!Women Art Revolution + Near the Big Chakra

USA 2010. Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson
With: Miranda July, Judy Chicago, Yvonne Rainer, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović

That the title of San Francisco artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s revelatory, wonderfully entertaining documentary nicely acronymizes into “!W.A.R.” is no accident. Feminist art, exploding out of the radical cultural ferment of the late 1960 and early 1970s, would become one of the most significant art movements of the late 20th century — but first it had to storm the Bastille! Assembled from material Hershman Leeson shot over four decades, !Women Art Revolution film chronicles this remarkable insurgency’s visionary artists and pioneering curators, their breakthroughs, and the barriers they had to overcome; at the time, major galleries and museums were, for all intents and purposes, closed to women artists. Featured are Miranda July, The Guerilla Girls, Yvonne Rainer, Judy Chicago, Marina Abramović, Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, B. Ruby Rich, Ingrid Sischy, Carolee Schneemann, Miriam Schapiro, Marcia Tucker, and many other groundbreaking figures. The rousing original score is by Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag riot grrrl (and Portlandia star) Carrie Brownstein. “Passionate, contentious, funny, sincere, politically attuned ...Hershman Leeson’s fighting spirit is contagious” (Rachel Saltz, New York Times). Colour, HDCAM. 83 mins.

preceded by

Near the Big Chakra
USA 1972. Director: Anne Severson

Anne Severson’s radical demystification of the female body actually provoked a riot at one 1972 screening! On unhurried display, and in extreme close-ups, are 37 vulvas, belonging to females of various ages. “A new approach to our femininity ... The impression made by this film, its impact, has been enormous” (Agnès Varda). Colour, DVD, silent. 17 mins.

REVIEWS

"Passionate, contentious, funny, sincere, politically attuned."

New York Times | full review

"An excellent introduction to a movement that produced artists as diverse as Yoko Ono, Cindy Sherman, and Miranda July."

Chicago Reader | full review