From Sharne Wolff…
Film Cunst, presented by Sydney Underground Film Festival bills itself as a “bold, unashamed celebration and investigation of the feminine in film art”. Edgy work from five Sydney artist filmmakers practising in contemporary film, video and performance – Katherine Berger, Jade Boyd, Clare Ferra, Elena Knox and Emma Varker – is on display. Stefan Popescu, Sydney academic and a co-Director of the Festival has curated the exhibition, the title of which is a deliberate play on kunst, the German word for art.
Sixteen individual films made by the women employ various approaches to “complementary themes of performance, gender, power, nature, surface, materiality and the corporeal.” No topic is off limits here. Some films are intentionally awkward, or challenging to watch. In Emma Varker’s award winning Hansel and Gretel video performance piece, two siblings (one of whom is the artist) wander into a flooded and abandoned graffiti-covered building where they discover a table covered in sickly sweet food and gorge themselves grotesquely until throwing up. Elena Knox’s Drawn and Quartered HD video explores “nationalism, clanship, treason and attendant violence through motifs of flag waving and national dress” while Clare Ferra’s Love Oscillation apparently uses pornographic material as the source for a beautifully ambiguous video that blurs the line between figurative painting and the moving image.
Until February 22
Brenda May Gallery, Waterloo
Pic: Emma Varker, Hansel and Gretel, 2011. (Still) from HD video – 8:50mins. Courtesy the artist and Brenda May Gallery.