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Wedding Rituals

'Wedding Rituals' from Tereza Buskova on Vimeo.

'Tereza Buskova's beautiful super 8 film 'Wedding Rituals' (2007) addresses issues of gender identity, sexual fantasies, and power. A spectacular performance unrolls in front of our eyes: we see a half-naked woman, whose long, androgynous body is completely covered with white paint. Only her heart-shaped lips are bright red. Her face is framed by an intricately decorated head gear with long embroidered strings to either side; around her shoulders she wears a white lace collar, too short to cover her small breasts and fleshy nipples; a colourful folkore skirt sits on her narrow hips. The theatricality of her white face and the stunning costumes speak of the surreal beauty of Sergei Parajanov's 1960s cult movie The Colour of Pomegranates (1968). As in Parajanov's film, most of 'Wedding Rituals' consists of 'tableaux vivants': the camera smoothly pans across the motionless androgynous women, down to her hands: she holds two pale yellow paper stripes, which are placed around the necks of two male performers on all fours. Is this a masochistic fantasy? In another scene the three stand frozen, holding large cardboards of nineteenth century etchings showing a rabbit, a cock and a horse; symbols of sexual energy. The camera fades out and cuts back to the girl, this time she is marching across the room, her long legs lifted up into the air, and her hands stretched out to the side. Her costume and awkward movements recall the ballets of the 1920s, in particular Vaslav Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faune and Bronislava Nijinska's The Wedding. The subject of the film as well as its formal characteristics (slow motion, jerky camera movements, over and under exposure) is in the tradition of 1960s New York counter-culture films, particularly the work of Jack Smith and Steven Arnold. The melancholic cello soundtrack underlines the oneiric, trance-like atmosphere of the work. In her film and the related series of screen prints, Buskova conjured up a truly enigmatic world, which is at once exotic and modernist. (Maxa Zoller, 2007)

2007

Super 8 film, Duration: 9min 30sec

Sound by Bela Emerson - cellobela.com, Performers: Zoe Simon, Joni Levinson, Vangelis Legakis