16mm and super 16mm to digital
8 min. | B&W | sound | no dialogue |
GRAFT: in horticulture, the joining together of plant parts by means of tissue regeneration. Grafting is the act of placing a portion of one plant (bud or scion) into or on a stem, root, or branch of another (stock) in such a way that a union will be formed and the partners will continue to grow.
Following a similar approach, several 8mm and 16mm home movies (c1930s - c1970s) are assembled into a hand-made collage reflecting on the personal and cultural process of "becoming" a woman. The original found footage, mainly portraying women intent in their domestic lives, has been collected obsessively from eBay auctions, then remediated through a number of artisanal techniques: celluloid decay in soil and water, emulsion scratching, painting on film, digital manipulation and finally, emulsion lifting. The latter by soaking the film in a bath, slowly removing the image from its base, and placing it on another, a celluloid graft.
Throughout the film, traditional milestones of western catholic culture punctuate a woman's chronological evolution from childhood to death: first communion, confirmation, marriage, motherhood, housewife-hood, etc. In an odd paradox, the filmmaker has experienced none of these moments in her life. Troubling these images acts as a visceral intervention in which the personal lived experience of the filmmaker is interwound with the iconography of womanhood in the collected home movies, relying on eBay as an invaluable repository to counter the official archives.