Monday, July 23, 2012

Tricky Women - Women in Animation

We are off on our holidays soon, and I'm taking Tricky Women - the book (Women in Animation).  It's really good. Waltraud Grausgruber & Birgitt Wagner have commissioned some properly serious essays (eight in English, four in German).  In the first place the book offers a fresh historical perspective of the history of women in animation from Jayne Pilling. Because we know she knows her stuff, she can write informally. She reminds us of the some of the chronological landmarks or milestones, but also offers thoughts on subject matter, viewing contexts, Eastern European animation and the necessity for contextual knowledge, or not.  For German speakers there is an essay about Mary Ellen Bute about whom there is not enough written or screened.   Ruth Lingford has written a wonderful essay about Vera Neubauer, it's short but incisive and together with the interview with Vera, gives an insight into Vera's powerful, joyful and brave work.  Eliška Decká has written about the The Czech and Slovak New Female Wave of Animation, which of course includes Michaela Pavlatova.  Julie Roy from the National Film Board of Canada has written about metamorphosis in Michèle Cournoyer's work.  
A still from Michele Cournoyer's film The Hat, 1999
Suzanne Buchan's essay is about Animation installation, focusing on Rose BondMarina Zurkow and Tabaimo.  The installed, projected works are described really beautifully, which is important for works that exist in a space far away and at a time that has passed.   At the end of the book, and if all that wasn't enough for 24 euros, there's an explosion of fantastic thoughts and connections from Esther Leslie.  Her essay Shadowy, Shape-shifting, Shaky Animation as Subversion sends you scurrying all over the place making mind altering connections, which I marvel at and embrace as a practitioner.  Leslie revisits some of the works from an exhibition Shudder at The Drawing Room in 2010, for which she wrote Shudder, Shutter, Shatter, but her written work here is all entirely new.

Did I say that it comes with a DVD too.  I can't think of another festival that has commissioned such an important collection of essays, can you?


Not me, but my hard working Dad. We saw this rainbow with gold at the end of it after his party! It must be a good sign?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Reflecting Fashion

There's a large and comprehensive exhibition at Mumok in Vienna called Reflecting Fashion.  I didn't mean to go, I was in the building for the Pop Art show, but I was very glad that I did.  The central theme of the exhibition was the intersections between art and fashion, and they had gathered all the key artefacts from modernism onwards and presented them beautifully.  There's a lot of eye catching edgy stuff, including Valie Export's 'genital panic' action pants, outfits from Stephen Willat's Multiple Clothing Event (1993) and the elegant Elsa Schiaparelli & Dali Lobster Dress, worn by Wallis Simpson shortly before her marriage to Edward VIII.  I was most excited by the first floor, dedicated to Modernism. There was some beautiful textile designs by Sonia Delaunay and Austrian ceramicist Vally Wieselthier.  Giacomo Balla's 'modifiers', designed in 1914 were pretty splendid.  These were variable decorative elements that you can attach to your clothing as you wish, they were colourful graphic shapes created from felt and embroidery.  I've had a similar idea myself because young mothers often acquire splotches of this or that on their shoulder just before leaving the house, and if you could pop a colourful modifier on top, it would be very useful.
Sonia Delaunay's textile designs from 1920's
Cindy Sherman was well represented too, and she had made a paper cut animation on super eight in 1975 called 'Doll's Clothes'.  If you find yourself in Vienna, Mumok is definately worth a visit.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Animation Summer St. Pölten 2012

Thank you to Tricky Women. They do everything so carefully and well.  It was so nice to be in Austria again.  I can tell a bit of the story of the week in photos.
 "tiny frame - big projection!"
photograph by fh St. Pölten 

Ivoneta's lovely metamorphosis work
photograph by fh St. Pölten 

Many buffets


Really lovely work

Comfy bed

Refreshing lake for dipping into

The other workshop leaders were very cool and the participants were studious and all so interesting. I hope I can go back again soon.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Musical summer evenings

A sticky night in Cafe Oto to see Simon Payne's Iris Out from 2008, projected thrice and squiffy, so the iris's in question were all lined up.  It was very exuberant and a delighted woop was issued from the crowd when the projection finished.

We made an annual visit to the church of St Anne & Agnes for the first of three Music we'd like to hear evenings.

Talking of sticky weather, tomorrow I set off for Vienna, and I shall be happy to be back with my Tricky Women friends, new and old.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

 I'm busy assembling a portable 16mm cameraless film workshop kit.  I hope if works and I make it to my European destination.  I think my hand luggage is going to be bulgy and fragile and my suitcase full of chemicals and sharp objects. However, it's a really nice task and I'm gathering knowledge and experience at a great rate.

There's also little trips to the plot and further afield to lovely Whitstable and I put these here to remind myself that it's not always been rainy this summer.