Agnes Varda Between Film, Photography, and Art

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Univ of California Press, 2018 - Art - 238 pages
"Proceeding chronologically, from the beginning of Varda's career in the 1950s to the present, this book focuses on moments where Varda's invocation of different artistic traditions within film opens onto complex commentary on broader aesthetic, theoretical, feminist, and political discussions. I reinterpret some of her best known films, but also focus attention on other less familiar works that merit further consideration. I reassess individual works with the goal of interrogating Varda's visual dialogues to reconstruct the cultural politics of the periods in which they were made. This process of reading new strands of meaning across Varda's oeuvre relies on a richly interdisciplinary approach. The result is a new cultural history of Varda and her work that makes clear how she actively engaged and subtly broadened some of the most advanced aesthetic and political discourse of her day. Many of Varda's sophisticated commentaries on controversial issues of her time have receded from view in the biographical frameworks in which her work often has been considered. The range of her engagement in her work with cinema, art history, photography, and visual culture has not been fully recognized. This decontextualization of Varda's work has been compounded by the frequent emphasis on her exceptionality within her fields of practice. In contrast, I view Varda's work as a projection of cultural history that illuminates multiple disciplines, including art history, cinema studies, visual culture, and modern French history"--Provided by publisher.


La Pointe Courte
Questioning Ideals
Feminist Politics
Identity and Urban
Autobiography Memory and Retrospective

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About the author (2018)

Rebecca J. DeRoo is Associate Professor in the Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the author of The Museum Establishment and Contemporary Art, recipient of the 2007 Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies. She cocurated the retrospective Agnès Varda: (Self-)Portraits, Facts and Fiction at the George Eastman Museum (2016).

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