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Evokation of my Demon Sister, 2002, SD video, colour, sound, 4 min 38 sec. Courtesy of the Ellen Cantor Estate.

Artists' Film Biennial: Profile: Ellen Cantor

25 May 2016

The Ellen Cantor Profile is presented by Fatima Hellberg and followed by a conversation between Hellberg and John Cussans.

Ellen Cantor combined ready-made materials with diaristic notes and drawings to probe her perceptions and experiences of personal desire and institutional violence. In her drawings and moving image work, Cantor lifted characters and sequences from iconic films, reorienting the ideological transmissions of the source material. Fictional figures from Disney cartoons, cult horror films, New Wave cinema, and family movies provide a visual foil to Cantor’s intimate disclosures. Magnetised by the doleful naivety of characters such as Snow White and Bambi, Cantor would extend their narrative horizons to include vivid sexual encounters and crisis-ridden relationships.

  • Remember Me, 1999, SD video, colour, sound, 10 min 25 sec
  • Within Heaven and Hell, 1996, SD video, colour, sound, 15 min 52 sec
  • Evokation of my Demon Sister, 2002, SD video, colour, sound, 4 min 38 sec
  • Madame Bovary's Revenge, 1995, SD video, colour, sound,  17 min
  • Barbie London: Trouble in Space, 2001 [details TBC]

Ellen Cantor (b. Detroit, USA 1961–2013) was a prolific artist working between New York and London. Cantor’s solo exhibitions included Within a Budding Grove, Participant Inc., New York (2008); Bambi’s Beastly Buddies, Sketch, London (2005); Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2000); My Perversion is the Belief in True Love, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (1999); Video 1995–1998, Kunstverein Salzburg, Austria (1999); and Remember the 14 Days and Nights, Vorarlberger Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria (1997).

The screening follows the exhibitions Cinderella Syndrome (2015) at The Wattis Institute, San Francisco and Ellen Cantor at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, 2 April - 31 July 2016 curated by Hellberg and Jamie Stevens. Fatima Hellberg is Artistic Director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.

With special thanks to Lia Gangitano and Participant Inc.


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The ICA Artists’ Film Biennial 2016 is a four-day celebration of artists’ film and moving image. The Biennial’s comprehensive series of screenings and talks extends the ICA’s Artists’ Film Club, our regular programme of artists’ film, which profiles and debates the best international artists’ moving image.

Programme supported by the Art Fund, British Council, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.

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E.g., 2016-10-28