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Film screening and Interview – Su Ansell’s Breast’work (2016)

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The final event of our Formations, MILK event series, we are pleased to have a screening of Su Ansell's Breast'work (2016), with interview.

About this event

Lecturer in Media Production at Nottingham Trent University, Su Ansell, made the film Breast’work as a single screen video(wall) installation Moving Image Artist and Senior. This work, made in collaboration with women from the East Midlands, aims to challenge the depiction of the female body in art and media.

In this event, the artist and filmmaker talks to Jenni Ramone about the film, the making process, and the public response to the film’s first installations at galleries and conferences across Europe and the US. Ticketed attendees will also receive a link and password to watch the film which will be available until Monday 28 June.

All welcome.

Artist statement on Breast’work

“I use moving image poetically to express metaphysical truths about women’s experiences. The female breast is a symbol of many things: birth, death, life, sexuality, sex, gender, transformation, nurturing, vulnerability, and strength. The image of the breast can be a distillation of our hopes and fears, a link with our past, present and future. In current global capitalism this potent symbol has become wallpaper, the iconography ubiquitous and questionably accepted as part of our visual environment and culture. Breast’work questions the ‘normalisation’ of images of breasts within our everyday cultural references. The work consists of repeated movement of the hand across the breast in a choreographed breast check, creating a ‘living’ wallpaper as viewed from afar.”

The installation is currently set to music extracts from Estonian composer ARVO PÄRT – ‘Fratres’ (London Philharmonic) and ‘The Magnificat’ performed by Choir of Kings College, Cambridge.

Biographical information

Su Ansell is a Moving Image Artist and Senior Lecturer in Media Production at Nottingham Trent University. Her film works are ‘poetic’, lyrical, experimental, thoughtful, and thought provoking. Her work contains alternative representations of women, which aim to counter received ideas portrayed largely via Hollywood and global media, of women as passive ‘reactors’ and victims, or hyper sexualised icons. Her work contains ‘poetic’ juxtaposition and layering of filmic elements, which encourage an audience to seek out new meaning through engaging in a ‘dialogue’ with the work.

In the last few years her work has extended into the realms of moving image installation art. Su’s video installation entitled ‘Breast’work’ was inspired by a hotel wallpaper and is a reaction to double standards around breast-feeding in public, and pornography encountered during daily commuting. The work aims to question common perceptions and portrayals of the female body, and, as the title suggests focusing on the iconic symbol of the breast.

Through written research, which both complements and interrogates this practice, Su brings to bear the visceral experience of a film practitioner on theoretical and historical debates surrounding the nature of film work authored by women. In exploring poetic connection within film, particularly from a female perspective, she is developing and contributing to knowledge of a very particular film form, which eschews traditional narrative and has its roots in avant-garde film art practice.

Jenni Ramone is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies at NTU. Her recent book publications include Postcolonial Literatures in the Local Literary Marketplace: Located Reading, The Bloomsbury Introduction to Postcolonial Writing, Postcolonial Theories, and Salman Rushdie and Translation. Jenni Ramone specializes in global and postcolonial literatures and the literary marketplace. She is pursuing new projects on Global Literature and Gender, and on literature and maternity.

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