Tate Modern Talk

European Women’s Video Art in the 70s and 80s

Still from Video Art black and white image of girl in front of a mirror with paint over her eye.

Elaine Shemilt, Doppelgänger, 1979–1981. Still from Video

Join Professor Elaine Shemilt and Dr Laura Leuzzi in conversation with Professor Laura Mulvey about their new book aiming to recover the seminal contribution of women video artists

European Women's Video Art in the 70s and 80s is the main output of the eponymous research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and based at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design.

The book retraces some of the stories of early women artists’ video experimentation in Europe and their achievements, featuring chapters on fundamental case studies of early video artworks, themes, genres and geographical areas. The publication aims to contribute to a reassessment of women artists involvement in early video art and strength their profiles and identities within the art historical canon.


Professor Elaine Shemilt

Professor Elaine Shemilt is an artist, academic and researcher, and pioneer of early feminist photography, video and multi-media installation work. She holds the Chair of Fine Art Printmaking at DJCAD, University of Dundee. Her artistic practice involves sculpture, installation, printmaking video and digital media. She is a Shackleton Scholar, a Professional member of Society of Scottish Artists, the Director of the Centre for Remote Environments and the Vice Chair of the South Georgia Heritage Trust.

Dr. Laura Leuzzi

Dr. Laura Leuzzi is an art historian and curator. She completed her PhD at Sapienza University of Rome in 2011 and sits on the curatorial Committee of the Media Art Festival in Rome. Author of articles, essays and exhibition catalogues, her research and curatorial practice focuses on video art, new media, art and feminism, time and the relationship between word and image in visual art. She has curated exhibitions, screenings and events in Italy, UK and Switzerland. She is co-editor with Stephen Partridge of REWINDItalia | Early Video Art in Italy (2015) and is currently co-investigator on the AHRC-funded research project Demarco, the Italian Connection.

Laura Mulvey

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Visual and Other Pleasures (1989), Citizen Kane (1992), Fetishism and Curiosity (1996), Death Twenty- four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (2006) and is renowned for her essay Visual Pleasure in Narrative Cinema (1975) – which had a major impact on the course of film scholarship, bringing the term "male gaze" into the academic lexicon and eventually into common parlance. Between 1974 and 1982 Mulvey co-wrote and co-directed six films with Peter Wollen: theoretical films, dealing in the discourse of feminist theory, semiotics, psychoanalysis and leftist politics; and two films - more recently - with artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis.

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Date & Time

24 September 2019 at 19.00–20.00