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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. 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.

  2. 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, Curated by Tova Beck-Friedman, Posted October, 2017.

    #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing Party : September 1-30, 2018.

    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.

  3. Kitchen Sink Film (Teaser)

    A cameraless Fluxus film - made in my kitchen sink. A playful celebration of light, color and abstraction. Direct animation. 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.

    Teaser of Kitchen Sink Film which is 3:48 minutes.

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

  4. 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

  5. Kiki's Film

    Festivals and Group Shows:

    Official Selection, Vast Labs International Film Festival, Los Angeles, September 20, 2019.
    Official Selection, We Make Movies International Film Festival, Los Angeles, 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 (Solo) Shows:

    Cinetoon De Nijverheid, Utrecht, 2019.
    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 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.

    Kiki de Montparnasse lives on in her direct frank expressiveness, sensuality, photographs, films, artwork and memoirs. --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.

  6. 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.