Previously at the ICA - Films
7 Nov 2013
Sarah Pucill's Magic Mirror (2013) combines a re-staging of the French Surrealist artist Claude Cahun’s black and white photographs with selected extracts from her book Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Cut Off), followed by a Q&A with the director and writer Gavin James Bower.
In Surrealist kaleidoscopic fashion the film creates a weave between image and word, exploring the links between Cahun’s photographs and writing as well as between those of the films of Sarah Pucill, as both artists share similar iconography and concerns.
Cahun’s multi-subjectivity as expressed in both her book and photographs, set the scene for the film, where she dresses and makes her face up in so many different ways, swapping identities between gender, age and the inanimate. Three women masquerade as Cahun’s characters: often it is hard to tell them apart. The splitting of identity appears as a double which persists throughout; as a literal double (through super-imposition), as shadow, imprints in sand, reflections in water, mirror or distorting glass. Likewise the voice is split between differently dressed voices, which sometimes speak at the same time and sometimes in dialogue.
Part essay, part film poem, Magic Mirror translates the startling force of Cahun’s poetic language into a choreographed series of Vivantes Tableaux, intermixed with stagings from her writing.
The screening is followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker led by writer Gavin James Bower, his book on Claude Cahun was published by Zero Books in 2013.
Selected text from Aveux Non Avenus (Confessions Cut Off), Claude Cahun, 1928. Translated by Rachel Gomme.
All films are 18+ unless otherwise stated.
Magic Mirror, dir. Sarah Pucill, 2013, 16mm b/w, sound, 75min