Currently in production is a 70 minute 16mm b/w film project, Magic Mirror which will combine a re-staging of the french Surrealist artist Claude Cahun's b/w photographs with selected extracts from her book Aveux Nos Avenus (Confessions Untold).
Sarah Pucill's films and photographs explore the mirroring and merging we seek in the Other; a sense of self which is transformative and fluid. At the core of her practice is a concern with mortality and the materiality of the filmmaking process. The majority of her films take place within the confinements of domestic space, where the grounded reality of the house itself becomes a portal to a complex and multi layered psychical realm. In her explorations of the animate and inanimate, her work probes a journey between mirror and surface, in which questions of representation are negotiated via the feminine, the queer or the dead.
Phantom Rhapsody (2010) was screened at Edinburgh International Film Festival, at Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts Superieure in Paris, the Millennium, New York and as part of the DVD compilation published by the LUX early 2011 which was launched at BFI Southbank and again the same year as part of a Maya Deren Season where a retrospective of Pucill's films were screened again. Distinctive in its stark use of black and white, this film draws connections between canonical painting, early cinema and theatrical side-show 'magic' acts. The film examines the appearance and disappearance of the phantom as it relates to the present/absent dynamic of visible lesbian sexuality in the canons of both cinema and art history.
Fall In Frame (2009), toured leading venues in the US and Canada last year (including Film Anthology Archives, Pleasure Dome, Toronto and LA Filmforum, Los Angeles), was screened at Montreal Festival of New Cinema and recently at retrospective screenings in London including the Freud Museum and at N.O.WHERE. The film explores the materiality of the filmmaking process as part of a young woman's constrained performance that blurs a distinction between the physical and consciousness.
Blind Light (2007), which was recently screened at Tate Modern (May 2010), brings the filmmaking process as performance and image into the fold of a fragmented spoken narrative. Like Phantom Raphsody and Fall in Frame, it was funded by the Arts Council of England and like many earlier works was also awarded funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. It premiered at Millennium Film, NY and was shown at the European Media Arts Festival Osnabruck and at the Louise T Blouin Foundation in London in 2008.
Taking My Skin (2006) was recipient of the Marion McMahon Award at the Images Festival in Toronto 2007 and together with Stages of Mourning (2004) received Directors Citation from the Black Maria Film Festival. Continuing Pucill's experiments with the collapsing of space in front of and behind the camera, the film tracks a dialogue between the artist and her mother while each alternately instruct, position and direct. Taking My Skin was shown as part of 'Mother Cuts: Experiments in Film, Video & Photography' at New Jersey University Gallery in 2008 together with work by Mona Hatoum and Mary Kelly.
Pucill's individual visual language emerged in the 1990s in the context of visual arts and experimental film and has been shown internationally in galleries and cinemas.
You Be Mother, Pucill's award winning film (Best Innovation, Atlanta, 1995; Best Experimental Film, Oberhausen, 1991) will be exhibited in Moving Portrait at De La Warr Paviliion in 2011 and was exhibited in 'A Century of Film and Video Artists' (2004) at Tate Britain where her work has also enjoyed retrospective screening and in 'A History of Artists Film and Video' (2007) at BFI Southbank.
Her films have been screened at major international film festivals including: London Film Festival, Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Osnabruck Media Arts Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and Montreal Festival of New Cinema. Television broadcasts include: BSB TV Australia (Mirrored Measure, 1996; bought by BSB), Carlton Television (Backcomb, 95; funded by Carlton), Granada TV (You Be Mother, 1990).
Sarah Pucill lives and works in London and is a Reader at University of Westminster since 2000. Her work is distributed through leading international distributors including Lux, The British Film Institute (BFI), New York Filmmakers Co-op, Canyon Cinema, and Light Cone Paris.