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Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Oriana (production still), 2022, 78 min

Fictional Revolutionary Leaders – Film POP

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  • Past Event
  • Contemporary Art
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Cinéma Moderne 5150 Saint-Laurent Boulevard
Montréal, Québec H2T 1R8

Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 8:30 PM

Tickets: $15

In collaboration with Film POP, the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art presents Fictional Revolutionary Leaders, a double bill including Gloria Camiruaga’s Popsicles (1984) and Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s Oriana (2022). 

Popsicles by Gloria Camiruaga is a short video that was produced during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, which lasted from 1973 to 1990. A woman is depicted eating a popsicle, a gesture that is empowering and freeing against the backdrop of oppression, particularly as it was felt by women in a conservative country. Camiruaga’s short is followed by Oriana, which presents a fictional, yet close to reality, futuristic landscape where women are in positions of power after a natural disaster hits Puerto Rico. The sound and words immerse the viewer and support this new form of feminism proposed by Santiago Muñoz.

Program

• Popsicles, 1984, Gloria Camiruaga, 5 min
• Oriana, 2022, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, 78 min, Spanish and Portuguese, English subtitles

Curated by Victoria Carrasco

The videos will be presented in their original language.

Synopses

Popsicles

Popsicles
Gloria Camiruaga, Popsicles (production still), 1984, 5 min

Popsicles, created in 1982–1984, is a response to the political situation in Chile. In 1973 a coup overthrew the leftist government of President Salvador Allende. Over the following 17 years, the country was governed by the military regime of Augusto Pinochet, and according to conservative estimates, nearly 30,000 people were tortured and several thousand more were killed. In Popsicles, Camiruaga films her teenage daughters licking popsicles from which little plastic soldiers emerge, while they recite the Hail Mary. This seemingly innocent act discloses the threat of violence that women were subjected to under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Camiruaga also confronts the quasi-sexual, quasi-pop-cultural image of teenage girls with traditionally conceived religiosity and masculinity, interweaving them with the context of relations with authoritarian politics.

Oriana

Oriana synopsis
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Oriana (production still), 2022, 78 min

Commissioned by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre (EMPAC), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s feature-length film Oriana features a band of feminist militants who take refuge in a thriving Puerto Rican landscape. The film relocates Monique Wittig’s infamous novel Les Guérillères (1969) to the island in the wake of Hurricane Maria, where its protagonists work, cook, dance, rest, and prepare for battle amidst the abundant tropical vegetation.

Suffused with inexplicable encounters, Oriana unfolds across forests, caves, rivers, and the ruins of industry and colonial infrastructure that have abandoned and fallen into disrepair. Comprising of delirious choreographic interludes which also pay attention to quiet rituals, the film maps a world of perceptual distortions, obscure gestures, and collective processes. Quotidian objects are transformed into arcane weapons and ancestral spirits and the recently deceased become phantasmatically present.

Performed by a cast of Santiago Muñoz’s collaborators (who come from music, performance, art, and poetry backgrounds), Oriana was filmed on location in Puerto Rico and at EMPAC, where the Center’s theater itself becomes a temporary shelter and place of respite from a struggle that remains at once omnipresent and unspecified. Nevertheless, against this backdrop of exhaustion and threat, the film strives to visualize the ecstatic and unsettling potential of new social forms, languages, and ways of living in the slow exit from long legacies of colonization and patriarchy.

Biographies

Gloria Camiruaga

Gloria Camiruaga studied Philosophy at the University of Chile, and then Video Art at the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in 1980. At the time, she was focused on making political video art concerned with social action and women’s issues. After spending a period of time in the US, she returned to Chile where she became an accomplished documentary filmmaker with a clear political and social conscience. Her films include: Casa Particular (1990); Nicanor Parra, co-directed with Lotty Rosenfeld (1991); and The Mines of the Mines (1993). Her last film One Day Later was released in 2006, the year that she passed away.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist whose moving image work is entangled with Boalian theater, expanded cinema, and feminist practices. She tends to work with non-actors, and incorporates improvisation into her process. Her recent work is on the sensorial unconscious of anti-colonial movements, using everyday poetic thought and feminist experiments with language and narrative. Recent solo exhibitions include: Oriana in PIVO, Sao Paulo; the 34th Sao Paulo Biennial; MOMENTA Biennale de l’image; and Gosila in Der Tank, Basel. Her work is part of public and private collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, KADIST, and The Guggenheim Museum, among others. She has received a Creative Capital grant, a USA Fellowship, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, and the 2021 Artes Mundi Prize, which was shared among all seven nominees.

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