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An Imperfect Shelter: Interpreting Female Friendship Through Video Art and Critical Theory

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An Imperfect Shelter: Interpreting Female Friendship Through Video Art and Critical Theory

Lucas, Simone (2018) An Imperfect Shelter: Interpreting Female Friendship Through Video Art and Critical Theory. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Representations of female friendships in film are often overly romantic, wrought with conflict, or overshadowed by heterosexual romance. In order to investigate and trouble these tropes, I undertook a research-creation project in which I made a prototype for an experimental video about female friendship entitled So You Know I Think About You Every Day. In this video, my friend Tilda* and I read our email correspondences as voice-overs. These voice-over readings are accompanied by images of an abandoned construction site. Within this site, two young women interpret our emails through dance. The dancers watch and perform for each other, but rarely manage to touch. In their dance, they strive towards an ideal friendship of reciprocity and closeness, but never quite reach it. The current document is a complement to this creative endeavor. I discuss the process of making video art and conduct a textual analysis of the finished piece. I approach the making of the video through the lens of interpretive autobiography. The autobiographical genre defies stable notions of subjects, memory and truth. Using my personal archive of emails as source material, I took inspiration from music videos and dance films to create an impressionistic, visual narrative. This narrative conveyed my interpretation of my email exchange and friendship with Tilda. I also borrowed from conventions of narrative storytelling and documentary editing in order to distil the broad reality of a relationship into a single concept and a single story. I analyze my video as a text in a theoretical chapter. First, I use Chantal Akerman’s film News from Home (1991) as a counterpoint to consider email correspondence and the construction of female intimacies through communication technologies. I then discuss the formal elements of So You Know I Think About you Every Day, in particular the use of movement, framing and space. I conclude with a discussion on embracing loss as an integral, though not a final, element of friendship as well as the possibility of play in both friendship and creation.
*Fictional name.

An Imperfect Shelter: Interpreting Female Friendship Through Video Art and Critical Theory

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lucas, Simone
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:30 August 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Miller, Elizabeth
Projects:
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Société et Culture
Funders:
  • S
Keywords:research-creation; friendship; feminist media studies; epistolary; e-mail; video art
ID Code:984257
Deposited By: SIMONE LUCAS
Deposited On:16 Nov 2018 15:31
Last Modified:16 Nov 2018 15:31
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