Rental Format(s): 16mm film

GRADIVA was shot over a period of five summers and weaves a complex set of themes. Based loosely on the Wilhelm Jensen story, "Gradiva," used by Freud in Delusion and Dream to describe the relation of delusion to dream and both to fetishes, GRADIVA is a portrait of a thirteen-to-seventeen-year-old adolescent girl. The word gradiva is Latin, and roughly translates as "one who walks forward most lightly." The film uses several themes, among them, the role of dolls and fetishized objects (especially rocks, bones, sticks, flowers and other natural forms). Lynn Book and E.J. Sims, two Chicago-based performance artists, provide another main thread, through their mainly non-verbal involvement with objects. Lynn performs on the soundtrack with two other voices in Andrew Latties' arrangement of a Kurt Schwitters piece, "The UrSonata," a piece in the nonsense tradition of Lewis Carroll. Gradiva, through the voiceover, describes her view of her life, but is shaped into a work of art through her mother's poetic transformation. After climbing into the giant white dress (the virgin-maiden-mother dress), Gradiva is free to leap aesthetically to an image she creates herself.

Exhibition: Museum of Modern Art, NY; Rochester Institute of Technology; NYU, Syracuse; Ithaca College; Image Forum in Tokyo.

Rental Fees

16mm film $100.00  

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