Stories

gender(dot)net: the videos

The IFFR 2016 programme gender(dot)net presents, next to the selected festival films and installations, an online batch of thematic videos. Watch them below. The videos will also be shown on Glamcult and during the festival in the foyer of Het Nieuwe Instituut.

What’s the Love Making Babies for (2003, USA, Ryan Trecartin)
21.52 min

Recently described by New Yorker magazine as a "video art visionary" whose work is filled with "breaking news from the future," Ryan Trecartin is one of the most innovative artists working today.
In one of the artist’s earliest works, his extraordinary digital manipulations reach a new level as he speculates in vivid animation about reproduction, sexuality, and contemporary moralities. Evoking lo-fi, promotional, cult-worship videos, Trecartin and his fantastically costumed collaborators manufacture an alien yet familiar reality, hyper-saturated with media. Inside this startling new video world, technophile gods wearing acid-washed denim argue about the future of gender and produce cryptic TV commercials. In a surreal backyard town meeting, characters deliver disjointed polemics assembled from clashing phrases that could have originated in ad campaigns, instant messaging conversations, or twisted episodes of syndicated science fiction. Constructed from the raw material of disposable media clichés and fads, Trecartin's narrative leaves us to answer the riddles he poses.

CUTS: A TRADITIONAL SCULPTURE (2011, USA, Cassils)
4.33 min

Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture is a large body of work with several components. It began with a six month durational performance and generated video installations, photographs, watercolors, and a magazine.
This body of work is a reinterpretation of Eleanor Antin’s 1972 performance Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, in which Antin crash dieted for 45 days and documented her body daily with photographs from four vantage points. Cassils instead used a mastery of bodybuilding and nutrition to gain 23 pounds of muscle over 23 weeks. Unlike the feminine act of weight loss in Antin’s performance, Cassils’s performance involves a transformation into a traditionally masculine muscular form. This video is a synopsis piece to give an encapsulation of the process compiled from multiple sources project documentation.

Listed by the Huffington Post as “one of ten transgender artists who are changing the landscape of contemporary art,” Cassils has achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture. Featuring a series of bodies transformed by strict physical training regimes, Cassils’ artworks offer shared experiences for contemplating histories of violence, representation, struggle, and survival, often juxtaposing the immediacy, urgency and ephemerality of live performance against constructed acts for camera in order to challenge the “documentarian truth factor” of images. Bashing through gendered binaries, Cassils performs transgender not as a crossing from one sex to another but rather as a continual process of becoming, a form of embodiment that works in a space of indeterminacy, spasm and slipperiness.

AGATHA (2014, Germany, Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė)
19.54 min

Multidisciplinary artist Dorota Gawenda brings you Agatha (Valkyrie Ice): an ongoing “multi-platform, participatory, multi-user, self-performance project” that aims at to create and develop a fictional post-gender character within an existing confined framework of online platforms—a companion species, here to think with and to invent a body and a sexuality of one’s own. Agatha is immersed in a constant process of becoming; a loop of re-posting, re-staging and re-appropriating expressed in textual form, on social media as well as IRL. If the above sounds unclear to you in any way, shape or form, do try to experience for yourself. Text by d3signbur3au (Dorota Gawęda & Eglė Kulbokaitė & Catherine Prieto Osterberg) and voice by Claire Tolan.

Trans-Q Television Episode 1 (2013, USA, Suzie Silver) 
23.23 min

Trans-Q Television is a Dadaist Variety Show for the 21st century exploring the fluidity of gender and sexualities. A truly twisted mix of Sonny and Cher, Sesame Street, Andy Warhol’s TV, Ernie Kovacs, Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Wigstock, Trans-Q TV collaborates with a wide range of talent to produce programs comprising performance, interviews, animation, literary presentations, music, stand-up theory and all manner of feats and festivities.

Episode 1 guests include: Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, and Le1f. Suzie Silver has been creating queer performance and video art for over two decades. As an Associate Professor of Art at the Carnegie Mellon University Silver created this online variety series together with her students and the art community from in and outside Pittsburgh.

What’s a Gender (2015, The Netherlands, Sophie Dros)
8.33 min

What is (a) gender? "We are very much looking for: you’re a man, you’re a woman…" Filmmaker Sophie Dros explores gender expression in her documentary for the new journalistic platform Mindshakes. In this beautiful short film we get to know Lisa and Anne Bosveld, two androgynous Dutch twin sisters who capture their lives as they explain excellently how they perceive gender expression. Time has come to experience each other as human beings, rather than as a fixed gender: "We are all human, and there is a lot in between".