Anita Holtsclaw

Title –
The Isle

Medium –

Digital Video (looped)

Artist Statement –

My artistic practice seeks to critically examine and creatively explore cinematic constructions of femininity, which are sometimes assumed to no longer be active, within a post-filmic culture. The constructed performance of female gendered identity and narrative found within screen-based media is re-performed in my works by substituting the protagonist for myself. This re-contextualisation of the self aims to enable a critical discourse surrounding cinematic depictions of femininity and how they can relate to contemporary art practices. Specifically, the works aim to critically examine ideas of designing and writing the self through the language and foundational visual signifiers of film. The video performances explore how the various codes of film and screen-based practices work to establish a range of narratives and visual languages, which can be seen to construct fictional representations.

Description of work –

The Isle is a video performance and installation work of variable durations. It features a lone female figure walking through what appears to be a sub-tropical wasteland of palms, ferns and concrete. The momentum of the figure is continually interrupted as she pauses to re-perform gestures such as looking that often preclude to a filmic rendezvous. However in The Isle these actions are one sided only and as soon as one sequence has finished another has begun. The protagonist never appears to move forward unlike in the traditional cinematic narrative associated with these gestures but is instead trapped in a continually repeating loop of looking and waiting. The video footage of The Isle is accompanied by a sound track (still being completed) of overly cinematic suspense music. Originally when the work was first shown it was accompanied by Phillip Glass music.

Ideally, the work will be installed as a video projection onto a hanging screen. There will also be a seating component to the work comprising a concrete slab or similar, which will be flanked with the kinds of ferns and palms featured in the video.


Artwork Sample (click to view in large format) –

the isle 1

the isle 2

the isle


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