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5 Cents a Peek

Vanessa Woods – 2007, 6:33 min, 16mm/MiniDV, San Francisco, CA

5 Cents a Peek is a filmic interpretation of a poem by Sharon Olds wherein the circus becomes a metaphor for a woman’s performance in, and for, the world. The film incorporates animation, archival circus footage and distortions of the female form to explore ideas of performance, spectatorship and the male gaze. The eye is a reoccurring trope in the film, referencing the spectator/audience looking at the subject and the subject looking inward at herself. Because the circus is a spectacle whose very existence derives from performance and illusion, the performative and illusory aspects of the film are exaggerated. The audio of the film draws upon this concept, wherein the narrator stops and starts the poem over and over thereby making the practice and performance of the poem evident.

Vanessa Woods graduated with an MFA in film, with honors, from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artwork and films have been exhibited internationally and she has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship for Film from the San Francisco Arts Commission, a Film Arts Foundation Personal Works Grant, and the San Francisco Art Institute’s MFA film Fellowship. She was awarded a MacDowell Colony Residency and a Residency in Pont-Aven, France, through the Museum of Pont-Aven. Woods has produced eight films that have been broadcast nationally and screened internationally, including the Education Channel, the Centre International d’Art in France, The Anthology Film Archives in New York, and San Francisco International Film Festival. Woods in currently working on several new films, including a feature-length documentary titled Mimita, ( which follows a family of women raising their adopted child in Bronx, New York.

Artists' Television Access is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, all-volunteer, artist-run, experimental media arts gallery that has been in operation since 1984. ATA hosts a series of film and video screenings, exhibitions and performances by emerging and established artists and a weekly cable access television program. | Site Design by Gilbert