not believe in this. We resist the arena that further enhances defeatism. We try and provide you with stimulating material that does not give answers to your problems.

: we would like to invite

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant

our readers to visit

womencinemaker@berlin.com

order to get a wider idea about your artistic

Hello Katerina and Elena and welcome to

production and we would start this interview

in


with a couple of questions about your backgrounds. Katerina is a visual artist/set and costume designer, and Elena is a theatre director, playwright and postdoc researcher in Theatre Studies. How do your backgrounds influence the direction of your artistic trajectories? Moreover what did address you to focus a part of your artistic research on ? Hello and thank you for the space and time you provide us with to discuss our work. Theatre, a background for Magenta, has both positive and negative connotations. It attracts us but also repels us, becomes a source of inspiration but also of revolt and reaction. The tired bourgeois theatre conventions or even the contemporary theatrical avant garde, which we usually find “normalized” and not daring in its essence, only sometimes superficially provocative, are not in our eyes effective routes to discuss theatricality and performativity anymore. On the other hand, we love notions like “frame”, “meta-theatre”, “performer”, “stage”, “spectator” and the “physical”. We see video art as a remediation of theatre and performance, that's why we often call it “video drama”, as it occurs through our works like “Puck's Dream”, “Unstill Life-Exquisite Corpse”, “Jocasta's Lullaby” and the _ series. To be more specific, our grounds have a common basis but also act complementarily. In terms of professional correlations, we have collaborated in the theatre before.

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Women Cinemakers Katerina comes from the realm of the image and Elena from the realm of the theatrical/performance text. We have been knowing each other for years, we are friends. We have influenced aesthetically and ideologically each other. We now share a common artistic ideology, philosophy about performance and media. We like to work with “performers” and not with “actors” (although if actors walk the distance and become “performers” are welcome), we like this material because it is unpredictable and less normalized. Choreography came as a result of our process. The visual code we usually find correlates space, time and performers involved in acts of performance. In specifically the dialogue between trees and human bodies as parallel vertical axes generated an “orchestration”, a choreography, a synthesis between performing bodies, static trees and movement in space and time. A sense of belonging and dettaching oneself from the environment created an newly inhabited environment which was captured in video. For this special edition of we have selected , an extremely interesting collaborative dance video that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at . Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, your video has at once captured our attention for the way it provides the viewers to such a


Women Cinemakers experience: when walking our readers through the genesis of , would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? We wanted to do something about love and eros. At that time, we were also quite concerned by the augmentation of the private sphere over the public one and the consequences this has on love and eros. The ways of expressing love, eros, in natural spaces are very different to private ones. The natural environment is unpredictable, often not welcoming - or the perfect set. No control is to be taken for granted over this set, it is unstable, it is real. The park where the video was shot was once a much claimed public space, where people found shelter and space to meet. There were obstacles at home or society and that led them outside. Nowadays, these obstacles became intrinsic and we need psychotherapy. We decided to approach Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as we found in it many of our themes. A text about love, natural environment, feeling of control by somebody else, a sense of being a human puppet in the hands of unknown forces. We identified with Puck because as video artists, we saw the camera and Puck's gaze sharing a common conceptual basis, focusing on details, like that of an invisible witness and

potentially a voyeur. Then we sought analogies e.g. the flower of the pixies in Shakespeare's play became the torch in our video, people were “touched” by its light unpredictably with ambiguous results. Love/eros has a position in the reality and fantasy of all, it is universal. One of the biggest threats for two people in love is the others, as witness, obstacle and challenge, “hell is the others”. We sought a substantial sample of performers to explore this. Young actors mingled with performers but did not “act”, they performed, we were interested in this experiment. Their choreography occurred as a result of their performance under our directions and instructions. Featuring essential and well-orchestrated involves the choreography, audience in a voyeuristic and heightened visual experience, urging them to challenge their perceptual categories to create : what are you hoping will trigger in the spectatorship? In particular, how much important is for you to address the viewer's imagination in order to ? elaborate In a way, we ask the spectator to identify with us, with Puck. To discover a freedom to visually approach other people without any consequences.


But, in the meantime, nobody needs to get in a difficult position, this gaze respects the other. We do not believe shock and lack of empathy are the sole ways to cause pleasure. We actually see this as a ritual, a ritual of the gaze. As Puck exercises control over the couples in love in Shakespeare, he finds himself exercising control over his desire too, his longing for these bodies and faces. We kind of do the same, we regulate the spectator's visual longing through multiple cuts, differences in atmosphere and the disorientation of the bodies. These generates a need for meaning making. We hope we do provide a space for personal associations. Love as we know it today has lost its heroic dimension compared to the position it had in culture and life. It feels more fragile. We also hope we provide a space for the contemplation of a defeat on a massive level. We tried to do this. Bodies are stimulated, they wake up, they create small plots, important for that moment and then... it's lost, incomplete, open to the meaning making of the spectator. We have appreciated the way your approach to dance conveys sense of freedom and reflects rigorous approach to : how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the details of your performative gestures and ? How much importance does play in your process?

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The evening we shot the video was the first and last time ever that we all gathered. There we saw all the performers together in the specific environment. Some of them we knew very well, some of them not. There was no such thing as rehearsing, not even given directions in advance for their actions. Of course, they were aware about the central idea and the limits we would keep. As an outcome, there was quite an unpredictable portion of action and spontaneity. Improvisation is a crucial part of our method in all our works, we care about material as an outcome of surprise. In the meantime, we try to have control over the visual code. In the first part, in the scene with the torch, we discovered our performers. We asked them to stay still. We moved through them and improvised with the light and the camera. The element of time put so much pressure. We only had about 20 minutes for the shooting of that scene. We nearly lost the moment when a dog owner passed by with a very excited dog, however, the sense of presence and the concentration of the performers was amazing. In the second scene, with the more intimate moments, we had a strict plan, a visual choreography. However, we only then concluded who would have a scene with whom. In the third scene, there was space for a considerable degree of improvisation but our directions produced a choreography.


is the result of a proficient collaboration and it's no doubt that collaborations as the one that you have together are today ever growing forces in Contemporary Art and that the most exciting things happen when creative minds from different fields of practice meet and collaborate on a project: could you tell us something about this proficient ? Can you explain how your work demonstrates communication between artists from different backgrounds? We believe in the Art of the maker, not of the prosumer. In the meantime, we recognize that the holy monsters of art are dead, well passed, but we are romantics, we envy them and we admire them and their eras. We believe in the synergy between artists, their agreements and disagreements, their small democracy, the communication and fun between them, not in order to achieve some goal necessarily. We ask for the freedom and right to make art. We prefer to brainstorm or discuss art over coffee or wine or on the beach than getting involved in social media. There is no set category about which each one of us brings input to. For example, Katerina usually starts form the visual, she gets obsessed about an image, whereas Elena thinks more in dramatic terms and ideas, but many times we speak our minds about anything really.

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Women Cinemakers Shot in the park in Ilissia, Athens, and through a well orchestrated camera work, has drawn heavily from to question , and we have highly appreciated the way you have created such insightful between the body and its surroundings: how did you select the location and how did it affect your shooting process? Thank you, you flatter us about the camera work, we had thought a lot about it, imagined it, but as we said before, we had to get in tune with the performers immediately, there was so much pressure time wise, and a sense of unknown and unpredictable due to the public character of the setting. Maybe this fragility and vulnerability embedded in the video is an outcome of the literal fragility and vulnerability we all felt at the time of the shooting for the reasons we already mentioned. In the meantime, there is another layer: when there are limits and obstacles to the gaze imposed by ideological and aesthetic factors, the very flow of the interaction between subject (camera) and object (performers) becomes fragile and vulnerable, it's under test every single second, as respect is under risk from both sides. Besides, love and eros are anyway fragile and vulnerable, hence our closing scene, a sense that gets stronger in natural, public spaces as we said before.


The basis for the selection of the specific location is aesthetic and experiential. We decided to stick with the natural environment chosen by Shakespeare. He was right for us, nature allows love/eros to receive their genuine mystical uncontrollable dimensions. The specific spots where our film was shot were chosen because we liked the vertical axes of the specific trees and their density in space gave some freedom of movement to the camera. Also, the materiality of the pine trees trunks and those of human faces and bodies are so different and this intrigued us both visually and conceptually. We selected the specific park over a wood or a forest because it is a public space for everyday life in the middle of the city and we wanted to reclaim it as such. Hanging around in the park was a usual practice in our childhood and teenage years. Today, children don't play any more there, adults choose for them safe private spaces. Visiting the park almost always serves a purpose e.g. jog because they have high cholesterol or to walk their dogs. We felt as if we “occupied� on a collective level and performatively part of the park again and that felt good. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their creative processes. German visual artist Gerhard Richter once underlined that " ": how do you consider the relation between of the ideas you aim to communicate and of creating your artworks?

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We start by contemplating things we like or annoy us, so we usually discuss ideas first. Then, Katerina usually gets involved in liking specific images and Elena specific narrative and performative strands. Things get mingled and in conflict. We find ourselves often compromising when one of us expresses a certain obsession with words, images, movements, music, camera perspective e.t.c. The things we both like visually and become a basis of creativity and fruitful dialogue are minimalism, clean shapes, flirting with scales especially with small or trivial becoming big, the enigmatic, ritual, avoidance of effects and violence, and lack of a need to create something “trendy”. All this creative process is embodied for us, we live the moment of sharing ideas and likings, dislikings. So, yes, there is an abstract element but also simultaneously an embodied one, it's the same. The primal physical act of sharing thoughts and feelings is indispensable for us and not “unavoidable”. We have not yet chosen to show our own faces and bodies in the creative process because we have been too much involved in looking, making images. We like the camera to really become a gaze. The embodiment of the camera perspective is a crucial parameter in our work and this is both ideological and physical. Sound and visual are crucial in your practice and we have appreciated the way the sound tapestry by Yorgos Spanias provides the footage of with such an and a bit atmosphere: as an artist particularly concerned in , how would you consider the role of sound within your


practice and how do you see ? Yorgos Spanias' contribution in montage and sound was very important. We saw him like a creator in the process. We invited him to approach our work based on keywords such as “enigmatic”, “unsettling”, “unsatisfied”, “disoriented” as opposed to “controlled” and “subjective” as opposed to “natural”. It was a happy collaboration and communication. His montage and sound unveiled what we wanted, a space, a subconscious stage where a strange, unexpected performance takes place. We wanted the spectator to find her/his own voice in that space, we provide her/him with a soundscape which becomes the voice of the ritual, it goes beyond alphabet, without going back to primitivism, having the experience of speech. It's having a voice but not speaking. The soundscape seems arbitrary, conventional e.g. we did not keep the birds singing in the park, but it actually is the sound of the fears, hopes and desires of the performers, a subjective space for a esoteric experience-narrative. Movement and sound do not identify, but are in a dynamic relationship. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from ', however in the last producing something ' decades there are signs that something is changing. How would you describe your personal experience as an

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Women Cinemakers unconventional artist? And what's your view on the field? future of women in this Although our experience as artists does contain painful, defeated and passive moments, we rate our experience in our artistic creation as deeply positive and rewarding. We decided to start Magenta at the beginnings of the Greek crisis (2011), to throw in the face of it sharing, discussing and making artistic works. And so far we have been enjoying it. We believe the choice of collaboration takes things a step forward to more daring paths. We find women creators have more future. Women share the suffocation the multiplicity of their roles imposes (lovers, career, mother, housewife e.t.c.) but also a thirst for expression. Men are tired and more defeated, they have a rich and memorable past which they have to compare with. For centuries, we have been looking through their eyes, their gaze, things. Now a counterpart is at last there, the female gaze and narrative. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Katerina and Elena. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? We want to remain passionate about our works. “Video drama�, as we call it, needs more exploration and research from our side, we believe in its dynamic. For example, we _series, a project about would like to carry on doing the contemporary people in ancient Greek tragedy contexts. We


have already done is in post production and there are more to happen. We also plan to run as a live performance in unexpected places and also submit it to international film festivals. There are many projects pending, erupting from our discussions, and we await for their moment. We are interested mostly in an international perspective for our works, we like addressing an audience and spaces that respect concepts, practices and opinions about how to show. However, as we have said before, we do not invest much energy and effort in this – we always prefer to create than to get manically involved in the promotion of our work. We find this is the domain of experts, be it media, communicators or curators. So, we feel like we hang around in an open air market having fun with friends and passers by, but are available for an unexpected phonecall saying that we won the lottery, which would mean an approach to show in an international festival or gallery, space or museum. We feel very available to be found, discovered and we think this is something the experts need to do, if they like our work, like you. It's been a pleasure, An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

interview

Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers meets

Leyla Haubois Lives and works in Lausanne, Switzerland

A short artistic dance video, dealing with the legacy of mothers towards their daughters from a daughters' perspectives.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

is a captivating dance short film by French Swiss choreographer and experimental video artist Leyla Haubois: exploring the legacy of mothers towards their daughters from a daughters' perspectives, her work address the viewers to such heightened and multilayered experience. Featuring brilliant approach to composition and unconventional cinematography, is a successful attempt to create a captivating allegory of human condition: we are particularly pleased to introduce our readers to Haubois's multifaceted and stimulating artistic production.

Hello Leyla and welcome to : we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and you recently earned your BA from the prestigious London Studio Centre: how did these experiences influence your artistic trajectory? Moreover what did address you to focus an important part of your artistic research on ? When I first started my training at London Studio Centre I was just a little girl in my eyes, moving to this new country with not a single English word in her moth, trying to write her own story. London for me was a playground, a place where I could just let my imagination be. Over my years of training I


have tried to discover and connect as much as possible with the art of dance. London Studio Centre proposed a very versatile program exploring styles such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, acting, singing, film making and so on, which gave me the opportunity to let my curiosity wonder. Along the second year of my BA, I almost lost my mother as she was going through a difficult time in her life. At the meantime we were asked to think about a Bachelor dissertation proposal and one day, walking to the studio I had an image of my mother telling me “we do what we can” a phrase which did not want to leave my mind. At that time my relationship with my mother wasn’t at its best, I was so angry with that woman for wanting to give up on life. I needed her to fight for her own good. I wasn’t going to give up on her, but as my body and mind were far away from her the only idea I could generate was to support her with my creativity; the creation of a movie. My interest in short dance films developed during this time period and I took a particular interest in the power of the camera when filming movement. It picks up every detail, so the attention to dance vocabulary, clear technique and fluidity of dynamic was crucial. On screen the intensity of struggle, love, darkness, joys and deep tangled emotions of a relationship will have the ability to be shown very clearly on screen in comparison to stage. That was my challenge and when I first dived into the camera world, dealing with the intensity of emotion it can draw out. Nevertheless as a daughter my objective

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


interview

Women Cinemakers was to reveal stories that are happening every day around us, regarding the legacy that mothers leave and teach their daughters. For this special edition of we have selected , an extremely interesting dance video that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at . Centred on the legacy of mothers towards their daughters from a daughters' perspective, what has at once captured our attention of your video is the way you have provided the results of your artistic research with such refined aesthetic, inviting the viewers to such a experience: when walking our readers through the genesis of , would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? As I just mentioned above, the initial thought started from my own story with my mother. Leading my creation on, I made the decision not to expose my own relationship and experiences on the screen and to only use it to structure and frame my ideas. The relationship and stories shown in my video are the ones of my 4 exceptional dancers. travelling through their memories we have explored their relationships with their mothers and created different atmospheres, a defined vocabulary associated with various moods, a sound track as happy and sad as a relationship can be lived. The idea was to


find a way to express some aspects of my dancer’s relationship with their mothers through the body of dance. The first step we made in choreography was towards developing a vocabulary of dance, based on sad and happy memories in regard to their mothers. Elegantly shot, features sapient black and white cinematography and a keen eye for details, capable of orchestrating realism with : what were your

when shooting? In particular, how did you structure your in order to achieve such brilliant results? Based on my sound track and its vital role, I have classified by sections the choreography and therefore when editing I already had a structured materiel to work with . The first step of organization was to create the sound track. In it, I have clear defined sections and


for each of them I had a vision of the dance

Although the music influenced the atmospheres of

vocabulary, the concepts, the atmosphere etc. Once

the sections, it was for us a challenge to keep it

the music was finished the roots of the film was

alive and not surrender to the music. During the

planted. With the music created the choreographic

choreographic process I was the only one for a long

process could start, with my four dancers step by

time to know the music my dancers did not rely on

step exploring each idea of the sections and

music to influence them, just interpretation of their

alternately we slowly built what was going to

relationship whilst discover the music for

appear on screen.

themselves.


As we can see I have followed my music to structure my creation process, my filming process and also the editing process. Looking at the editing aspect of it, I would say that with all the structure placed before, it was only a matter of choosing the best and more relevant shots for me. I loved the moments when you see parts come together. My tip and my first step, was to trust what my eyes were seeing, and what my instinctive thoughts that followed, also using singular movements to define each section of the film as a starting point and working on from there. Featuring essential and well-orchestrated choreography, involves the audience in a voyeuristic and heightened visual experience, urging them to challenge their perceptual categories to : what are you hoping create will trigger in the spectatorship? In particular, how much important is for you to address the viewer's imagination in order to elaborate ? As the video does not really have a defined storyline like a fairy tale it engages the viewer to create its own relationship with the different images and emotions being performed by the dancers. The video only retraces the stories and experiences of my 4 girls. I think the hardest process was for the girls to travel into their own relationship and reach the emotions they have

interview

Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


interview

Women Cinemakers experienced with their mothers, moments of their life that they may not have thought they would one day have to work with. Once they had found the right mood to work in, their movements became expressive. Those movements, the dance vocabulary, the dancers facial expression is their stories, the views is guide to their deeper thoughts without a word to be drawn by the movements of the daughters life. As they reveal different aspects of their relationship the audience has a large range of opportunity to identify themselves within the tale. We have appreciated the way your approach to dance conveys sense of freedom and reflects rigorous approach to : how do you consider the relationship between the necessity of scheduling the details of your performative gestures and ? How much importance does play in your process? The use of improvisation played a huge role in the video but more particularly in the second section of it. For this we used a task to explore; the use of the daughters` good and sad memories. Each memory transported the dancer to contrasting moods, which created various movements in relation to the atmosphere they set themselves in. As they were


Women Cinemakers executing the task we could see a repetition of movement being born in between the dancers. I was hoping with this task to reach the inside, the deepest zone of the daughters and with their body access a purity of what they have truly felt in their relationship with their mother. I kept the vocabulary creative with this first task as it first was danced by the daughters to later use for a further choreographic process in the video. However we trained the connection with the memories to push the improvisation further, when I say to push it further I mean to try to connect with the memory and all its forms, to see how much a daughter can remember, to make the instant last longer as well as the improvisation. On the filming day the dancers were ready to improvise in front of the camera and this how the second section was built. I do believe that improvisation brings out the spontaneity of a dancers emotion but also for me trained their mind and body to connect and move as only one physical form. We like the way has heavily drawn from the specifics of its indoor environment, highlighting the resonance between the body and the space: how did you select the locations and how did they influence your shooting process?

When I first started thinking about the video, I had that image in my head of a grey empty space, made of cement, with long a pillar, drops of water and puddles scattering through the space, something like an abandoned prison. In that space I had imagined human birds trying to tell me something, those birds looked like they were trapped but the space was abandoned and the doors open. This was what my imagination told me to look for. I went on a warehouse hunt, explored the London catacombs, and looked at indoor film studios, but in none of those places I could imagine any of the film. There was many difficulties on shooting in the few places I could fine, either the place was not open to the public or the conditions not suitable to let the dancers safely in the space. Then I realised I did not need to go as far, because in a way the open prison of a daughter I had in mind was her on space so why not her own room. Therefore my room and my flat mates room were the perfect places to shoot the video and keep myself happy. Of course if I had more facilities I would have created the space of my imagination. The choice of my house revealed itself as a practical choice, we managed to film the whole of the video in only one day, the conditions for the dancer were


A still from


Women Cinemakers perfect. Sometimes it is easier to look close to our self to found what you are looking for, in my case as young choreographer/film maker/student my London house was just perfect and suitable for my video. The combination between sound and visual is crucial in your practice and we have appreciated the way the sound tapestry provides the footage of with such an : as an artist particularly concerned in , how would you consider the role of sound within your practice and how do you see ? For Daughters the sound track was the first thing I wanted created. I needed a structure for myself to direct the course of my ideas. Therefore I asked my friend and for this project colleague Yannick Pitton director of the label nobless, to help me produce the sound I had in mind. The soundtrack was imagined a step ahead of the choreography allowing it to be a source of inspiration for the choreography. The first step was to define a number of sections, representing different sides of the relationship and therefore purpose versatile ambiances and atmospheres.


We started by creating the mood of the very beginning of the Daughters led by the strong image of the abandoned prison I had in mind it was just a matter of imagining what kind of sound we will get to hear in a space like that one. Every section has been created nearly the same way, by imagining the sound of a daughters sad or happy memory, a daughter taking responsibly for herself, a daughter who accepts her legacy and her relationship. The soundtrack was created to reflect the relationship and was made for this particular occasion. When we look at the choreography in the video the relationship to the sound is strongly present. Not all the choreography was timed on the music while dancing, although it was played during the whole shooting time. But at his editing the non rhythmically set choreography were adjusted to the soundtrack. If we keep in mind, like I did as I was making this video, a corpse. The sound is a representation of the chest and arms (nobody could survive without a chest), it is the same for this video none of it would have seen the day without the other. Many artists express the ideas that they explore through representations of the body and by using their own bodies in their creative processes. German visual artist Gerhard Richter once underlined that "

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


interview

Women Cinemakers ": how do you consider the relation between of the ideas you aim to communicate and of creating your artworks? Well if I do understand your question correctly, I would say that to achieve an idea that you would like others to understand and connect with, without losing the concept of it, you have to dive straight into the creative process yourself. You have to drive your thoughts, believe in your imagination and creativity in order to let it work. If you do believe in what you aiming for, people around will be interested in what you are doing and from there collaborations will born. Having more than just yourself to work on something always helps you to come back to what the first idea was. When working on the video I did lose myself in my own process and sometimes lost the track of the initial ideas. It is at those moments that I was more than happy to have my dancers asking questions and telling me that I was getting of the road. It would be wrong to say that we kept the initial idea the whole way through. As artists we have to let the process take the lead and develop our own perspectives, for the creativity to continue its own process. The hardest part sticking to the first thought as much as possible and making it understandable for the audience.


Women Cinemakers In other words the relationship between the idea I was aiming to communicate and the physical act of the process would be for me, my own reflection on every creative process for the video and the collaboration I was able to establish. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from ', however in producing something ' the last decades there are signs that something is changing. How would you describe your personal experience as an unconventional artist? And what's your view on the future of women in this field? It would be wrong to say that I have never felt any discrimination in my field. As I studied in a school of mainly girls and a very equitable atmosphere I have never found myself in a position where being a woman was inconvenient. It is true though that boys are likely to be preferred as their numbers in some schools happen to be inferior and in that case there is some injustice but nothing that has killed me.

In response to your question I do believe by what I have lived and seen that Europe is surely taking step forwards in terms of the women’s activities in the artistic world. It is also true that we women are going for jobs in the industry and speaking for ourselves as we should. There may be sometimes a little intolerance still towards enterprising women but we have the right to stand up and if we want something we should go for it. Maybe what our generation of women need is to understand and take responsibilities for themselves and probably be a little bit more fearless if they want to achieve what they have in mind. There are going to be obstacles because life is made that way but there is nothing in its right to stop us. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Leyla. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? This is probably the hardest question as a newly graduated student, I would like to perceive with my filmography ideas, I am actually working on a new project something completely different then Daughters, exploring few aspects including projections, reflections and light painting. Very exciting project, coming out soon.


Women Cinemakers


interview

Women Cinemakers

I also started a new project with my partner call Delyx_passion, the conception of short movies of our journey in different countries and also the translation of my inspiration regarding those new cultures and land, expressed in improvisational dance. Those are my main film projects for now which I hope to find some more help to develop and take further. In the mean time I am working in collaboration with the artist singer Kiva as her choreographer. We already released one song, call « GET NAKED » and now working on one of her other songs. (Please go take a look at « GET NAKED » that song deals with women in the singing industry.) As a dancer I am auditioning for a few different companies looking forward to finding my place somewhere and be able to continue to learn and push my body to its boundaries. I am now in a transition time which I have to admit feels really odd, but I like to say to myself that time is the key.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com


Women Cinemakers meets

Or Wolff Lives and works in Linz, Austria

A documentary Film which was filmed and directed by Lenny Rifnstahl, documents the Berlin Olympics in 1936. Rifnstahl, film director and a German photographer, known for cold, clear aesthetic in her films using the sports world sterile. Didactic project and researcher in various scenes in the movie presents an analysis of movement, composition, camera angles and various ingredients used by Rifnstahl. The primary research tool is an abstraction of the scene, and the goal is to examine how to summarized the scene, but not lower its strength. The study aims to discover and understand the components and visual film making, which were made by Rifnstahl and influence us today. In penetrating look deeper, we realize that the film qualities comes from the ideology of cold and cruel culture, and the fact that a work so perfect, clean and impressive reached from these places, make the piece more powerful to the viewer An interview by Francis L. Quettier

before starting to elaborate about your

and Dora S. Tennant

artistic production, we would invite to our

womencinemaker@berlin.com

readers to visit https://ororca.com in order

Hello Or and welcome to WomenCinemakers:

to get a synoptic idea about your artistic


Women Cinemakers production, and we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a solid formal training and after having earned your B.A. in Visual Communication from The Wizo Academy of Design, you graduated with a Master for Interface Culture: how do these experiences influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your artistic research? These experiences have influenced me in how I see things. A normal everyday frame becomes a visual analysis and research into the small details. The preoccupation with the graphics world made me be curious about any kind of data and how to translate it into sound, movement and visual. Moreover, my master degree made be focused on the connection of space, nature, environment and tangible interfaces. My culture background has influenced me more than once with the subject I choose to deal with and researching. This was especially expressed in my Master degree when I chose to write about calendars and personal data as my thesis theme. This concept appears

as a result of cultural differences between my cultural background in Israel, and the new culture I had to adapt to when arrived in Austria three years ago. For this special edition of WomenCinemakers we have selected Olympia, an extremely interesting experimental short film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/51257612. Inspired by the homonym documentary by Leni Riefenstahl about Berlin Olympics Games in 1936, your video has at once impressed us for the way it exlplores the evolution of the components and visual film making. When walking our readers through the genesis of Olympia, would you tell us how did you develop the initial idea? Actually, the first conceptual idea was to deal with the body image of athletes through the film. But I quickly realized that the film has such a strong visual content, that I decided to start to analyze it from a visual point of view.


Through the research and visual analysis, I discovered precise compositions, diverse photographic angles, and an astounding aesthetic documentation of a movement that only made me go deeper into analyzed more scenes of athletes in different sports scenes. How did you structure your editing process in order to achieve such brilliant results? The process was built and created manually by a few stages. In the beginning, I disassembled each scene to static frames and watched the athlete move through each frame. I completely neutralized the background of the image and followed only the movement. There was no code here, I worked on each frame separately, manually, and I also created different types of motion observation. This part of the process was about studying and observing in order to find the points which I wanted to focus on. Moreover, I want to know what will happen to the composition when I remove the background and keep with the movement? The answer was clear. The selection of Riefenstahl's composition was so precise that even when one element remains, the frame still aesthetically pleasing and strong.

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Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


Women Cinemakers


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Women Cinemakers

At the same time, during the first few weeks of this study, I came across an advertisement by Dolce Gabbana for a perfume, which reminds me a lot of the beginning of Olympia film. Then I began to look for more examples in the modern that can contain content and visuals reminiscent of compositions or a certain choreography that was documented in Olympia and is still expressed today. I wasn’t very surprised to find many such examples. This does not necessarily mean that the film Olympia inspired this. But it is interesting that while visual nuances presence in Olympia, dealt with the fascist movement, similar nuances are presented for the purpose of entertainment and daily used products advertising. Parallel to these two studies, I tried to examine if contemporary music can combine with the scenes from the film. To my surprise, many styles fit in simply and effortlessly. The result shows that Riefenstahl work was so successful that it can be integrated into modern music that had created 80 years after the film was published. All three of these studies have been combined into one video that


Women Cinemakers presents all the different graphic, visual and sound elements. Olympia deviates from traditional filmmaking technique seems to aim at developing the expressive potential of the images and the symbols that you included in your work: how importance do symbolically charged images play in your videos? Since I tried to focus on the conceptual aspect of creating the film by capturing unique compositions and angles made by Riefenstahl, I did not try to focus on symbols identified with the Nazi movement. But due to the fact the film was created as part of the documentation of the Nazi movement, it impossible for the viewer of my film to ignore the presence and the aesthetic of those symbols. What are you hoping your film will trigger in the audience?" I wanted to trigger the viewer for better interpretation of the film in terms of the connection between a certain aesthetic and conceptual ideas. My idea is to test how far can

political movement affect a visual and content world in a film. Additionally, I want to create a deeper understanding of certain compositions in the modern world and what their uses in different times and places. Moreover, my goal was to give an insight look into the aesthetics and analyze of each frame, especially at a time when Riefenstahl was a revolutionary pioneering film director. As you have remarked in your director's statement, we realize that the film qualities comes from the ideology of cold and cruel culture, and the fact that a work so perfect, clean and impressive reached from these places, make the piece more powerful to the viewer. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "the artists' role differs depending on which sociopolitical system they are living in.' How do you consider the role of filmmakers in our globalised and ever changing world? In particular, does your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment? I think filmmakers should show points of views and ideas which many people can not always


Women Cinemakers focus during their daily routine. Our world emits endless stimuli that are expressed in everyday life. In my opinion, the challenge of filmmakers is to make the viewers focus on a very specific subject which most people may not be able to be exposed to. It can be from a personal, imaginary, objective, subjective point of view, but any kind of way that gives the theme any kind of expression. In terms of my research, there is no doubt that it responds to a certain background. When I chose to make the study about Riefenstahl film, it was not because of the fact it is a documentation of the Nazi movement. It was just interested me visually. But as soon as I began to analyze it, it brought many thoughts and feelings I was actually trying to avoid. I was born in Israel in a village that builds by Holocaust survivors and Jews who escaped Germany during World War II. I am Jewish and the subject of the Holocaust is an inseparable part of me. I heard and talked about the Holocaust on a weekly basis with my grandparents, and I was always intrigued to hear and learn more about it. During my research, I had two main voices in my head. The first belongs to my grandparents, who was no longer alive at this time, and I always


Women Cinemakers wondered what their reaction to my choice to deal with a film directed by Riefenstahl, who was known as a filmmaker of the Nazi movement and a good friend of Hitler. I have to confess that I still think about it. The second voice was to explore the film from a very neutral graphic point and focus only on visual analysis. I examined various frames, simplified them, separated them, connected them, tried to work with the information only. But in the end, the aesthetic created by Riefenstahl was stronger than anything and could not be ignored because she was there all the time at full strength. We have particularly appreciated the way Olympia highlights the ubiquitous instertitial points between the real and the abstract and in this sense we dare say that you film responds to German photographer Andreas Gursky when he stated that Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what's behind: in particular, you seem to urge your spectatorship to challenge their perceptual categories to create personal narratives: how important is for you to trigger the viewers'


Women Cinemakers perceptual categories in order to address them to elaborate personal associations? It was important for me to create narratives that connect with the modern commercial industrial world. I think there are many visual elements that come to present a very strong aesthetics for advertising and marketing purposes. I want to show the parallels between Riefenstahl's ideal which come from a cold, fascist world, and the use of similar elements for different kind of entertainment. We have appreciated the originality of your approach and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon', however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. How would you describe your personal experience as an unconventional artist? And what's your view on the future of women in this interdisciplinary field?

My personal experience followed my curiosity to try and understand what was behind Ripentialhal's thoughts. I felt I had all the tools to research, test, analysis, and change without any limits. I assume that in other times it was more difficult and complicated for me to achieve this study. Regarding women in this interdisciplinary field, I believe women have a unique way of prespection which may not reach the consciousness of many people in the world. That is why I think that the future holds many unique and rare projects that also stem from the process of ripening and liberation. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Or. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? At the moment, I'm working on projects related to my thesis topic, which is about personal data, time and calendars. The research of calendars, the information they include, the different cultures and individual people that perceive


Women Cinemakers

time in different ways, have led me to create different and creative ideas to understand a calendar. My projects show unconventional conceptual ways of working with a calendar in both practical and artistic way. Additionally, I’m creating tactile interfaces that use space and

objects in order to bridge the gap between the analog and digital interfaces to create a complete natural experience. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com


Women Cinemakers meets

Sarah Oneschuk Lives and works in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

I am interested in the role of traditionally feminine, handmade objects in our society. The handmade reflects notions of sentiment, affection and invested time. I directly use or allude to a variety of traditional handmade processes, particularly needlework. I am also interested in the visceral and sensuous characteristics of the body and it’s ever changing growths which serve to both protect and individualize. In my practice, repetition can be described as relating to biological life cycles, on both the small and large scale. My work is often a juxtaposition of delicate restraint and chaotic weight.

An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com

Hello Sarah and welcome to WomenCinemakers: we would start this interview with a couple of questions about your background. You have a

solid formal training and after having earned your Bachelor of Fine Arts in Print Media, from The Alberta College of Art and Design, you nurtured your education with a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking, that you received from the University of Alberta: how did these experiences of training influence your evolution as an artist? Moreover, how does


Women Cinemakers your cultural substratum direct the trajectory of your artistic research? Doing a bachelors degree in an art school was a really great and exciting experience for me, as the school had many different thriving departments that were all so active and inspirational. The experience of going to such a multidisciplinary school provided me the opportunity to intermingle and flow from one media to another, within each of my respective classes. In graduate school, I majored in Printmaking. To be able to spend four years focusing on this degree, honed my deliberate and concise sense of making art. I was afforded the opportunity to strengthen my skills as a printmaker, meanwhile evolving my creative and conceptual practice. I was blessed to be surrounded by absolutely fantastic artists and individuals. My graduate studies advisors, Sean Caulfield and Daniela Schlueter were a huge driving source behind my artistic and conceptual development. You are a versatile artist and your practice includes animations, prints and installation: before starting to elaborate about your artistic production, we would invite to our readers to in order to get visit a synoptic idea about your artistic production:


Women Cinemakers would you tell us what does address you to such captivating multidisciplinary approach? How do you select an artistic discipline in order to explore a particular aspect of your artistic inquiry? I wanted to involve movement into the two dimensional, so I naturally progressed from creating singular images through print media, to utilizing stop motion animation, where multiple images back to back allow movement to exist. Movement has the ability to bring about a sense of freedom, but in doing so, there is a risk of vulnerability. The combination of the two, brings about a very pertinent juxtaposition important to the overall reception of my work. For this special edition of we have selected The Rise and Fall of Kingdoms, a stimulating experimental video that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article and that can be viewed at . What has at once captured our attention of your work is the way it invite the viewers to explore the liminal area where perceptual reality and the realm of imagination find a point of convergence. When walking our readers through the genesis of it The Rise and Fall of Kingdoms,


Women Cinemakers would you tell how did you develop the initial idea? I was doing a lot of crochet work at the time, as spending time creating handmade things is very important to me. I was interested in creating more 3-dimensional crocheted forms, and through this I formed these vessel like structures. In some of my previous works, I was interested in exploring the idea of containing oneself, alluding to the human body. In my animation “Breathing Appartus,� there is a flesh like substrate the inhales and exhales, raising and closing the lid of a jewelry box. I wanted to use a similar sort of action with these vessels, and the idea of containing a fluid really appealed to me. While marked out with such an effective mix between simplicity and beauty on the visual point, features ambivalent quality: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination playing within your work as an animator? I’m really interested in the history embedded in objects, and the relationships we from with them, transitioning them from object to subject. My stop motion animations anthropomorphizes these objects, allowing them to speak to hidden histories and tell stories.


Women Cinemakers Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once remarked that " ": as an artist particularly interested in the exploration of boundary between ‘political’ and politics, what could be in your opinion the role of artists in our unstable, everchanging contemporary age? In particular, does your artistic research respond to a particular cultural moment? In the late 1960’s, Carol Hanisch had an essay titled “The Personal is the Political.” That has always resonated with me. My work has primarily explored the shift between inside and out, private and public, and overall a sense of what is societally allowed to be exposed and what is not. We have really appreciated the way challenges the viewers' perceptual parameters motivating their imagination to „finish“ the work of art by themselves. Rather than attempting to establish any univocal sense, you seem to urge the viewers to elaborate personal associations: would you tell us how much important is for you that the spectatorship rethink the concepts you conveyed in your work, elaborating personal meanings? How open would you like your work to be understood?


Women Cinemakers It’s definitely important for viewers to rethink the concepts conveyed in my work. I want people to develop a personal relationship with my pieces, associating their own experiences with what is being presented. I would like the viewer to consider the subjectivity of the objects and the movements being performed, enabling them to develop a personal relationship to the animation. As you have remarked in your artist's statement, in your practice, repetition can be described as relating to biological life cycles, on both the small and large scale: how do you consider the concept of time playing within your artistic research? Creating stop-motion animations provides me with the opportunity to tactiley explore space, structure, and movement in time. The accompanying soundtracks are a combination of human and environmental noises along with the melodies of a music box. My imperfect objects reawaken with life, as the sound begins. Exhibiting elements of self-consciousness and memory, the object performs the naive struggle of maintaining the boundary between personal and public. Your works are in several collections and over the years you have exhibited in a number of occasions, including your participation to


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Women Cinemakers WNDX: Winnipeg Festival of Film & Video Art. One of the hallmarks of your practice is the capability to establish direct involvement with the viewers: do you consider the issue of audience reception as being a crucial component of your decision-making process, in terms of what type of artistic language is used in a particular context? I feel more work is more suited for an intimate spectatorship, where the audience can have a one on one viewing, as that allows the individual to form a more personal relationship with the piece. I think my animations are best viewed in a smaller setting, such as in a gallery installed on individual monitors. It’s important that the viewer is able to spend time with the piece, as they present subtle movements that are intrinsic to understanding the human qualities of the pieces. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in contemporary art scene. Women are finding their voices in art: since Artemisia Gentileschi's times to our contemporary scene it has been a long process and it will be a long process but we have already seen lots of original awareness among women artists. For


Women Cinemakers more than half a century women have been discouraged from producing something 'uncommon', however in the last decades there are signs that something is changing. What's your view on the future of women in in this interdisciplinary field? The more time I have spent in this field, the more I have seen amazing development and growth of women artists creating awesome interdisciplinary pieces. It truly is inspiring and I love the momentum of it. Far too often, works are dismissed for being too “female,� which is something I explore within my own works. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Sarah. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? Currently I am working on very intricate large scale drawings, but see myself returning to creating more animation very soon. I definitely need the balance between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional works, and one constantly feeds into the other. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com


Women Cinemakers meets

Hanna Isua Lives and works in Montbèliard, France

Naranja is a woman that endures daily street harassment and catcalling; the constant sexualization and objectification of her body is reflected on the spots that these violent acts leave over it. Naranja will have to react before the spots consume her. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com Hello Hanna and welcome to : we would like to introduce you to our readers with a couple of questions regarding your background. You have a solid formal training and you graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia: how did this experience influence your evolution as a filmmaker? Moreover, how does your cultural substratum due to your Colombian roots direct your work as an animator? Hello and thank you for including me in this edition of WomenCinemakers. Clearly the place and time of birth and where we lived is the main source of all creations, I was born and grew up in the city of BogotĂĄ, Colombia, one of the cities with the highest rate of street harassment, then we can

already place me in a place; and when I speak of rate we can already talk about time, the time in which I live, if I had not been born in this era where feminism has won so many battles for women we would not even talk about statistics of harassment, the fact of considering it as a type of violence and in that sense to quantify it already shows us the panorama of an era. That is my cultural substrate: the time and place where I was born, plus the fact that I was born a woman. Equally the fact of having studied at the National University, the most important public university in my country, formed my critical spirit, or rather, fed it, because I do not believe that it is something that can be taught but rather encouraged, and this university being in Colombia the most important center of cultural and academic exchange in the country, it naturally became the basis of my formation as a person, as a professional, as a creator,


as a Colombian and as a feminist. Such a space not only allows to find reforming ideas, but also, like-minded people to create alliances, which is fundamental to materialize ideas, and not only in terms of collective creations but the mere fact that your idea is supported by others allows it to germinate spontaneously. Then, after detecting the problems, and understanding it, comes the complicated part of finding solutions, and even more difficult: make those solutions tangible. In this case, given that street harassment, as all gender-based violence has its roots in the patriarchal organization of society, it is a structural problem, therefore there is no ONE absolute solution but several, in my opinion, from education, from economy, from media, from language, etc. Mine is from the visual creation. we have For this special edition of selected NARANJA, a captivating animation film that our readers have already started to get to know in the introductory pages of this article. When walking our readers through the genesis of NARANJA, would you tell what did attract you of this theme? Naranja was born as a project of the Specialization of animation of the National University of Colombia. At the beginning, when facing the blank page to write the script I did not think about working on the subject of harassment because I found it too "personal", my sensation of disgust and fear of living this daily in the city of Bogotá I found it somewhat intimate and also far from the traditional narrative structure “hero - objective - anti-hero conflict - resolution” that were the restrictions for the project. But fortunately I accompanied my sister to do some interviews for her thesis as a sociologist about street harassment (I have to say that my sisters are one of the best interlocutors to speak about gender, our conversations have made me the feminist that I’m now) and listening to the testimonies of other women I understood that this topic that I considered personal or particular

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Women Cinemakers was actually universal, I know that some women do not admit feeling assaulted when living street harassment, but in fact the vast majority do experience a feeling of repulsion, insecurity and fear when living this type of violence. At that moment I felt the need to work on these theme for my animated project, and I understood that it is a theme that fits totally in a Hero's Journey narrative that we are the women who make the hero's journey every day when we go out into the street, we face the challenge to make our place in the public space, a sphere dominated by men and that by considering those who have the right to opine or access our bodies without our consent refirms the relationship of power of them over us. Is the harasser the villain in this story, the problem is that we do not face only one but several even in the same day, certainly the idea of "multiple villains" was difficult to understand for my teachers men of specialization, according to them my story could not having more than one character "fulfilling the same function", what is difficult for a man to understand is that women actually face in the day and in life "multiple villains" for the fact of having been born women in a patriarchal society; so the the challenge in the narration came, how can the heroine in spite of these violence that accumulate throughout the day keep her integrity ?. So, I had to translate this idea into graphic terms, how to show that street harassment, a violence made invisible by the fact of apparently "not leaving marks" on the victim, given that the touching, looks and lascivious words that you receive constantly nobody "sees" only the person who lives it and feels it. So I translated this idea into graphic terms with the most basic visual tool: colors. My heroine is Orange, which symbolizes her integrity, her color is hers, and then each aggressor has a different color and by assaulting her they leave a mark on her color, each aggressor has his own color which is added graphically and in the end the heroin’s challenge is to maintain her color. My premise was then: the harassment leaves stains.


Featuring stunning combination between animation technique and sapient storytelling NARANJA is marked out with innovative narrative style that mixes visual elegance with captovating allegorical feature: what were your aesthetci decisions when conceiving this stimulating film? And what were the most challenging steps during the editing process? The main decision was to take a basic graphic element: color, to tell a deep feeling: the assault feeling, I think that is the greatest success of the short film. Graphically showing how words and actions are received by another body was finally the way to "make the invisible visible". In fact, this universe where each character has a color and marks another subject to violate it was an idea that later made me think in more general terms as a "flow of violence", and necessarily in Colombia that is a country with an extremely violent history, how would it be if this universe were extended to show the consequences that Colombians have as a people that have been in war for more than half a century? This kind of ideas arose many times during the classes where the professors took my project as an example because it was a story and in which most of them were motivated to think about; for which I must also thank my classmates, teachers and participants of the workshops that contributed to build the story or simply for the motivation they showed towards the project that motivated me to finish it; especially Luisa Abril, who joined the project at the production stage and without whom Naranja would not have seen the light. And speaking of the production stage, I confess that the most challenging aspect for us was precisely the animation; the script, the character design and the art direction were already defined in the preproduction, which is how an animation pipeline works, but at the beginning of the production process we had to face the cartoon and it was really the process that cost us the most because none of them handled the technique, it was a long process and we did not feel satisfied with it, it was the reason why after finishing the short film in May 2017 we left it quiet, until September when I realized that this short film was part of a political moment that was being lived not only in

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Women Cinemakers Colombia but in the whole world, and that with everything and its errors I could not leave it saved because this piece had to live right at that historical moment, and in effect in October 2017 the movement world against sexual harassment #metoo began. To see that so many women in different parts of the world experienced the same sense of disgust and fear of being harassed, and that they were all so fed up that they started to denounce it, made me feel part of an era, and at that moment I decided to join the group against the street harassment in which my sister "No Me Calle" militated, and from this space the short film took on a pedagogical dimension of which I will speak later. As you have remarked in your director's statement, Naranja is a woman that endures daily street harassment and catcalling: would you tell us how important was for you to make a personal film, about something you knew a lot? As I mentioned at the beginning, in effect the topic is firstly personal. I am going to tell you about one of the situations in which I suffered harassment that marked me the most: I was 11 years old and had my school uniform, I was out of school talking to a friend and a man on a bicycle passed by and stopped behind me, he handed under my skirt and squeezed a buttock, everything happened so fast that when I understood what had happened he was already away on the bike but I shouted "what’s wrong with you" and he just turned his head and sent me a kiss, at that moment my disgust multiplied, as well as my impotence, my anger and especially my shame, I did not dare to tell my parents or anyone, because the feeling of shame, guilt and disgust accompanied me, and for a few months I felt repulsion towards that part of my body, even when I bathed I avoided that area because in a certain way I felt that it was not mine, because it had been invaded; and now I understand that this is the harassment, it is the invasion of the body, it is a form of domination beyond the public space, beyond the private space, it is the domination of the primary space that one inhabits: the body. So, as I said before, even though the project starts from a personal sensation in the end, the success of the short film lies in the empathy it generates, in the


women who, upon seeing it, are motivated to tell their experiences and opinions about this violence, as well as men who achieve empathy by being able to see from a woman's perspective how this seemingly harmless situation affects her. On the subject of street harassment, I did not know much before doing the short film, but the feeling that it produced me is something that I've always experienced, but before, I did not have the words and I did not know how to explain it, thanks to the short film and the collective I participated in workshops and discussions that have enriched me in the construction of notions it made me have a clearer picture on the subject today. NARANJA is focussed on the exploration of the constant sexualization and objectification of women's body: in this sense NARANJA seems to be a tribute to the issue of women's identity. Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco once stated, "the artists' role differs depending on which sociopolitical system they are living in.' Not to remark that almost everything, ranging from Gentileschi's Susanna and the Elders to more recently Valie Export's work could be considered political, do you think that NARANJA could be considered political, in a certain sense? Well, I believe that all sincere creation born of a personal feeling is a political act, even more in the case of the expression of the feminine sight that has been historically ignored, expressing it is a political act, "the personal is political" as the second wave feminist said. Given that it is the non-hegemonic look that is put into value, and valuing something in the established social structure can be unsettled, and if gender inequality were not real, it would not have to be bothering talking about feminism, but it is precisely because society is grounded in a patriarchal model that is uncomfortable for people to listen to that a feminist woman has to say, because it involves rethinking the system in which we live, from the personal to the public. Show how a woman feels invaded by a situation of harassment, instead of feeling "praised" that it is under the cultural pretext that this type of violence subsists, or even more, if the "compliment" is too strong the woman is expected feel

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Women Cinemakers "modesty" or "guilt" because she has sought it being in that place or at that time or in that way (how she was dressed), and if we show from the feminine sight that we do not really feel that that "is expected that we should feel ", but the disgust and anger that we really feel, and that we have become aware that this is not right, that we are not the ones who are wrong, that it is society that is wrong to normalize this situation by doing it daily, it is no doubt a political position. A position that indicates a naturalized behavior as macho violence, which is consciously or unconsciously used as an instrument to limit the freedom of women and their use of public space.And taking up the idea of "praise", we can talk about the construction of female identity, how the body and the female role has been constructed from a male perspective and in this sense "we should feel good" facing street harassment, because is the male voice reaffirming our "femininity" and our role as women of being beautiful. Besides in the short film I also included among the aggressors a couple of women, who make fun of Naranja for not responding to the hegemonic idea of femininity, I wanted to show with this that the harassment is not only men to women, "the harassment responds to a violent practice that reifies, qualifies and sexualizes the bodies of women" (Nani Barrantes, 2016), as I said before is a structural problem, therefore all parts of society are involved, and often the behavior between women also falls within this definition of harassment, particularly in the qualification n the body of others. It's something that I have understood after entering in feminist circles, that not all women should or want to be equal, that feminists are as diverse as women are, and that false myth about "the ideal feminist" or "feminazi" (an empty term that only seeks to mock to delegitimize the struggle without any argument) must also be deconstructed to get more and more people involved in feminism. While marked out with such an effective mix between simplicity and beauty on the visual point, NARANJA features ambivalent quality: how do you consider the relationship between reality and imagination playing within your work as a director and an animator?


One of my professors says that Naranja seems like a documentary, and it is in the sense in which it deals with a real social problem that might seem it, but obviously it develops in an imagined universe deal with cartoons is far from being cataloged as such, in the Cinexcusa festival in Colombia Naranja won as "Best fiction" in front of short films in liveaction ... it is really difficult to define the limits between reality and fiction. Fontcuberta affirms that "Photography always lies, because its nature does not allow it to do anything else, but the important thing is how the photographer uses it (the lie). The good photographer is the one who lies the truth well. " Fontcuberta talks about the photographic image therefore it is applicable to the cinema that is a sequence of these, and I find in his reasoning a good way to explain what the audiovisual producer does when he puts himself behind a camera, or in my case, the animator behind the pencil. Likewise, in any production there is undoubtedly a reference to human values, values that we can identify in the society in which we live, whether they are developed in imagined universes, with nonexistent characters, with non-existent materials or physical laws, they are always an allegory that makes reference to human values, then even in fantastic universes you have to use common pacts to make yourself understood. In the case of Naranja, the key element, as I have already mentioned, are the colors, which is why I relied to a large extent on the values socially granted to each color. The first man who harasses her is green, because in Latin America we say "viejo verde" at the old men who harass the girls, and I wanted to start the story with this character to declare from the beginning that it is a story about street harassment. The second character, who is a labourer, is red, refers to strength, passion, flesh, and about this character I want to emphasize that I do not seek to stigmatize the men who are dedicated to this work, but in Colombia, these characters harass the women who pass near to the construction site pretty usually, so much so that all the women with whom I have spoken on the subject (and there have been

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Women Cinemakers many because I frequent conversations) affirm that they prefer to change sidewalk or take another way to avoid passing in front of construction sites and being harassed, I do it myself! and it is incredible that this violence continues to be judged as "harmless" when it evidently rules implicitly the behavior of women, why a man should not change of sidewalk or think about how to take his route without being assaulted?, why we can not enjoy in the same way the public space?. The third character that harasses her is her boss, and here we no longer talk about street harassment but work harassment, it is no longer the public space but a more private space: work, it’s why this character has a color of a range closer to her: brown. Then there are the pink girls that I mentioned earlier, and the choice of color is obvious, because pink is the color socially associated with femininity. Finally, the blue man who is the youngest among the aggressors and is the one who passes the line to physical harassment, and about the color...well, I just did not have any more colors to make use, so I built this character that in his description is geek and porn fan, but that is something that is not necessarily seen in the scene in which it appears. We need to admit as a creator also the fact of not having everything calculated, a question that often make me is why is the protagonist is orange, and well, I just did not want it to be pink or blue because of the symbolic gender charge, and the purple that is a color usually used in feminism I reserved it for the city in which she lives, then I decided for orange, it was after I learned that it is a color that ONU Women prompts to use on November 25 for the International day against violence towards the woman; with this I mean that in the development of the project there are also accidents, there are involuntary coincidences that should not be denied either, they are characteristic of the creative process. We daresay that your approach is centered on the ability to urge the viewers to a conscious shift, evolving from a condition of mere spectatorship: do you consider the issue of audience reception? And what do you hope to trigger in the spectatorship?


Actually, the reception by the public is the stage of the short film that I have enjoyed the most as a filmmaker, in fact I did not expect so much, and I do not speak in terms of selections or awards, but rather the feedback that I have had from the audience, the amount of women who after the screening dare to tell their experiences and the dialogue that takes place after is really interesting. Here I would like to highlight the work of the collective NoMeCalle, because it was the first space where a conversation was held on the subject after the screening. In this kind of spaces conversations are usually most interesting than those given in festivals without a declared gender approach, because in those cases the questions are focused on technical aspects and there is not really a dialogue about the problem. The things that make me happiest as the final destination of this project is that the short film is now part of the tools used by the collective NoMeCalle in the workshops against street harassment, where the population is sensitized to this problem, invited to women to talk about the issue and create strategies to deal with it. My intention with the short film, is something that to be honest has been clarifying even for me, since during the production process I was never sure about the end, until now, that I have more clarity on the subject. This part of the script was the most difficult work to define, because after telling about the problem and proposing a resolution to the conflict in narrative terms, what happens after she frees herself from the burden with that cry? It is in the resolution of history where I had to show my opinion and position in front of the problem, as my tutor Wilson Borja said me, and well, first I thought that the next day the city would be all orange, but according to the rules of that universe the protagonist would become aggressor and it was not the message he wanted to convey, could also be repeated the next day all the same, which in fact would be as close to reality, because we respond to the harassment and the next day or in the next sidewalk harasses us another man, but I also did not want such a discouraging message, so finally I chose to show a change only in she, which can be interpreted

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Women Cinemakers as a sad ending because at the end society does not change is the woman who must "turn a deaf ear" to be able to maintain her integrity going in to public sphere, but neither is it what I would like to express, but rather the fact that she became stronger and that after detecting this violence she is empowered to fight it in its own way. And this is something that I have learned with the collective and that we enact in the workshops: there is no "correct" way to respond to harassment, each one has its response strategy (or no response) depending on the situation, and the most valuable in this is to recognize harassment as a type of gender violence, because by recognizing it as such we begin to denaturalize this practice, and in that sense many women who kept silent considering it a "personal" experience discover that it is not an isolated case, it is actually a systematic violence that we suffer many (if not all women), then communicate it helps to know that you are not alone in that feeling, but that we are millions of women fed up with harassment and that starting to talk about the issue helps us both to heal as to create alliances. And here I would like to return to the narrative structure of the hero's journey in which there is also a "helper" who makes the goal of the hero more praiseworthy, in the woman's journey the "helper" we are the other women, we are the feminist men and women that we recognize the existence of gender inequality in order to combat it. You do not have to be an activist for the military, just be aware of the naturalized injustices to start deconstructing them from the everyday. From the first time we watched NARANJA we have been deeeply impressed with your expressive use of animation techniques: how would you characterize your animation style? In particular, could you tell us your biggest influence and how did they affect your work? Well the animation of characters used in the short film is called "Limited Animation", because despite being traditional animation,


drawing by drawing, movements are expressed with few drawings. In addition, decisions were made from the storyboard to avoid the displacement of the characters and thus save walking cycles. We use this style of animation on one hand to speed up production, on the other because neither of us (Luisa Abril and me) skillfully handled traditional animation, and also because it is an animation style that corresponded to my referents, which are the animated series of the 90s of the Cartoon Network channel, from the What a Cartoon! band, where they broadcast series like Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Cow & Chicken, Sheep in the Big City, Dexter's Laboratory, and my favorite: The Powerpuff Girls. It is really the last one that most influenced the development of my short film, it was my favorite childhood serie and I admire it not only in terms of script, art and animation, but also because of the fact that there are three girls saving the world, I have two sisters, then we identified with these three heroines (even our mother called us "my powerful girls"), so, when I faced the animation project I went back to see the episodes and it was my biggest influence in the art direction of my short film: the art of Jendry Tartarovsky, the producer of the serie. But in purely animation terms I do not dare to compare Naranja with the masterful level of limited animation that these series handled, however, an element that we added to give it dynamism and articulate the scenes were the animated transitions and I think that in aesthetic terms it was a decision that greatly benefits the short film. We have really appreciated the originality of your artistic research and before leaving this conversation we want to catch this occasion to ask you to express your view on the future of women in cinema. For more than half a century women have been discouraged from getting behind the camera, however in the last decades there are signs that

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something is changing. What's your view on the future of women in visual arts and cinema? Well, the last festival I attended was Cineffable in Paris (it's a lesbian feminist film festival exclusively made by women), so the last impression I have of the place that women have made in the cinema is quite positive. But even as you say for a long time we have been discouraged to take a camera, and worse, in the academies the history that is learned and the references that are taught are still almost exclusivity masculine (as the fact that they don’t talk about Alice Guy when she is the precursor of fiction cinema), we are more and more women on the scene, not only in the audiovisual but in all areas, because in general we are more having access at education and having the possibility to decide our own destiny, I am optimistic in face at the fact that although battles are still lacking, women have won a lot and we can not lose that anymore. In the cinema we must be more and more, to tell the world how we think, how we feel, how we narrate, the feminine sight is needed to sensitize this world. And speaking of specific examples in the animation, a director that I admire enormously is Rebecca Sugar, she is the creator of the animated series Steven Universe, she is the first woman to direct a series of Cartoon Network, a series with an incredible sensitivity that I have never seen before in cartoons, I think it's an example of what happens when a woman takes the direction to express her sight. Thanks a lot for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Hanna. Finally, would you like to tell us readers something about your future projects? How do you see your work evolving? At the moment I have no animation in progress, but many in mind; in any case, what interests me as a creator is the image and the narration, not necessarily in the animation format; but the fact of translating ideas into images, of finding visual cunning to express my gaze when words are not enough for me, and that is what I would like to continue exploring in my artistic life. Since I believe that this is the role of artistic


Women Cinemakers

creation: to share a look, not to instruct the spectator, because whoever gives a lesson supposes that he is the possessor of an absolute truth, as if the spectators needed to be enlightened with the truth of the director/creator , and in this way the spectator is assumed to be impeded, with the capacity only to consume face at his impotence to create; and in my opinion a good artistic piece should have an opposite impact: it should make the spectator feel as creator, as when we sing a song with emotion and feeling because we feel that it expresses totally our feeling , we appropriate it, we make it ours, we become creators without having composed it, that is the role of art from my point of view, is to assist human emotions, empower them. And that's what I tried with Naranja, that they can see through the eyes of a woman and then that each one drew their conclusions on the subject. What I want to do with my work is "share my eyes", and in that sense I would like to share the last project I just finished, it's an album book that I started last year at a time when I was in a state of depression, but it was such that I did not have the strength to finish it, this year I took it back and I just finished it, I would like to share it so that once again I can see through my eyes, this time with sad eyes (which are no longer) www. hannisua.com/projects/nublado.html I would also like to share the Naraja link that is online on the American platform Revry: https://revry.tv/channel/naranja/ Thank you very much for this interview, I hope the readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed answering it. An interview by Francis L. Quettier and Dora S. Tennant womencinemaker@berlin.com


Women Cinemakers


Profile for WomenCinemakers

WomenCinemakers, Special Edition  

Special edition, featuring: Hanna Isua, Sarah Oneschuk, Or Wolff, Leyla Haubois, Magenta Artistic Collaboration, Florinda Ciucio, Marilou Po...

WomenCinemakers, Special Edition  

Special edition, featuring: Hanna Isua, Sarah Oneschuk, Or Wolff, Leyla Haubois, Magenta Artistic Collaboration, Florinda Ciucio, Marilou Po...

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