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The Eighth of March: Electra presents films from Filmoteka Muzeum

Thursday 8 March, 7pm
Calvert 22,
22 Calvert Avenue,
London E2 7JP

In celebration of International Women's Day, Electra chooses films from Filmoteka Muzeum, the Archive of Polish Experimental Film. The event brings together work by KwieKulik, Iwona Lemke-Konart, Natalia LL, Ewa Partum, Jadwiga Singer and Teresa Tyszkiewicz and will be presented with a conversation between Electra's Fatima Hellberg and moving image lecturer Maxa Zoller.

The Eighth of March responds to the shift taking place in late 1970s Polish cinema, from structural and formalist interests, to more immersive and radically subjective approaches to the moving image. In focus here is the synergy and collapse between affect, celebration, and more overt and strategic political and social approaches.

It is a collapse between play and intentionality resonating in KwieKulik's key exercise, Open Form: Playing on the Actress' Face, a film where pleasure and experimentation are allowed to meet the artist duo's radical and organic approach. Here the face of popular actress Ewa Lemańska is transformed and manipulated by a number of 'players'; an experiment resonating with KwieKulik's dialogue with urban planner Oskar Hansen's theory of 'Open Form', and a concomitant dialogue with the gendered politics of this game.

The publicity of the private is a theme that also recurs in Change: My Problem is a Woman's Problem, a documented 1979 performance by Ewa Partum. Here half her body is transformed, or 'aged' by make-up artists, leaving her image divided. A voiceover including passages by VALIE EXPORT and Lucy Lippard speaks about the reproduction and manipulation of images of women in society. It is an approach resonating, albeit in more messy and non-verbal terms in the work of Teresa Tyszkiewicz. Like many of her works, the 1980 film Grain features the artist herself in an ambivalent process of self-representation and pleasure. In this visually saturated, non-linear narrative, Tyszkiewicz turns to an image of femininity that is co-opted - or produced in the first place - for the gratification of the observer.

The full list of works include:

KwieKulik, Open Form: Playing on the Actress' Face, 1971, 3'
--,All Souls Day, 1973, 10'
--,Open Form: Activities on Moses, 1971, 5'
Iwona Lemke-Konart, Limits of Human Abilities, 1984, 2'
Natalia LL, Pyramid, 1980, 2'5''
--,Punkty podparcia,1980, 1'7''
Ewa Partum, Change. My problem is a problem of a woman, 1979, 7'
Jadwiga Singer, The End The End, 1979 2'55''
Teresa Tyszkiewicz, Grain, 1980, 10' 36''

The event coincides with the launch of Filmoteka of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw - a digital archive of Polish experimental films and video art including over 600 titles spanning from the 1920s until today. The archive was founded in 2010 as a means for collecting, preserving, renovating and reconstructing various manifestations of Polish moving image work.

Electra would like to thank Łukasz Ronduda at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw and founder of Filmoteka Muzeum for his help and support in realizing The Eighth of March

Image credit: KwieKulik, Open Form: Playing on the Actress' Face, 1971