Against the Grain

Selection of experimental films by Polish women artists, 1970’s–present, from the Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art’s Filmoteka archive
Friday, May 20, 2016, 7-9pm


Employing the medium of film as a tool for self expression and experimentation, polish women artists working during the 1970’s established a fruitful ground for diverse ideas within artistic practices. Often times approaching film from the perspective of a sculptor, painter or photographer, and collapsing various visual mediums with happenings, performance and public interventions, they sought to challenge the false reality represented in film and critique its subjective communication while developing their own language in structural cinema.

The screening does not present a comprehensive view of a dynamic period, but rather features women artists whose work represents a particular momentum in the experimental and independent art film making in Poland. The films offer a delightful insight into the shifting ideologies, structures and methods of working and communicating within, but not limited to, early Polish feminism, its revival in the 1990’s, conceptualism and the structural cinema model.

Against the Grain will feature works by Zofia Kulik, of group KwieKulik, Natalia LL, Jolanta Marcolla, Ewa Partum and Jadwiga Singer as well as contemporary filmmakers, Zuzanna Janin, Katarzyna Kozyra and Agnieszka Polska. An informal, reflective discussion will follow with scholars dr. Aniko Imre, dr. Eve Oishi and artist Kim Schoen.

Anikó Imre, Ph.D. is an associate professor and chair of the Division of Cinema and Media Studies at the School of Cinematic Arts of the University of Southern California. She has published widely on media globalization and (post)socialism. She is the author of Identity Games: Globalization and the Transformation of Post-Communist Media Cultures (MIT Press, 2009) editor of East European Cinemas (AFI Film Readers, Routledge, 2005), The Blackwell Companion to East European Cinemas (2012), and co-editor of Transnational Feminism in Film and Media (Palgrave, 2007), Popular Television in the New Europe (Routledge, 2012); of special issues of The Journal of Popular Film and Television on Television Entertainment in the New Europe (2012), the European Journal of Cultural Studies on Media Globalization and Post-Socialist Identities (May 2009), and of Feminist Media Studies, on Transcultural Feminist Mediations (December 2009). She co-edits the Palgrave book series Global Cinemas and sits on the editorial boards of several journals. Her monograph TV Socialism is forthcoming in 2016 in Duke University Press’s Console-ing Passions series.

Eve Oishi, Ph.D. is an associate professor and chair of the Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University where she teaches courses on the Transnational Media Theory, Popular Culture, Film Theory and Criticism, Feminist and Queer Theory, the Time and Space of Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies – Activism and Social Change. She is the author of Reading Realness: Paris is Burning, Wildness, and Queer and Transgender Documentary Practice, The Blackwell Companion to Documentary Cinema (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015), “I-Hotel, Routledge Companion to Asian American and Pacific Islander Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2014), The Asian American Fakeness Canon, 1972-2002,” Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies (2007). Her curatorial work in experimental film includes Queer Shorts Program, at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific American Film and Video Festival (2003-2006), and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (2003- 2005). She was also a Foreign Feature Film Consultant at the Sundance Film Festival (2006).

Kim Schoen‘s work with photography, video, and text takes on the rhetorics of display in consumer culture. She deconstructs existing representations, ones intended to persuade and convince, breaking down consumer ‘experiences’ into their constituent parts and allowing those parts to take center stage. Recent exhibitions of her work include Have You Never Let Someone Else Be Strong, (MMoCA), duh? Art & Stupidity (Focal Point Gallery, UK), Imitation Game(Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, UAE), Remembering Forward: (LAXART, Los Angeles), Objective Considerations of Contemporary Phenomena (MOTInternational Projects, London), Stupidious (South London Gallery, London), and Unsparing Quality (Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles). Schoen’s work has been written about in the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, and her essays on repetition and photography (“The Serial Attitude Redux”, “The Expansion of the Instant”) have been published in X-TRA Quarterly for Contemporary Art. Her most recent photographic essay was just published in Issue VII of E.R.O.S. Press, London. She is the co-founder and editor of MATERIAL Press.

Gosia Wojas (b. Poland) is the founder of Projekt Papier, an archive platform documenting and promoting artistic, curatorial and art historical practices. Editor of upcoming series, The Absent Museum, utopian exhibition proposals, and Material-i-ty, a collection of essays examining nations of materiality within contemporary and social culture. She has organized projects at Souterrain gallery, Hoffmann Collection in Berlin, Germany (2012), Zatoka Sztuki Arts and Performance Center in Sopot, Poland (2012), as well as Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects gallery (2007) where she served as director from 2006-2009.