Rachel Garfield: Experimental Filmmaking and Punk - Feminist Audio Visual Culture in the 1970s and 1980s
Bloomsbury, 2021, Softcover, 288 pages, 23.5 × 15.5 cm
Just as punk created a space for bands such as the Slits and Poly Styrene to challenge 1970s norms of femininity, through a transgressive, strident new female-ness, it also provoked experimental feminist film makers to initiate a parallel, lens-based challenge to patriarchal modes of film making.
In this book, Rachel Garfield breaks new ground in exploring the rebellious, feminist punk audio-visual culture of the 1970s, tracing its roots and its legacies. In their filmmaking and their performed personae, film and video artists such as Vivienne Dick, Sandra Lahire, Betzy Bromberg, Ruth Novaczek, Sadie Benning, Leslie Thornton, Abigail Child and Anne Robinson offered a powerful, deliberately awkward alternative to hegemonic conformist femininity, creating a new “punk audio visual aesthetic”. A vital aspect of our vibrant contemporary digital audio visual culture, Garfield argues, can be traced back to the techniques and forms of these feminist pioneers, who like their musical contemporaries worked in a pre-digital, analogue modality that nevertheless influenced the emergent digital audio visual culture of the 1990s and 2000s.