On Photography: Elisabeth Subrin’s The Fancy and other works
In association with SFMOMA’s exhibition Francesca Woodman, San Francisco Cinematheque is proud to present The Fancy, Elisabeth Subrin’s oblique portrait of the late photographer. Writes Subrin: “The Fancy is a speculative, experimental work that explores the short life of Francesca Woodman, culled only from the public record of published catalogues of and about her photographs. Structural in form, the video radically reorganizes information from the catalogues in order to pose questions about biographical form, history and fantasy, female subjectivity, evidence and issues of authorship and intellectual property.” With the film—which never depicts Woodman or her work—based largely on explorations of sites in which the artist lived and worked and on haunting reenactments and verbal descriptions of her photographs, the film’s ostensible subject is kept at tantalizing distance, emerging as a mysterious, ultimately unknowable presence haunting the present. Subrin’s provocative portrait will be screened with additional works exploring topics of photographic representation, gendered portraiture, gender performance and the aesthetics of institutional exhibition, including the vision machine by Peggy Ahwesh, miniatures by Stephanie Barber, (If I Can Sing a Sing About) Ligatures by Abigail Child, Photography is Easy by Leslie Thornton and four works by Hester Scheurwater: Lisa, Heal Me, I Must Be Beautiful Too and I Wanted You.