Single-channel video installation

Mother's Not Herself Today

Developed with Rebecca Stegh and Nina Buchanan as a collaboration for Island Salon, a major show of feminist video work during Underbelly Arts on Cockatoo Island in Sydney.

A short dance film evoking the monstrous feminine shot on a circuit-bent Pixelvision camera (the 1980s Pxl2000 toy video camera made famous by queer video artist Sadie Benning). Featuring Sydney-based queer and feminist female performance artists Latai Taumpoepeau (featured in Performance Space’s 24 Frames dance film exhibition), Anastasia Zavarinos (award-winning contemporary dance company Force Majeure’s show Nothing to Lose) and Samara Shehata (Sydney’s queer performance collective Glitter Militia).

A moving image and movement-based embodiment of feared and hated aspects of women and femininity, originating with Barbara Creed’s (feminist film theorist) catalogue of frightful feminine stereotypes from horror films, such as possessed monster (invaded/split subject), witch (phallic woman), vagina dentata (castrating woman), and archaic mother (fear of generative power). Creed’s revelation was that many horror films feature woman not so much as victim of the monster, but woman as monster. These ideas are filtered through the personal experiences of queer women, exploring archetypes via imagery from their own lives, and expressing them in gesture, posture and movement.

The Sydney underground queer performance scene revolves around Monsta Gras, a radical alternative to the gaystream Mardi Gras pride party. This installation emerges from the vibrant club performance scene of Sydney, and this event encouraging queers to embrace their own monstrousness, and inspired by Edelman’s call to inhabit the outsider power of queer. The work identifies playing with Other identities as both pleasurable and politically viable, playing the bogeywoman for a while, partly to show this idea up as a paranoid fantasy, and partly to play with its power.

Island Salon, Underbelly Arts, Cockatoo Island, Sydney, 2015MIX NYC, New York Queer Experimental Film Festival, 2015f-generation, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, 2015Brisbane Queer Film Festival, 2016