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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); 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

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Contents of this portfolio copyright © 2016 - 2021 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  1. Making America Straight & White Again [Extended Version EP]

    Festivals and Juried Screenings:

    In Solidarity: Protest Films in Crisis,
    The Film-Makers' Coop, New York 2020
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-Finalist, Best Experimental) Toronto 2020
    Fisura, International Festival of Experimental Film & Video Mexico 2020
    Splice Film Fest, Brooklyn NY 2020
    Here Comes Everybody TV Portland 2020
    The Magikal Charm Experimental Video & Film Festival New York City 2020
    MicroActs LGBTQ+ Filmfest, London 2019
    Bi+ Arts Festival, Toronto 2018 and 2020
    The Coven / nGbK gallery, NonBinary LGBT+ Group Show Berlin 2018

    Solo 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, 2018.

    An EP (extended version) of "Making America Straight and White Again." In this punk video, mayhem and distortion mimics the rise of homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, racism and white supremacist in America under the Trump Regime in the news every day. We must Resist!

    Media fosters a sense of anger, helplessness, and apathy, but when we rise above the noise and divisiveness, progressives will inevitably stem the tide of the retrograde. We will not slip backwards.

    The only way to get through the very worst is to go forward - directly through it. Tune out the discouraging noise and act. Be firm and resolute in the knowledge that we can move forward and we WILL move forward. Don't just react: ACT!

    See Also:
    Genderqueer Doll Party
    vimeo.com/280267311

    Bisexual Materialist Ragtime Party
    vimeo.com/272007107

    “Making America Straight & White Again [Extended Version EP]” is a collage of détourned images and sounds found in the Public Domain, or materials released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    Copyright © 2018 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  2. Say / Nothing

    Say / Nothing is a collaged poem made from rephotographed found footage: a study of hetero-patriarchal masculinity and military violence exploring the difficulty and significance of speaking out against war in an atmosphere of false consensus.

    “'Say / Nothing' is a film about things about which we are routinely enforced to ‘say nothing': a personal film on family loss and trauma, but also a wider statement against a patriarchal culture of war and the military industrial complex, and the dangers of forced consensus and unquestioned obedience. Speaking out against war – and those things so often left unsaid – is crucial in these times. Forced consensus is truly dangerous to democracy.

    I do not support war or blind patriotism, nor do I support the military or the patriarchal institutions and toxic gender norms that result in the destruction of life, the destruction of families, and the destruction of the environment. I wage peace and stand for pacifism in the face of a rising tide of increased militarism and nationalism. Speaking out and speaking up is deeply patriotic.”―Gwendolyn Audrey Foster


    “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”―Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”―Martin Luther King, Jr.

    SEE MY RELATED ANTI-WAR & ANTI-VIOLENCE FILMS & VIDEOS:

    CHILD'S PLAY vimeo.com/232507581
    MACHINE vimeo.com/190509450
    FEAR vimeo.com/199258624
    ENOUGH vimeo.com/194188318
    MASS: vimeo.com/208383457
    OBEY / FOLLOW: vimeo.com/212426618

    Choral Music used in Say / Nothing is all from the
    Free Music Archive. Public Domain. CCO 1.0
    Antonio Lotti's 'Missa'
    Tomás Luis de Victoria's 'Amicus Meus'
    Tomás Luis de Victoria's 'Unus Ex Discipulis Meus'

    Say / Nothing is a détournement made from "found" material in the Public Domain, or images and music released under a Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain license.

    "Say / Nothing" is a video by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. Copyright © 2017 Gwendolyn Audrey Foster. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    Festivals and Awards:

    Award Winner: Best North American Experimental,
    AltFF Alternative Film Festival, Toronto, 2020
    Official Selection: El Festivalico, Mexico 2020
    Opening Selection: Bi Arts Festival: "Celebrating Bisexual Lives & Culture," Toronto

    Solo screenings:

    "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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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