Early Monthly Segments

#38 = 4/23/12 = Ruth Noack presents Sally Potter + Patricia Gruben


As a special post-Images Festival wind-down, guest curator Ruth Noack presents Sally Potter‘s Thriller and Patricia Gruben’s Before it Blows.

“Since its release in 1980, Sally Potter‘s rewriting of Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, has become a classic in feminist film theory. A model for the deconstruction of the Hollywood film, Thriller turns the conventional role of women as romantic victims in fiction on its head. Mimi, the seamstress heroine of the opera who must die before the curtain goes down, decides to investigate the reasons for her death. In doing so, she begins to explore the dichotomy which separates her from the opera’s other female character, the “bad girl” Musetta.” – Women Make Movies

Patricia Gruben returns with a concise, amusing and telling examination of how we look and how we think. As the camera remains fixed in its gaze at the impending gush of the Old Faithful geyser, voices off-screen express impatience, expectation, uncertainty and awe at the power of nature unleased before them. It is a clever conceit, revealing just how restless North Americans are: we can’t wait for anything! A deceptively simple short film, Before It Blows suggest vast thematic outlines which explore human Gruben’s work, the very foundations of our tenuous knowledge of the world and of ourselves.” – Tom McSorley, Take One

Ruth Noack is a curator and writer living in Vienna. She studied feminist theory, art and audiovisual media in England and the USA and received a degree in art history from the University of Vienna. Noack has worked as a translator, art critic, exhibition organizer and university lecturer. She held the position of president of the Austrian section of the International Association of Art Critics and was a member of the jury for the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in addition to curating documenta 12, working alongside Roger Buergel. She employs an interdisciplinary approach to her work that makes use of principles of film theory and has focused on issues of governmentality, globalization, and exhibition-making. Publications include monographs on Eva Hesse, Alejandra Riera, Danica Dakic, Mary Kelly, and Ines Doujak. Her book on Sanja Ivekovic will be published by Afterall/MIT Press in 2013. Currently, she is working on an exhibition called Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life. More info here.


Before it Blows, Patricia Gruben, 1997, 35mm, Canada 9 min.
Thriller, Sally Potter, 1979, 16mm, UK, 34 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel,  Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday April 23, 2012 | 8:00pm screening | $5 suggested donation

Before it Blows


Upcoming #39 = Mon May 7 = Nicky Hamlyn in person!