La Blanchisseuse

Beta SP, black and white, sound, 11 min
scans not available
Experimental video examining the emotional and aesthetic underpinnings of the tendency that still exists for women to take a greater responsibility than men for domestic work and nurturing. The images ...
Rental formats: 3/4″ NTSC $75.00, DVD NTSC $75.00, VHS NTSC $75.00, Beta SP NTSC $100.00
Available for sale: 3/4″ NTSC $400.00, DVD NTSC $300.00, VHS NTSC $300.00, Beta SP NTSC $500.00

About

Experimental video examining the emotional and aesthetic underpinnings of the tendency that still exists for women to take a greater responsibility than men for domestic work and nurturing.

The images of a woman ironing pay homage in their composition to paintings of laundresses by such artists as Edgar Degas, Honoré Daumier, Edouard Manet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and others.

Many of the paintings of laundresses by these artists create an ambiguously gentle impression, portraying the task of laundry as sensual, feminine, and producing contentment. La Blanchisseuse examines the relationship between the images with which we have grown up and the expectations women place upon themselves.

Equally poignant texts – from Intrusion (Denise Levertov), Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (Adrienne Rich), and To The Lighthouse (Virginia Woolfe) – scroll over the images, alluding both to the pull of tradition for a woman to provide nurturing care to others and to the sense of betrayal and rejection that can be the reward for providing such care.

A music soundtrack, composed by Anthony Moore, supports a sense of meditation on the inherent ambiguities.

Films

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