Expert’s Choice by Joke Ballintijn: ‘The Eye of the Beholder’

Olthaar, Van Meij_Souvenir uit Afrika_2002_stills

Choosing 5 to 10 favorite works from Impakt’s 25 year old archive is a nearly impossible task, comparable to having to summarize 25 years of film and media art history in one sentence. So I decided to start by using a ‘witches’-broom’ and deleted all male directors. Films and videos by female artists often stand for media and gender criticism. Not without a reason. The female gaze is different from what we are accustomed to in mainstream cinema. As Janet Merewether recalls: “A famous filmmaker once said: Cinema is the history of men filming women.” Right. Fortunately we know now that history must be constantly rewritten in accordance with the complexity of life itself. These films were deeply moving, the artists showed me a different way to look at film’s history, at history and at myself. The rawness of the Super8 film material or the video test screen, breaks the classic distance between the medium and its subject. The medium is not the message, but a tool. The gaze is radically reversed, cultural codes shattered, firm in style and resolution.

J.B.

Texts fragments used from Frieze Magazine, Lima, and the artist’s websites.  

Movies in this program