Item Details

Video Works of Sadie Benning: Volume Two

Sadie Benning
Online; Online Video; Video
1999; 1992
Volume Two includes the pixelvision works made in 1992: A Place Called Lovely, It Wasn't Love, and Girl Power.
Sadie Benning
Video Data Bank
A Place Called Lovely references the types of violence individuals find in life, from explicit beatings, accidents, and murders to the more insidious violence of lies, social expectations, and betrayed faith. Benning collects images of this socially-pervasive violence from a variety of sources, tracing events from childhood—movies, tabloids, children's games (like mumbledy-peg)—personal experiences, and those of others. Throughout, she uses small toys as props and examples, handling and controlling them the way we are in turn controlled by larger, violent forces.
In It Wasn’t Love, Benning illustrates a lustful encounter with a “bad girl” through the gender posturing and genre interplay of Hollywood stereotypes—posing for the camera as the rebel, the platinum blonde, the gangster, the 50s crooner, and the heavy-lidded vamp. Cigarette poses, romantic slow dancing, and fast-action heavy-metal street shots propel the viewer through the story of the love affair. Benning’s video goes farther than romantic fantasy—describing other facets of physical attraction including fear, violence, lust, guilt, and total excitement. As Benning puts it: “It wasn’t love, but it was something."
Set to music by Bikini Kill (an all-girl band from Washington), Girl Power is a raucous vision of what it means to be a radical girl in the 90s. Benning relates her personal rebellion against school, family, and female stereotypes as a story of personal freedom, telling how she used to model like Matt Dillon and skip school to have adventures alone. Informed by the underground “riot grrrl” movement, this tape transforms the image politics of female youth, rejecting traditional passivity and polite compliance in favor of radical independence and a self-determined sexual identity.
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Films may be streamed to current faculty, staff, and students via a secure, password-protected institutional network until September 15, 2018.
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A Place Called Lovely

It Wasn't Love

Girl Power