Women’s Images Re-Edited: The Critical Remix within Feminist Context

Women in War, video still, by Evelin Stermitz, 2010. Courtesy of the Artist.

This paper describes in a film analysis perspective current feminist critical remix practices by women artists in a psychological and socio-political media context. The feminist tradition of subversion of contents and context in the dichotomy of male and female as artistic practice is often appropriated now for current remixes of various other nexuses. As well, the current remix of media images in video can be seen as a proceeding act of early critical photo montages at the beginning of the 20th century, such as in a John Heartfield’s style.

But despite this and within this set of intersection of media and new media art, current aspects of remix and re-editing criteria within feminist video works of women artists are discussed. The video works lead from a media critique of subversion of media images itself, remixing the women’s images of commodified constructs into a disclosure of gendered ideals, to far more, such as de-construction of sexism and racism not only in a male and female dichotomy, but also in a still existing tradition of white and black image constructions within the gender imbalance in a post-colonial discourse.

For example, the split screen video work “Distaff [Ain't I Redux]” by Sian Amoy remixes images of black women made by Disney film company with contemporary images of black women in sport reports, whereby it comes to a disclosure of Disney’s images not only as an example for controversial stereotyped images of black women, but also in another context of racism and racial segregation in the U.S. until the 1950s and current images. Further discussed video works are such as “Women in War” by Evelin Stermitz herself, Vesna Bukovec’s “Endless Game”, Abigail Child’s “Mirror World”, Tracey Moffatt’s “Love”, and other.

The female object position in media images and it’s re-mixing in a critical context, or also compression and aggregation of such images, leads to a disclosure of gender imbalances and stereotyped women’s image constructions within media, even now after more then a one hundred years of humanist feminism and deconstruction practices of male constructed women’s images within a media context since the 1970s.

Author: Evelin Stermitz. Artist.

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