Counter-Cinema: Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen
- Neil Cooper
- 8 September 2017
The back catalogue of the radical filmmakers could point the way to the future
In December 2016, Laura Mulvey gave a keynote address at the Cooper Gallery as part of the 12hr Action Group symposium. This was the culmination to Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? the gallery's two chapter sprawl through feminist art since the 1970s. This September, the veteran feminist film theorist, who first introduced the notion of the male gaze to cinematic critique, returns to Dundee with her partner in art and life, Peter Wollen, for a series of screenings of some of the key films they made together.
Urgency and Possibility: Counter-Cinema in the 70s and 80s will show five films, dating from Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons, made in 1974, through to 1982's Crystal Amazons. Like them, 1977's Riddles of the Sphinx is feature length, while the shorter Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1981) will also be screened. The season will open with a screening of the pair's 1980 film, AMY!, preceded by a talk by Mulvey. Only the pair's final outing, The Bad Sister, (1982) will not be seen in a canon that taps into patriarchal myths, male fantasy and sub-Godardian disruptions of narrative.
With a new wave of radical thought rising up as a counterblast to reactionary global forces, Mulvey and Wollen's back-catalogue look like key touchstones for possible futures yet to be written.
Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Fri 29 Sep–Sat 7 Oct