|Chapter title||Whose History? Feminist Advocacy and Experimental Film and Video|
|Editors||Clayton, S. and Mulvey, L.|
This question begins Lis Rhodes's riposte to what she argued as the reductive positioning of women artists in the history of experimental film presented at the Film as Film exhibition at the Hayward in 1979. Rhodes' withdrawal of her films from the show, along with other filmmakers such as Annabel Nicolson, has often been accounted for as the catalyst for the formation of Circles, a women only distribution collective for women artists working with film and video, tape slide and film performance. However, just as important for Circles' formation were the women only meetings, which had been taking place at the London Filmmakers' Co-operative in the year preceding to the exhibition. Here, women associated to the Co-op and London's feminist networks met to discuss their own practices and, significantly, those of figures from film history, specifically Alice Guy and Maya Deren. For it could be argued that Circles emerged from a desire to both advocate, and examine, past figures marginalised in male dominated histories of cinema. As I will discuss, Deren or Guy could thus be understood as important mentors or touchstones for the construction of a feminist artists' film history, whose presence permeates all areas of Circles activity: from its distribution catalogue and touring programmes, to the discussion groups and screenings engendered by the group. And to what extent can we also situate these rehabilitations in the wider focus on women's history which has marked feminist culture of this period, such as the History group and the Edinburgh film event of 1972?
|Keywords||film, feminism, history, Circles, Lis Rhodes, Laura Mulvey, Maya Deren, Alice Guy, advocacy|
|Book title||Other Cinemas: Politics, culture and Experimental Film in the 1970s|
|Published||30 Jun 2017|
|Place of publication||London|