Tate Modern Film

Babette Mangolte: What Maisie Knew

A women holds a finger up to her lips

Babette Mangolte What Maisie Knew 1975, film still. Courtesy the artist

See the pioneering artist’s first film

Babette Mangolte emerged as a key figure in New York’s 1970s avant garde art, film and performance scenes, and is celebrated equally for her work as a filmmaker, photographer and cinematographer. For over four decades, her practice has addressed complex questions about the act of looking.

Watch Mangolte’s evocative first film, which presents the point of view of a young girl looking at the world around her. In this re-reading of Henry James’ novel of the same name, we see glimpses of gestures, exchanges and body parts. Experimenting with the possibilities of subjective filmmaking, What Maisie Knew unfolds as a set of situations that repeat and evolve over the film’s duration. Its small cast includes choreographer Yvonne Rainer and composer Philip Glass.

The feature is paired with the short film Visible Cities, which follows two women looking for a home in the increasingly gated and exclusionary southern California landscape.


What Maisie Knew, United States 1975, 16mm, black and white, sound, 60 min

Visible Cities, United States 1991, 16mm, colour, sound, 31 min

The screening is introduced by the artist.

See more from Babette Mangolte

This event forms part of the Tate Film Pioneers series Babette Mangolte: How to Look. In dialogue with the artist’s display on Level 3 of Tate Modern’s Blavatnik Building, this series presents three films and an artist talk exploring the act of looking. Also see Babette Mangolte: The Camera: Je, or La Caméra: I.

About Babette Mangolte

Babette Mangolte (b.1941, France) is a French-American artist working in film, video, photography and installation. She was one of the first women admitted to the Louis Lumière-founded National School of Photography and Cinematography in Paris, and has since made seven feature-length films and a number of non-narrative short films exploring movement, landscape, subjectivity and the acts of looking and image-making. Mangolte emerged as a key figure in New York’s 1970s avant garde art, film and performance scenes. In addition to her own works, she has served as cinematographer for artists including Chantal Akerman, Joan Jonas, Yvonne Rainer and Michael Snow, filmed and photographed significant performances by artists Trisha Brown, Robert Morris, and Marina Abramović and documented exhibitions by Robert Rauschenberg. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2016) and VOX centre de l’image contemporaine, Montreal (2013). Mangolte is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

London SE1 9TG
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Date & Time

7 April 2018 at 15.00–17.00

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