Mary Helena Clark
USA / 2022
19 min. / Original version
A collection of images reproduced from films, museums, and archives, EXHIBITION weaves together multiple biographies and texts to construct a single imaginary subject. Eija-Riitta Eklöf-Berliner-Mauer marries the Berlin Wall and turns her home into a museum of architectural miniatures to abate her longing for those objects. Mary Richardson stabs Diego Velázquez’s “The Toilet of Venus” as an act of protest and dedication to an imprisoned suffragette. Shifting into first person point-of-view, the narration combines quotations from the painter Agnes Martin, early eye tracking studies, Sigmund Freud’s case history of “Rat Man,” and an account of a Klein bottle’s misuse as a candlestick holder. The film fragments, copies, and excerpts to create a portrait of desire and trespass, becoming a meditation on the assertion and refusal of subjecthood. “I’m not a woman. I’m a doorknob.”
Production Mary Helena Clark. Production company Mary Helena Clark (New York, USA). Director Mary Helena Clark. Screenplay Mary Helena Clark. Music Eva-Maria Houben. Sound James Emrick. With Audrey Wollen (Voice).
Mary Helena Clark is an artist working in film, video, and installation. Her work uses the language of collage to explore dissociative states through cinema, bringing together disparate subjects and styles that suggest an exterior logic or code. Using the conventions of narrative, language, and genre, her films explore shifting subjectivities and the limits of the embodied camera. She has been showing films and works in museums, art venues and festivals including IFFR, Rotterdam; New York Film Festival; Toronto International Film Festival; Cinéma du réel, Paris; and the 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York.
Films: 2011: By foot-candle light (9 min.). 2012: Orpheus (outtakes) (6 min.). 2014: The Dragon is the Frame (15 min.). 2015: Palms (8 min.). 2017: Delphi Falls (20 min.). 2018: The Glass Note (9 min.). 2020: Figure Minus Fact (13 min.). 2022: Exhibition.