Posted January 25, 2011 in

Sundance Film Festival
Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson

Have you ever heard of Judy Chicago, Yvonne Rainer or Miriam Schapiro? Marina Abramović or Carolee Schneemann? Your answer is precisely why this film exists. In the not-too-distant past, female artists (and women in general) were not taken seriously by the mainstream art world. In America circa 1968, the women’s liberation movement was underway. Females were standing up for their rights and organizing artist-networking groups in big cities. It was at this time that this film’s director, Lynn Hershman, left home in Middle America for Berkeley, California. As an art major, she recognized that the mainstream art world did not represent the female voice. This sparked a feminist desire in Hershman to join others and confront major art galleries, museums and institutions. Their intention was to get female artists' work into major museums and increase awareness about female art. Thankfully Hershman had the foresight to document what she was doing with her friends. The fact that she could recognize her peer group as history makers and knowing that they would someday be credited for pioneering the fight for women’s lib in the art community is what makes Hershman a visionary. The documentary features footage shot by Hershman over the past 40 years. "!W.A.R." does an incredible job of tackling a topic that is impossible to summarize in two hours. Many questions are left unanswered, but that’s the whole point of this film—to excite, educate and make you wanna watch YouTube footage of all the cool female performance artists you just learned about in "!W.A.R." One last thing about this movie that sold me: The score to the film was done by Carrrie Brownstein (Sleater Kinney)! Other songs on the soundtrack are by The Gossip, Laurie Anderson and Erase Errata.


TUESDAY, JAN. 25, 4:00 PM, SIGNING AT 4:45 PM*
Salt Lake Art Center (20 S West Temple)

Lynn Hershman Leeson employs transmedia storytelling to create a seminal history of the American Feminist Art Movement. Expanding the scope of her documentary !Women Art Revolution,RAW/WAR is a live, user-generated, community-curated video archive that documents the achievements of women artists. RAW/WAR reconceives history as an ongoing project of collaborative authorship where participants enter an interactive environment to upload new material and use Wii-powered virtual flashlights to illuminate invisible histories. RAW /WAR is created by Lynn Hershman Leeson in collaboration with Alexandra Chowaniec, Brian Chirls, and Gian Pablo Villamil. *Please note that the time and date of this event have changed. 

Women working on art in a scene from !W.A.R." Group discussion, a scene from !W.A.R." "!W.A.R." director Lynn Hershman Leeson