Marina Gržinić/Aina Šmid: Icons of Glamour, Echoes of Death (1982)

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The video is about the phantasmatic world of a woman stereotype portrayed as a model (Marina Grzinic)/apparently a transvestite (that switches through language between sexes, being she and then suddenly he), and her friend – a hermaphrodite (Aina Smid). They remember their childhood, the years in school and the first experience with masturbation. The visual story is the confrontation of the model (Grzinic) with her photographs, slides and performances/posing for the camera. Onto these sequences is recorded the song “The Model”. The video work reuses the aesthetics from the German and American avant-garde traditions Fassbinder, Von Praunheim and Warhol (lightening, frames and cutting) with performance in front of the camera that points toward politics of sexuality, gender, female pleasure and pornography. This work is possible to be seen as one of the first if not the first in the field of video art in the world that opens and dramatise the institution of masculinity through drag practices in socialism. It can be seen as a clear political statement in favour of lesbians and sadomasochism. It presents a clear political performative stance toward these issues.

Video made under the name of the group Meje kontrole st. 4// The Borders of Control no.4 (members Marina Grzinic, Aina Smid, Dusan Mandic and Barbara Borcic)
VHS, colour, 11.23 min; produced by SKUC-Forum, Ljubljana, 1982
Original title: Ikone glamourja, odmevi smrti
Marina Grzinic and Aina Smid
Camera,editing: Dusan Mandic
Music: Snakefinger “The Model” Lyrics originally by Kraftwerk
Language: Slovenian; subtitles: English

*Marina Gržinić is one of the major contemporary theoretical and critical figure in Slovenia.Since 1993 she is employed at the Institute of Philosophy at the Scientific and Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts (short ZRC-SAZU in Slovenian and SRC-SASA in English). Today she holds a position of professor and research adviser. For her scientific work she has received the Golden SASA sign in 2007.She is as well Full Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria from 2003. She publishes extensively, lectures worldwide and is involved in video art from 1982.

*Aina Smid is an art historian and artist.

see also: Marina Gržinić/Aina Šmid: The Threat of the Future (1983) >>