No results.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster Experimental Films - Portfolio

My films have been screened at The Nederlands Filmmuseum, Rice Museum, Collective for Living Cinema, Swedish Cinemateket, National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC, Bibliotheque Cantonale, Lausanne, Switzerland, International Film Festival of Kerala, India, Films de Femmes, Créteil, Outfest, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Women’s Film Festival of Madrid, Kyobo Center, Korea, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Université Laval, Quebec, Forum Yokohama, Anthology Film Archives, Amos Eno Gallery, NY, SLA 307 Art Space, NY, Maryland Institute College of Art, NETV, Studio 44 Stockholm, and many venues around the world.

I like to explore the aesthetic space between film & video through collage and other techniques of abstraction. I create my films from recycled found materials. I often compose the music and sounds for many of my films, which have been described as surreal, contemplative, and hypnotic. ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

  1. A Film for Chantal Akerman

    A film for Chantal Akerman (1968–2015); feminist pioneer of avant-garde cinema, video artist, muse and friend.

    Chantal Akerman is not just one of the most celebrated female directors, but she is also widely regarded as one of the greatest film auteurs of the avant-garde in the late 20th and early 21st century.

    Akerman explores the concept of women's time, women waiting in time and space; she employs very long takes in which (seemingly) very little happens. Akerman often films in spaces of exile and transience, such as train stations, empty streets, hotel corridors, and other places of transition, including kitchens and domestic spaces. Though she employs formal strategies common to structuralism (such as extremely long takes) Akerman's work is deeply personal and rooted in her own experiences.

    Akerman's mother was the only member of her Jewish family to survive the Auschwitz concentration camp. Akerman's final work,'No Home Movie' (2015), consists of a documented conversation with her mother recorded shortly before her mother's death in 2014. Akerman's films and art installations explored personal themes with which she was preoccupied: lesbian identity, subjectivity, alterity, quotidian reality, mother-daughter relationships, Jewish diasporic identity and the experience of exile. Akerman was indeed very prolific - she constantly created new and unexpected films and art installations; avant garde experimentations in image, gaze, space, performance, and narration.

    Chantal Akerman lives on through her many films and video art installations; her work continues to inspire filmmakers and visual artists around the world.

    Online Virtual exhibit, The Pythians, thepythians.net/gwendolyn-audrey-foster-2/ Curated by Tova Beck-Friedman, Posted October, 2017.

    For more on Chantal Akerman see my book, a collection of essays, "Identity and Memory: The Films of Chantal Akerman," which includes chapters by Maureen Turim, Sandy Flitterman-Lewis, Jennifer M. Barker, Ivone Margulies, Catherine Fowler, Janet Bergstrom, Ginette Vincendeau, Judith Mayne, Kristine Butler and myself. (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003). --Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    “A Film for Chantal Akerman” is created from recycled images in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license. “A Film for Chantal Akerman," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  2. Self Portrait

    A self portrait in the tradition of other bisexual surrealist artists such as Maya Deren, Frida Kahlo, Cindy Sherman, Anaïs Nin, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, David Bowie, Bessie Smith, Alice Walker, Virginia Woolf, and Toyen (Marie Čermínová).

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.”―Anaïs Nin

    "Funny. I did not set out to make a self portrait. 'Self Portrait' is an experiment in surreal automatism; with my subconscious and chance as co-authors. A collage resulted from this experiment: a 'found image as self' morphs into multiple selves who walk away from the camera to meet yet more aspects of the self, travelling through alternate times and places. Use of a 'found' female figure - who never looks at the camera - disrupts norms of traditional patriarchal self portraiture.

    I tend to think that most works of art, even those that don't announce themselves as such, are 'self portraits' at some level. After all, as Anaïs Nin said, 'We don't see things as THEY are, we see them as WE are.' I am fascinated by the myriad representations of the self as Other and the Other as self (or selves); particularly in the work of women artists and other bisexual artists."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "Self Portrait"―Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

    Other found abstracted self portraits:
    "The Passenger" vimeo.com/205097372
    "Standing Up" vimeo.com/204817552
    "Smile / Wave" vimeo.com/224574518

    For more, see my portfolio at

    "Self Portrait"―Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

    “Self Portrait” is made in part from recycled images in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  3. Goddesses [For Gloria Orenstein & Kate Millett]

    "Goddesses are earthly creatures who live amongst us and perform heroic acts every single day.

    For all the female heroes out there, unsung goddesses who quietly perform EVERYDAY acts of heroism. We often celebrate women's exterior beauty, but we need to be reminded to celebrate women's inner wisdom, passion and everyday courage in defiance of oppression.

    'Goddesses’ is a Surrealist celebration of the feminine, female courage, heroism, power and inner beauty in all the many forms it takes in everyday life."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "Goddesses"― Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

    ****For Gloria Orenstein and Kate Millett.

    "Goddesses" is dedicated to Gloria Orenstein, my former Professor at Douglass College, Rutgers University. Gloria taught an incredibly exciting and groundbreaking feminist class about women in folklore, ancient Minoan goddesses, and eco-feminism.

    Gloria's class was one of the most important for myself and many young punk feminists at Douglass, among a number of terrific feminist classes at Douglass College in the late 1970s/ early 1980s. We were also incredibly fortunate to have Michelle Wallace as a Professor. She taught black feminist theory and history, among other topics. We also had Adrienne Rich for poetry, and Catherine Stimpson for classes in women authors. How incredibly lucky we were to be in the right place at the right time.

    Gloria Orenstein and other feminists at Douglass College made a significant impact on my life and that of many of my friends: many of us followed in their footsteps to become artists, writers, filmmakers, educators, and eco-feminist intersectional activists.

    A pioneer in the field of eco-feminism and women in Surrealism, Gloria Orenstein was a central figure in the women's movement in the late 1970s, and started women's salons with the late Kate Millett, Michelle Wallace, Gloria Steinem, June Jordan and many other pioneers in the feminist movement. Gloria introduced us to the writings of Robin Morgan, Kate Millett. Mary Daly, Shulamith Firestone, Susan Brownmiller, and Adrienne Rich, who taught us poetry at Douglass College. It was only later that I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be a student at Douglass at the right time, and to have Gloria Orenstein as a Professor.

    After leaving Douglass College, Orenstein went on to teach for many years as a Professor at USC. She taught courses in eco-feminism, Dadaism, and women in Surrealism and the avant garde, topics about which she published a number of important books including, "The Reflowering of the Goddess."

    Here is a video on Gloria Orenstein and her significance in the Women's Movement:

    vimeo.com/193971052

    Thank you, Gloria, for the inspiration to look for goddesses and female heroes in the everyday and throughout ancient history. Thank you for sharing your incredible wisdom and enthusiasm for women in folklore, shamanism, Surrealism, Dada, the women's movement, early matrilineal Goddess cultures and earth based intersectional eco-feminism.

    You inspired so many of us and you continue to inspire us more than you can possibly know. Thank you, Gloria! ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    Here is a photo of Kate Millet (reading). Seated next to her is Gloria Orenstein, her hair cropped short, wearing a long striped dress.

    nytimes.com/2017/09/07/opinion/sunday/kate-millet-feminists.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

    Made in loving memory of the great Kate Millett, (September 14, 1934 - September 6, 2017) pioneering feminist, educator, author, artist and activist.

    "Goddesses" is made from repurposed materials in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Goddesses"― Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

    Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  4. cul-de-sac

    “Why it's simply impassible!
    Alice: Why, don't you mean impossible?
    Door: No, I do mean impassible. (chuckles)
    Nothing's impossible!”
    ― from Lewis Carroll, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"

    This enigmatic abstract perhaps represents a variety of types of cul-de-sacs or quandaries; seemingly irresolvable political conflicts, for example. There is only one way out of a cul-de-sac- one must carefully back out.

    A collage of film leader countdowns and video glitches form a semi-structuralist exploration of the liminal space between analog film grain and digital glitch.

    “cul-de-sac” is created from images and sounds in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    “cul-de-sac," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  5. Child's Play

    A pacifist collage from a duo-consciousness; an innocent child plays as images of rubble of centuries of war look at us from the background. Bright baby colors stand in stark contrast with the terrible sounds of war.

    “Child's Play” is made from recycled and repurposed materials in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  6. Sleeping with the Fishes

    Studio 44 Short Film Festival, hosted by the Stockholm Culture Festival, August 15 - 20, 2017, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden. (Invited) studio44filmfestival.one/welovefilm.html

    Surrealist collage in honor of Luis Buñuel and André Breton.

    “Give me two hours a day of activity, and I’ll take the other 22 in dreams."―Luis Buñuel

    “Words have finished flirting. Now they are making love. The same is true of images.”―André Breton

    'Sleeping with the Fishes' is made from recycled and repurposed images in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Sleeping with the Fishes"― Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.
    Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

×

Contact