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Art & Art History

A Double Feature of Feminist Film

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Thursday, February 13, 2014–Friday, February 14, 2014
Gallery 400 Lecture Room
400 South Peoria Street

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The screening begins with Breaking the Frame, a 2012 documentary on artist Carolee Schneemann by Marielle Nitoslawska. After a brief reception with refreshments, the program resumes with Cheryl Dunye s 1996 film The Watermelon Woman</em>; the filmmaker will be in attendance! Gallery 400 is pleased to partner with the UIC Gender and Sexuality Center and Team 101 Chicago for this event.

Breaking The Frame (2012, 100 min.) is a feature length documentary portrait of the New York artist Carolee Schneemann by Canadian filmmaker Marielle Nitoslawska. A pioneer of performance and body art as well as avant-garde cinema, Schneemann has been breaking the frames of the art world for five decades. Working across media, she challenges assumptions of feminism, gender, sexuality, and identity.

In a rich variety of film and hi-definition formats, Breaking The Frame can be described as a kinetic, hyper-cinematic intervention, a critical meditation on the relation of art to the physical, domestic, and conceptual aspects of daily life and on the attributes of memory. The film uses Schneemann s autobiographical materials to narrate the historic upheaval within Western art in post-war America.

The Watermelon Woman (1996, 90 min.) is Cheryl Dunye s debut feature that follows an artist (played by Dunye) as she struggles to make a video-documentary about a beautiful 1930’s film actress popularly known as the Watermelon Woman. Cheryl, a young, black, lesbian working in Philadelphia, tracks down the Watermelon Woman’s real name and surmises that the actress had a long affair with Martha Page, a white woman and one of Hollywood’s few female directors. As she’s discovering these things, Cheryl also becomes involved with a white woman. The film features many notables from the lesbian and gay community, including Guin Turner (Go Fish), Sarah Schulman, and Camille Paglia, and highlights the photography of Zoe Leonard.


5:30pm-7:20pm – Breaking the Frame, film and video, 2012, 100:00 min.
7:20pm-8:00pm – Reception
8:00pm-10:30pm – The Watermelon Woman, film, 1996, 90:00 min.
Q&A with Cheryl Dunye

Total running time: 190:00 min.

Screening of Breaking The Frame courtesy Possible Movements and Picture Palace Pictures.</