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Gwendolyn Audrey Foster Experimental Films and Video Installations - Portfolio

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster's films and video installations have been screened at Anthology Film Archives, Bi Arts Festival, Toronto, Outfest LA, The Nederlands Filmmuseum, Rice Museum, Collective for Living Cinema, Swedish Cinemateket, National Museum of Women in the Arts, DC, International Film Festival of Kerala, India, Films de Femmes, Créteil, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Women’s Film Festival of Madrid, Kyobo Center, Korea, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Université Laval, Quebec, Forum Yokohama, Amos Eno Gallery, NY, SLA 307 Art Space, NY, Maryland Institute College of Art, NETV, Studio 44 Stockholm, Museum of the Future, Berlin, X-12 Festival, Gainsborough, UK, BWA Contemporary Art Museum in Katowice Poland, Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam,, nGKB gallery (Berlin), Chimeres Space (Athens), Engauge Film Festival (Seattle), LACDA (Los Angeles) and many other venues around the world.

In 2019, Foster's complete experimental films and videos were selected to be archived at the UCLA Film & Television Archives.

Artist Statement:

As a queer feminist marxist artist of détournement, my work explores the aesthetic space between film & video through collage and abstraction techniques. I often create my films from found materials, combining elements of Surrealism, eco-feminism, punk, queerness, romantic structuralism, and chance editing (automatism). Chance is my favorite collaborator. I often compose the music and soundscapes for my films, which have been described as surreal, contemplative, and hypnotic. ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

I can be contacted by clicking on the envelope icon above.

Contents of this portfolio copyright © 2016 - 2020 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  1. Kitchen Sink Film

    A cameraless Fluxus film - made in my kitchen sink. A playful celebration of light, color and abstraction.
    Hand-processed, hand-painted, hand-scratched, baked, and edited 16mm film.

    For Barbara Rubin, Marie Menken, Maya Deren, Chick Strand, Gunvor Nelson, Su Friedrich, Barbara Hammer, Storm de Hirsch and other visionary experimental women filmmakers; creators of such personal, hand-made, dazzling and poetic cinema.

    Copyright © 2019 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved. A Kitchen Table Film.

  2. Will Be, Will Be

    A meditation on women and war, and the war on women.

    Stereographic images of rephotographed film images.

    Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: Video
    Track: Wax Tailor

  3. Kiki's Film

    Festivals and Group Shows:

    Official Selection, Vast Labs International Film Festival, Los Angeles, September 20 - 21, 2019.
    Official Selection, We Make Movies International Film Festival, Los Angeles, July 11 - July 14, 2019.
    Pugnant Film Series Screening at O Meteoritis, Athens, July 4, 2019.
    KinoBerlino, Kino Moviemento, Berlin, April 25, 2019.
    Official Selection, Experiments in Cinema Film Festival, Albuquerque, April 16, 2019.
    Official Selection. Kino Climates, Belgrade, Serbia, February 22, 2019.
    Official Selection: "An Ordinary Day Film Festival" Stockholm, 2018.

    One Woman Shows:

    Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden. 2018.
    OT301 CInema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam. 2018.
    Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam. 2018.
    BWA Contemporary Art Museum, Poland, 2018.

    A dream poem for Kiki de Montparnasse, (Alice Prin); artist, Muse, and creative partner of Man Ray. Kiki embodies the very essence of 1920's free queer sexuality and all things Dadaist and Surrealist. An interdisciplinary artist, Kiki was much more than a 'model.' She was a painter, writer, nightclub singer, photographer, performance artist, memoirist and vibrant bohemian provocateur at the center of the Dada and Surrealist literary and art scene in Paris, in the 1920s.

    Kiki de Montparnasse lives on in her direct frank expressiveness, sensuality, photographs, films, artwork and memoirs. She also (obviously) continues to Muse in her spare time.

    Kiki looks directly at the viewer in this exercise in Objective Chance Surrealism (automatism); a dream occult homage; a look through Kiki's eyes in her imagined "lost film."

    You are no doubt familiar with Kiki's image, as she appears in so many famous Surrealist films and photographs, including Man Ray's "Le Violon D'Ingres," which shows a naked Kiki, seated and viewed from behind, with two 'f's in her back; a celebration of her violin-curves. Kiki was more than a gorgeous woman who had the audacity to love her curves and flaunt them - in an era when women were expected to be shaped like a thin boy.

    Kiki was punk before punk. She was a performance artist before performance art. Ultimately, she was too intense for Man Ray. By the late 1920s, Kiki had her own cabaret, Chez Kiki, She had also begun painting primitives and, in 1927, had a sell-out exhibition. Her memoir, "The Education of a French Model," was banned in America. The more I read about Kiki, the more I fall in love with Alice. --GAF

    Kiki (Alice Prin) is featured in my related video, "Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party":

    “Kiki's Film” is made from materials found in the Public Domain, or released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license."Kiki's Film," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  4. Sleeping With Sirens - [Excerpt]

    An excerpt from “Sleeping with Sirens,” part of a four-channel installation, "In Art We Trust."

    Screening History:

    LACDA, Los Angeles Center for the Digital Arts, 2019.

    Sleeping With Sirens is made from video derived from baked VHS glitch materials, for my four channel video installation, "In Art We Trust."

    Hundreds of thousands of post-structuralist materialist video paintings, framed by hundreds of thousands of digital paintings; reframed again and again by video glitch. A study in framing, reframing, and abstract compositions, embracing the endless variations and patterns of glitch abstractions in an overload of infinite visual beauty.

    The framing within framing technique challenges the traditional notion that art lies within the frame, when the frames are also art. The video stops and starts randomly at art junctures to allow the eye to ponder the infinite abstracts, even if momentarily.

    View the four channel installation series "In Art We Trust" here:
    In Art We Trust - Installation

    For Joan Jonas, Joyce Wieland, Marie Menken, Jane Brakhage, Su Freidrich and Sadie Benning. You women paved the way with your brilliant home-made film/video abstractions and dazzling visual art.

    “Sleeping with Sirens, by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  5. Séance for Hilma

    A handmade abstract film for the Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klint (1862-1944),"Seance for Hilma," is an experiment in mystical 'disrupted stereoscopic' using random intervals and elements devined from 'filmic automatism' (chance edits, random colors, and abstractions): inspired by the Surrealists - and guided by the spirit of Hilma af Klint.

    Hilma af Klint's early abstract paintings were among the very first abstract European art, predating better known artists.The paintings and drawings of af Klint are truly breathtaking, but Klint is only now being recognized as an important early figure of modern European abstract art. Though her work prefigures that of Kandinsky, Mondrian, Klee and others, reportedly none of them ever saw her work. Hilma af Klint was discouraged from showing her work in public by her mentor in Theosophy, Rudolf Steiner. Af Klint painted for the future: she stipulated that her work not be shown in public until twenty years after her death.

    Hilma's spiritual life and early preoccupation with Nature is as interesting as her artwork, and the two are deeply connected in her stunning abstract paintings. A gender non-conformist, Hilma took part in seánces in the 1870s and formed a women's group, De Fem (The Five). De Fem immersed themselves in the paranormal and mysticism and practiced automatic writing. These pioneering women created unconventional ways to create and "channel" liminal art (including 'exquisite corpse' chance drawings, a term & process coined and used much later by the Surrealists).

    Hilma, a mathematician and linguist, created a highly personal language of symbols, letters, color, and words. Her work demonstrates her passionate interest in dualities, harmonies and balance, as well as her desire to abstract representations of love and ethereal realms of spiritual transcendence.

    The delayed recognition of the art of Hilma af Klint disrupts the authority of 'art history.'

    Presciently, Hilma af Klint left extensive notebooks and plans for the future exhibition of her artwork in a circular gallery like a temple not unlike the Guggenheim, confidently assuming that her unconventional abstract spiritual art would one day be displayed, understood and highly valued.

    A hundred years after they were created, the paintings and artwork of Hilma af Klint are thrilling viewers and bewitching art historians. Hilma af Klint is finally being recognized for her significance in art history and mysticism.

    Hilma af Klint is currently enjoying a fantastic major retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum until April 23, 2019 in New York City. Read more about Hilma af Klint here:

    Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim in NYC:

    "Séance for Hilma" is made from recycled "found" CCO public domain materials."Séance for Hilma," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  6. Fountains for the Baroness

    "Fountains for the Baroness" is a Punk Dadaist film for Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, also known as "The Baroness." Elsa, the famed bisexual Dada artist, sculptor and poet, sent her friend Marcel Duchamp a urinal as a gift, signed R. Mutt. Her gift is famous as one of the most famous early readymade sculptures,"The Fountain," but it is solely attributed to Marcel Duchamp.

    Elsa found objects in the street and declared them works of art before Duchamp hit upon the idea of "readymades." Duchamp said of the Baroness "She is not a Futurist. She is the future."

    Elsa's wildly suggestive androgynous contributions as an artist inspire new queer & feminist re-readings of Dada art, the readymade, and Conceptual art.

    Elsa was as freely sexual, queer, gender nonconforming, and avant garde in the way she behaved and fashioned her body as she was in her poetry and artwork, exploring the phallic and labial appearance of the urinal of "found" plumbing fixtures that she fashioned as androgynous readymade sculptures, with titles such as "God."

    Decades before punks wore safety pins and wild drag fashion, Elsa cross-dressed and wore live birds in a cage, a tomato can bra, shaved her head, and adorned her body with myriad found objects, often shocking those around her.

    Elsa was a pioneer in radical queer self-fashioning. She manufactured agency in a patriarchal bourgeois world that she actively disrupted and defied. Elsa's title as the "Baroness" was deployed ironically: her real name was Else Plötz. Djuna Barnes was one of her many lovers, and Elsa famously appeared in a film made by Man Ray and Duchamp titled “The Baroness Shaves Her Pubic Hair.”

    A sexually aggressive libertine bi+ genderqueer protopunk provocateur at the center of the Dada movement, Elsa lived her life as a Dada performance artist, and is as well known for her breathtaking, sexually-charged blasts of staccato poetry as she is her outlandish behavior; she was arrested on several occasions for cross-dressing and other "perverse and scandalous acts of public indecency."

    Elsa, born in Germany, brought Dada to New York City and fashioned her own body as an art piece before the rise of performance art. Elsa made a spectacle of herself, claiming agency over her own body, whether nude, wearing men's clothing, or adorning herself with trash and found objects. Elsa fashioned her own body as anti-consumerist whilst defying gender norms, almost singlehandedly pioneering queer feminist dada performance art.

    Elsa's poetry is equally important and prescient as her dada art and persona. Recently collected and published as "Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven," Elsa was an early pioneer of "sound poetry" who employed irrational modernism in her writing. Her Dada poems are as free-spirited and original as they are provocative.

    When language did not suit her needs she made up words such as, “kissambushed,”“phalluspistol,”and “spinsterlollipop.” Elsa's sexually charged intensity anticipated the poetry of the Beats. Her poems are themselves art objects, decorated and painted in wild colors.

    Now dubbed "The Mama of Dada," The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is a force to be reckoned with even today; pioneer of junk art, inventor of the "ready-made," a queer/trans feminist performance artist known for her sexually transgressive Dadaist painting, sculpture, art and irrational modernist poetry. Elsa's artistic genius is only now being recognized, nearly one hundred years after she gifted a urinal (as an artwork) to Marcel Duchamp.

    Read more here on The Baroness:

    "Fountains for the Baroness" is a punk dadaist film made from recycled "found" CCO public domain materials - in honor of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven aka The Baroness.

    "Fountains for the Baroness," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.