This programme of artists’ films invites us to reflect on the interplay of anatomy and cinema
Following from Tate Modern’s 2022 Counter Encounters series titled Several Encounters over Plants, Science, Body, Anatomy explores the intersection of film and medical technology. Curated with Sonia Epstein, from the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, the second day of our programme includes two short films by Ana Mendieta and Jyoti Mistry, as well as the premiere of Sasha Litvintseva's and Beny Wagner's feature film, My Want of You Partakes of Me.
Both Ana Mendieta's and Jyoti Mistry's films are uniquely situated within bodies.
In a rarely-screened, untitled short film completed in the 1970s, Mendieta displays her body through the use of X rays, raising awareness of the policing of women's bodies, across time and space.
Forty-five years later, Mistry's Cause of Death revisits the theme, highlighting feminicide and the recurrence of violence against women. Through the filmmaker's masterful handling of archival film footage and animation, structural violence is exposed. The film is structured in five short vignettes, and moves along to the rhythm of spoken word poetry by South African artist Napo Masheane.
Another set of five short stories close the series. In My Want of You Partakes of Me, Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner source snippets from different moments in history to narrate a fundamental change in perception. Through the feature, the filmmakers elucidate how the physical and perceptual boundaries of our bodies have never ceased to evolve. From the poet Dante Alighieri to a Chinese molecular biology lab, from the science fiction author Octavia Butler to the late nineteenth century French physiologist Claude Bernard, the duo of filmmakers weave a fragmented narrative exploring how self-recognition emerges from different historical models of the body.
The first day of the programme will take place as part of Tate Modern Lates on Friday 24 November 2023.
Supported by In Between Art Film and organised in collaboration with Museum of the Moving Image, New York.