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Gwendolyn Audrey Foster - Experimental Filmmaker

Originally from New York City, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is an award-winning film/video artist and a prolific author on experimental film, women filmmakers, LGBTQ+ and film history. Co-author of "Experimental Cinema: The Film Reader," "The Films of Chantal Akerman," and many other books on cinema, Foster's documentary on early women filmmakers, "The Women Who Made the Movies," is distributed by Women Make Movies. Foster is Willa Cather Professor Emerita in Film Studies at University of Nebraska and now a full time artist and filmmaker based in Nebraska in the United States.

Foster's films and video installations have premiered at MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art (NYC); Outfest (LA); Bi+ Arts Festival (Toronto); Anthology Film Archives (NYC); The Filmmakers' Coop (NYC); Collective for Living Cinema (NYC); Films de Femmes (Créteil); Black Maria Touring Film Festival (USA); Rencontres Internationales Sciences & Cinémas, RISC (France); Engauge Film Festival (Seattle); Forum Yokohama (Japan), Analogica (Italy), Festival Internacional de Cine Experimental Y Vídeo CODEC (Mexico); Studio 44 (Stockholm); BWA Contemporary Art Museum (Poland); Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam); nGKB gallery (Berlin); and many other art galleries, museums and festivals around the world. Foster's films and videos are archived at the UCLA Film & Television Archives and Museum of Modern Art in NY.

Artist Statement:

As a queer feminist marxist artist, my work explores the aesthetic space between film & video through collage and abstraction techniques. I work in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm film/video. I create some films from found materials, combining elements of Surrealism, eco-feminism, punk, romantic structuralism, détournement and chance editing (automatism). Chance is my favorite collaborator. My films are personal; alchemic, mysterious and handmade: hand-painted, hand-processed. I often compose the music and soundscapes for many of my films, which have been described as surreal, contemplative, and hypnotic. ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

Read more at gwendolynaudreyfoster.com/articles.html
and contact me at gfoster2@unl.edu

Contents of this portfolio copyright © 2016 - 2022 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  1. Dreaming in Aspect Ratio (Trailer)

    "Dreaming in Aspect Ratio" is a hand-made diary film and experiment in disrupted stereoscopy; an adopted "found" home movie. A playful lyrical queer self-portrait in found queer dream memories.

    A cinépoem and Surrealist détournement of found footage, "Dreaming in Aspect Ratio" borrows and appropriates queer childhood memories and film diaries in a brazen and alchemical manner that disrupts cis gendered and straight models of self-portraiture and auto-ethnography.

    My film asks the question, "Can memories be replaced, queered, and appropriated into an auto-ethnographic work?"

    The playful manipulation of different aspect ratios in the film nods to a life spent enthralled by the poetry of cinema and film art. Bright colors collaged with black and white imagery of the joys of female friendships evoke dreaming and reverie; fabricating a lost queer childhood regained...

    Festivals & Installations:

    RENCONTRES Internationales, The Louvre, Paris & Berlin 2022
    Luis Buñuel Memorial Critic's Choice Award 2022
    Anthology Film Archives, NY NewFilmmakers 2021
    VfDalston Gallery, MicroActs Artist Film Screening London UK 2022
    Experiments in Cinema, Albuquerque,USA 2022
    Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival Touring Season (Honorable Mention) 2022
    New York Nil Gallery Installation 2022
    Esto Es Para Esto International Film Exhibition, Mexico 2022
    Streetside Cinema A/perture Cinema 2021 - 2022
    FISURA International Experimental Film and Video Festival Mexico 2022
    Helios Sun Poetry Film Festival Mexico 2022
    Anti-Film Festival London UK 2022
    Berlin Indie Film Festival 2022
    Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival, Ryerson University Toronto 2022
    ALC Videoart Festival, Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante Spain 2022
    Rencontres Internationales Sciences & Cinema Festival, Marseilles,France 2021
    Anthology Film Archives (NewFilmmakers NY) 2021
    Festival nodoCCS, Travels to Caracas, Barcelona and Norway 2021
    Antimatter [Media Art] Film Festival Victoria BC Canada 2021
    Deluge Contemporary Art Gallery (Installation) Victoria BC, Canada 2021
    Harkat 16mm Film Festival, Mumbai & Berlin 2021
    Diminuto Minimum Film Festival, Mexico 2021
    ULTRAcinema Festival de Cine Experimental y de Found Footage, Mexico 2021-2022
    US Super 8 Film Festival, Rutgers University, 2021
    Austin Arthouse Film Festival 2021
    Harkat 16mm Film Festival Berlin & Mumbai 2021
    Diminuto Minimum Film Festival 2021
    InQRvention Art/Film Festival, Brazil, 2021
    Altt Alternative Film Festival (Best NA Experimental Short Film) Toronto 2021
    KinoDrome International Film Festival, Finalist - Best Found Footage Experimental Film, Cleveland 2021
    Nahui Ollin Film Festival Mexico 2021
    Kosice International Film Festival Slovakia 2021
    LA Underground Film Forum LAUFF (Honorable Mention, Best Experimental Short Film) 2021
    Encuentro Para Cinéfagos: Festival de CineArte en la Frontera Venezuela 2021
    Revelation Perth International Film Festival
    (curated by Jack Sargeant) Australia 2021
    Prague International Film Festival 2021
    MC Experimental Video & Film Festival (Best Special Effects) New York City 2021
    Flood Gallery Fine Arts Center, Twin Rivers/Black Mountain Film Festival, North Carolina 2021

    An experimental documentary and surrealist détournement, "Dreaming in Aspect Ratio" is created, in part, from public domain materials. Copyright © 2021 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

    Website: gwendolynaudreyfoster.com/articles.html

    Portfolio: vimeopro.com/gwendolynaudreyfoster/experimental-films

  2. Film for Storm de Hirsch

    FilmArte Festival (Berlin and Madrid) 2022
    Engauge Experimental Film Festival, Seattle 2021
    AlttFF Alternative Film Festival, Toronto (Best Experimental Short Film) 2021
    Denver Underground Film Festival 2021
    Fotogenia International Film Poetry Festival, Mexico 2021
    US Super 8 and Digital Video Film Festival / New Jersey Film Festival, Rutgers University 2022

    Rephotographed psychedelic painted and scratched images, collaged and abstracted. An homage to underground experimental poet and filmmaker, Storm de Hirsch; one of the great unsung women in avant-garde film.

    “I don't want to put any labels on my films… I never impose on you; you need to find what you have to find.” ― Storm de Hirsch

    "Film for Storm de Hirsch" [aka "Women's Time"] is a handmade film and a tribute to legendary filmmaker Storm de Hirsch, one of the pioneers of underground experimental cinema in the 1960s, along with other female directors such as Marie Menken, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, Joyce Wieland, Shirley Clarke, Barbara Rubin and many others.

    'Film for Storm de Hirsch' includes domestic images of clothespins and film leader, slowed down to suggest the idea of women's waiting, women's time, women's spaces; women artists and filmmakers 'waiting' to be rediscovered. Their work lives on and inspires so many young experimental filmmakers and female video artists who search for the path of the many avant-garde women who paved the way in experimental film, video and art.

    De Hirsch was a poet who moved easily from written poetry to experimental film poetry. Storm had no camera, so she began painting, scratching and etching directly onto disgarded film stock and sound tape. Like many women of the era, she was largely written out of film history only to be later rediscovered and celebrated with retrospectives of her films which are now being screened and restored.

    Storm de Hirsch’s jubilant films are shot through with a fierce love of life, love, and sexuality. Her best known work is ‘Goodbye in the Mirror’ (1964) a feature shot on location in Rome, which Shirley Clarke called “the first real women’s film.” Her short films are dazzling abstractions, often mixing live action with animation and myriad experimental effects. De Hirsch noted that she often received responses to her work addressed to "Mr. Storm," and suspected that her work was better received when critics presumed she was male. “Peyote Queen” is positively hypnotic. As I wrote, Storm de Hirsch excelled in her “brilliant use of color, pure light, and sensory imaginations of memory and beauty.”

    For more on Storm de Hirsch and hundreds of women filmmakers, see my encyclopedia, “Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary."― Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    See also "Mythology for the Soul: The Collected Poems of Storm De Hirsch," collected and edited by Stephen Broomer, and published by Sightline Editions and the Filmmakers Cooperative in New York City.

    "Film for Storm de Hirsch" Copyright © 2021 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

    Portfolio: vimeopro.com/gwendolynaudreyfoster/experimental-films

    Awards, Festivals, Gallery Screenings, Website:
    gwendolynaudreyfoster.com/articles.html

  3. Dreaming of Monica Vitti

    "Abstract silver screen dreams of Monica Vitti, Michelangelo Antonioni, and all the great Italian cinema made at Cinecittà in the 1960s."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "I dreamed I was in bed and the bed was moving. I looked down and it was on quicksand. It was sinking deeper and deeper. There's something terrible about reality and I don't know what it is. No one will tell me."―Giuliana (Monica Vitti) in 'Red Desert.'

    "When I awake this morning, you were still asleep. As I awoke I heard your gentle breathing. I saw you closed eyes beneath wisps of stray hair and I was deeply moved. I wanted to cry out, to wake you, but you slept so deeply, so soundly. In the half light, your skin glowed with life so warm and sweet. I wanted to kiss it, but I was afraid to wake you."―Lidia (Jeanne Moreau) in 'La Notte.'

    Here is a brief article I wrote on 'La Notte': sensesofcinema.com/2015/cteq/la-notte/

    Made with love for legendary Monica Vitti, who lives on forever in her brilliant performances for the silver screen. (November 3,1931 - Feb 2, 2022)

    "Dreaming of Monica Vitti"― by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2021 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  4. Amphitrite

    "By the magic of cinema, Amphitrite reclaims her reign as a powerful deity - dramatically rising from primordial waters in order to restore the environment and global equilibrium.

    A contemplative and spiritual meditation on the ascension of the sexy, tender, powerful, wise, and lovely Amphitrite, Goddess of the Sea and the Moon.

    Known primarily as the wife of Poseidon, Amphitrite (often confused with Aphrodite) actually predates Greek mythology and once reigned over both the Moon and the Sea, holding far more power than Poseidon or Neptune. She was not to be owned, for one cannot 'own' the Sea or the Moon. Amphitrite was very much beloved but sometimes feared, for the powerful sea both gives and takes life.

    Accompanied by dolphins, famous for her tenderness, kindness, blinding beauty, and strength (particularly her reverberating full voice) Amphitrite personifies the Sea and Moon Goddess in much Greco-Roman art and poetry."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster
    _________________________

    "The Drop, that wrestles in the Sea—
    Forgets her own locality—
    As I—toward Thee—

    She knows herself an incense small—
    Yet small—she sighs—if All—is All—
    How larger—be?

    The Ocean—smiles—at her Conceit—
    But she, forgetting Amphitrite—
    Pleads—'Me'"

    ―Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

    "Amphitrite" is created from recycled and repurposed images and sound in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Amphitrite"― by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2016 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  5. Lullaby for a Pandemic

    Festivals, Screenings, Awards:

    Thomas Edison Black Maria Festival and Tour;
    Jury’s Citation Award for the 40th Anniversary Season 2021
    Sydney Underground Film Festival 2021
    The Animattikon Project: Animation in Times of Plague, Cyprus 2021
    Experimental Forum LA (Honorable Mention, Best Short Experimental Film) Los Angeles 2021
    Luminous Frames Film Festival Denmark 2021
    Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival 2021
    Les Femmes Underground Film Festival, Los Angeles 2021
    Osaka International Film Festival (OIFF) Japan 2021
    Women's HERstory Month Marathon Princeton NJ 2021
    Fine Arts Film Festival (FAFF) Venice Institute of Contemporary Art 2021
    Oxford Film Festival, Oxford Mississippi 2021
    Shorts@Fringe Experimental Showcase, Azores Portugal 2021
    Minute Madness Film Festival Toronto 2021
    Das Filmfest / Oregon State International Film Festival 2021
    L’Age d’Or International Arthouse Film Festival India (Luis Buñuel Memorial Award for Best Experimental Short Film) 2021
    Berlin Flash Film Festival 2021
    Oberhausen Short Film Festival Library 2021
    Absurdah International Film Festival Kent, UK 2021
    NewFilmmakers at Anthology Film Archives, NYC 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival Toronto (Best 1 Minute Experimental Film) 2020
    LA Underground Film Forum (Honorable Mention, Best Short Experimental) 2020
    PSIAF Palm Springs International Animation Festival, Nominee, Best Experimental Animated Short 2020
    KinoDrome: International Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival Cleveland 2020
    Couch Film Festival, Toronto (Nominee, Best North American Experimental Film) 2020
    Strangelove Time-based Media Festival UK 2020
    MicroActs LGBT+ Artists Screening, London 2020
    Agora-Off Cultural Space, France 2020
    Life Screenings Film Festival, Orlando 2020
    Exploding Cinema Festival, London 2020
    International Moving Film Festival, Iran: Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film Editing and Effects, 2020.

    A cineaste's pandemanic lullaby for nodding off to dreamland. Dada dream and cine-poem, made under quarantine. Spring 2020.

    "Lullaby for a Pandemic" Copyright © 2020 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  6. No Personal Checks

    Festivals and Awards:

    Festival “Suspaustas Laikas” MO Museum Lithuania 2021
    Esto es Para Esto /Encuentro Internacional de Cineastas EEPE Mexico 2021
    Fisura International Festival of Experimental Film & Video 2020
    International Moving Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental Film Editing & Effects) Iran 2020
    Vortex Festival de Cine Experimental, Mexico 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Documentary) Toronto 2020
    Experimental Film Festival, Barcelona 2020
    We Make Movies International Festival, LA 2020
    Experimental Film Fest,Tulsa 2020
    Analogica Touring Film Festival, Italy 2019/2020
    Moving-Image-Arts International Short Film Festival, "Portraits," Juried Showcase, Ryerson University of Image Arts, Toronto 2020
    FLIGHT/ Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Film Festival (Innovative Languages Collection), Genoa Italy 2020
    London Experimental Film Festival (2020)
    United States Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival 2020
    Kansas City Underground Film Festival (Special Selection, Finalist) 2020
    NJ International Film Festival, Rutgers University 2020
    Intima Lente/Intimate Lens. Festival of Visual Ethnography, Italy 2019
    CODEC Festival Internacional de Cine Experimental y Vídeo, Mexico City 2019
    Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (Video Library) 2019
    Expressions Art Movie Film Festival, LA 2019
    Kino Climates: Belgrade, Serbia 2019
    Atrabilious Experimental Film Festival, Amsterdam 2019
    Engauge Experimental Film Festival, Seattle

    Solo screenings:
    Cinetoon de Nijverheid, Utrecht, Netherlands 2019
    Studio 44, Stockholm Sweden, 2018
    OT301 Cinema of the Dam’d, Amsterdam, 2018
    BWA Contemporary Art Gallery, Poland 2018

    From a Super 8mm diary film that I shot long ago and recently found in the basement. I hand-baked, re-photographed, hand-processed, re-edited, and otherwise distorted my footage and added layers of audio. An experimental in memory.

    I shot this footage many years ago when we moved from the West Village in New York city to the Midwest, which was very much like moving to the 1950s.

    I live here, but this is not my home.

    "Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it."―Flannery O'Conner

    Some thoughts on film, Super 8mm and 16mm:

    Film is alive. It is projected in our imagination. Like a phoenix, film comes to life by magic, by resurrection. Film has a living warmth. It breathes. It is a living thing in a way, something alive and yet not; film is liminal, magical and ethereal.

    Film grain, scratches, and light streaks are like scars, freckles and wrinkles; tracings of life.

    "No Personal Checks" - a film by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright @ 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All Rights Reserved.

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