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Gwendolyn Audrey Foster - Portfolio

Originally from New York City, Gwendolyn Audrey Foster is The Willa Cather Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska. Foster is a film and video artist and author of many volumes on experimental film, women filmmakers, and LGBTQ+ cinema. Her documentary on women film directors, "The Women Who Made the Movies," is distributed by Women Make Movies.

Foster's work has screened at Anthology Film Archives (NYC), Collective for Living Cinema (NYC), MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Outfest (LA), Bi Arts Festival (Toronto), National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC), Films de Femmes (Créteil), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Forum Yokohama (Japan), Studio 44 (Stockholm), BWA Contemporary Art Museum (Poland), Filmhuis Cavia (Amsterdam), nGKB gallery (Berlin), Engauge Film Festival (Seattle), LACDA (LA Center for Digital Art), WUFF (Canada) and galleries, museums and film festivals around the world. Foster's complete films and videos are 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 compose the music and soundscapes for most of my films, which have been described as surreal, contemplative, and hypnotic. ―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

Read more at gwendolynaudreyfoster.com
Contents of this portfolio copyright © 2016 - 2020 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  1. Fairy Tale [Excerpt]

    Festivals and Group Shows:

    #Directed by Women Film Viewing Party, 2018.
    Atrabilious Film Festival, Amsterdam, 2018.
    Liminal Ethereal Space, (ERC) MoHA, Texas, 2018.
    Festival X-12, Gainsborough, UK. 2017.

    One Woman Shows:

    Studio 44, Stockholm, 2018.
    OT301 CInema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam, 2018.
    Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, 2018.
    Foster Queer Pride, Salto TV, Netherlands, 2018.
    BWA Contemporary Art Museum, Poland, 2018.
    Lys d’Or International Art Gallery, Rome, 2018.
    Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, 2017.
    Museum of the Future, Berlin, 2017.

    A queer feminist détournement from rephotographed found film advertising imagery, sculpted as an abstract surrealist fairy tale film.

    An engraved woodcut 'comes to life.' An inexplicable extempore fairy tale; ripe and ambiguous with feminine horror, play, sensuality, fantasy and female bravery.

    “Everyone thinks of fairy tales in terms of poisoned apples and glass coffins, and forgets that they represent girls who walked into dark forests and remade them into their own reflections.”
    ―Seanan McGuire

    "Fairy tales are the origins of our childhood. At the same time, they are projections into the unknown. As little girls, they allowed us to voyage to the unknown." ―Catherine Breillat

    “There are fairy stories to be written for adults. Stories that are still in a green state.” ― André Breton

    "Fairy tales are mirrors - abstract and reflective by nature. Fairy tales project on us, just as we project onto them."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "It is time for parents and publishers to stop dumbing down the original classic fairy tales. We do not need puritanical censors to tell us what is good or bad for us." ―Jack Zipes

    "Fairy Tale [Excerpt]" is an automatiste détournement of (mis)appropriated materials in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Fairy Tale [Excerpt]" - Music and video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

    "Fairy Tale [Excerpt]"― by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  2. Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party

    A collision of grainy materialist cinema with a genderqueer bi+ jazz age dadaist aesthetic; "Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party" is an homage to the queer fluid jazz age, when so many actors, writers, poets, artists, dancers, filmmakers, and Dadaists openly celebrated and embraced queer, pansexual, bisexual, and fluid gender & sexuality.

    Made for International Bi Awareness Week.

    Opening Selection: Bi Arts Festival: "Celebrating Bisexual Lives & Culture," Toronto, 2018. biartsfestival.com/2018-filmvideo.html

    One woman shows:

    "Fast and Furious: Experimental Queer Dada Feminist Films" of Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden 2018.
    “Punk Queer Dada Films: Gwendolyn Audrey Foster,” OT301 Cinema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam, 2018.
    “Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: Queer Feminist Punk Experimental Films,” Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, July 2018. “Gwendolyn Audrey Foster: Queer Experimental Films,”The Screening Room, Salto TV for Amsterdam Queer Pride Festival, 2018:

    Dance - Kiki de Montparnasse (Alice Prin).
    Jazz Music - Anonymous, Public Domain

    “Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party” by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, is created from found materials in the Public Domain, or released under CC0 license. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  3. Making Gender Great Again Again

    In this surrealist film, a woman dreams that the retrograde and misogynist past of the 1950s is returning. She tries to blot out the dream, but it appears to be fast becoming a reality.

    A feminist collage made in response to the political war on women and women's rights in the United States, where we risk going backwards towards retrograde views and treatment of women.

    A scathing, darkly comic, critique of obsolete gender roles, employing Medusan feminist camp humor, this film exposes toxic gender roles: in particular, retrograde toxic feminity that appears to be making a comeback as a result of misogyny at the highest levels of government and all throughout American society, particularly on the right.

    “Making Gender Great Again Again” is a collage of détourned images and sounds found in the Public Domain, or materials released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Making Gender Great Again Again," a queer punk feminist détournement by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  4. Alone Together

    'Alone Together' is a kaleidoscopic collage from found images and borrowed memories. Another cinepoem and détournement.

    I find such a warmth and mystery in old black and white film footage; dreams we borrow and share in a surreal place of liminal time/space travel. Alone together, together alone.―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "Alone Together" is made from found materials and music in the Public Domain, or released under a Creative Commons CC0 license.

    “Alone Together," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  5. As One

    For Wheeler - the love of my life, the light of my life.

    "Passion brings ancient bronze statues to life; they melt into one another, becoming one. 'As One' recalls the 'love which makes us one,' described so beautifully by the Pre-Raphaelite poet Christina Rossetti in her poem, 'Monna Innominata,' "―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "Monna Innominata"
    ―by Christina Rossetti (first published in 1881)

    I loved you first: but afterwards your love
    Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
    As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
    Which owes the other most? my love was long,
    And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
    I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
    And loved me for what might or might not be –
    Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
    For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
    With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
    For one is both and both are one in love:
    Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
    Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
    Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
    ―by Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

    Part of The Eros Trilogy. See all three videos in the trilogy:

    *Eros Sleeping: vimeo.com/202575235
    *Eros and Psyche: vimeo.com/201958267
    *As One: vimeo.com/204575300

    'As One' is fashioned from recycled and repurposed images and sound in the Public Domain, or material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "As One" ― Music and Video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.
    Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  6. The Prisoner [A Fairy Tale]

    Atrabilious Experimental Film Festival, March 29/30, 2019.
    #DirectedbyWomen Worldwide Film Viewing 2018.
    Liminal Ethereal Space, ERC, MoHA,Texas, 2018.
    Festival X-12, Gainsborough, UK. 2017.

    One Woman Shows:

    Studio 44, Stockholm, 2018.
    OT301 CInema of the Dam'd, Amsterdam, 2018.
    Filmhuis Cavia, Amsterdam, 2018.
    Foster Queer Pride, Salto TV, Netherlands, 2018.
    BWA Contemporary Art Museum, Poland, 2018.
    Lys d’Or International Art Gallery, Rome, 2018.
    Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, 2017.
    Museum of the Future, Berlin, 2017.

    An intersectional feminist exploration of cis-white privilege and beauty as a form of imprisonment masquerading as entitlement. A genderqueer feminist détournement of found advertising materials refashioned as a Marxist feminist critique of the commodified female body and white beauty standards in advertising as well as Princess fantasies of white female entitlement based on class, exterior beauty and cis-white privilege.

    "Fairy tales are the origins of our childhood. At the same time, they are projections into the unknown. As little girls, they allowed us to voyage to the unknown." ―Catherine Breillat

    “Everyone thinks of fairy tales in terms of poisoned apples and glass coffins, and forgets that they represent girls who walked into dark forests and remade them into their own reflections.”
    ―Seanan McGuire

    "It is time for parents and publishers to stop dumbing down the original classic fairy tales. We do not need puritanical censors to tell us what is good or bad for us." ―Jack Zipes

    “There are fairy stories to be written for adults. Stories that are still in a green state.” ― André Breton

    "Fairy tales are mirrors - abstract and reflective by nature. Fairy tales project on us, just as we project onto them."―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    "The Prisoner [A Fairy Tale] is a feminist intervention and détournement that exposes the dark side of fairy tales. The tropes of fairy tales often revolve around beauty and Princess fantasies - fantasies of cis-white hetero-privilege based primarily on exterior beauty. Sometimes they show us ways out of the prisons of gender, prisons of class, prisons of entitlement, and prisons of sexuality. There is often power invested in golden hair and fair skin, but gendered beauty can be a trap. I am drawn to fairy tales is that they can be endlessly retooled, reinterpreted, and retold from a modern feminine (and feminist) perspective for a new generation of children of the 21st century.

    The earliest fairy tales are dark and magical, full of conundrums and puzzles, and written for a smart audience. They are open to interpretation and full of Surrealism. They truly are magical, ritualistic, and enchanting. Fairy tales pass along female knowledge, wisdom, and experience in a remarkably fluid genre that they can take on many forms and morph endlessly. - Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

    See also Fairy Tale [Excerpt] vimeo.com/248345182

    "The Prisoner" is made from material released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license. "The Prisoner," by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

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