Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival at SAAM: (Re)Making Space

March 2022

Woman kneeing in the desert
Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams, 2021, film still. Courtesy of the artist

Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for our fourth annual Women Filmmakers Festival. This year, the festival is presented exclusively online. Screenings and virtual programs are available throughout March in honor of Women’s History Month. Tune in to discover the inspiring work of contemporary filmmakers.  

The 2022 festival focuses on (Re)Making Space and features artists who, through their artistic choices, the conventions they overturn, and the visionary insights they bring to each frame, use their cameras and imaginations to reshape how we see the world. Through powerful and experimental artworks, they invite us to examine our relationships to and deeper understandings of chosen landscapes. These artists uncover delicate systems of coexistence and layered histories embedded in the grounds we all traverse. The 2022 featured artists are Sasha Wortzel, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Shirin Neshat

 

Sasha Wortzel

Sasha Wortzel (b. 1983, Fort Myers, Florida) blends archives and imaginaries and uses video, film, installation, sculpture, sound, and performance to explore the how this country’s past and present are inextricably linked through resonant spaces and their hauntings. Based between Miami and New York City, Wortzel specifically attends to sites and stories systematically erased or ignored from these regions’ histories. 

Virtual Film Screening with Artist Sasha Wortzel

Watch the Conversation

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) hosted a virtual screening and conversation with artist and filmmaker Sasha Wortzel about community and environmental stewardship. The program includes discussion about Wortzel’s early film Paint It Again (2010), as well as the in-progress documentary River of Grass. Inspired by Marjory Stoneman Douglas's 1947 book, The Everglades: River of Grass, this film ties Florida’s current vulnerability to climate change to ongoing legacies of settler colonialism and waves of displacement. All artwork clips have been removed from this event recording.

Wortzel was joined by Houston Cypress (Otter Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida), artist and founder of Love the Everglades Movement and consulting producer on River of Grass; and Saisha Grayson, time-based media curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

This program was part of SAAM’s fourth annual Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival, which was presented completely online and ran from March 1-23, 2022, in honor of Women’s History Month. In 2022, the festival focused on the theme of “(Re)Making Space,” and featured the following artists: Sasha Wortzel, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Shirin Neshat. Through their artistic choices, the conventions they overturn, and the visionary insights they bring to each frame, each artist uses their cameras and imaginations to reshape how we see the world. Through powerful and experimental artworks, they invite us to examine our relationships to and deeper understandings of chosen landscapes.

This program was made possible by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story.

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (b. 1972, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an award-winning film, video, and installation artist. She is also an activist, organizer, and co-founder of Beta-Local, an art platform and experimental education program in San Juan. Her powerful, unabashedly feminist and anticolonial art counters the ethnographic, othering gaze with an ethical, embedded, collaborative engagement, insisting that all are interconnected and implicated within her chosen subjects and spaces. 

Virtual Screening with Artist Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Watch the Conversation

On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) hosted artist and filmmaker Beatriz Santiago Muñoz for a virtual film screening and conversation about her work that explores the picturesque landscapes, fraught histories, and complex demographics of Puerto Rico. In Otros Usos (Other Uses) (2014), Santiago Muñoz captures, through the view of a refracting prism, the deceptively beautiful island of Vieques, which the US military used as a weapons testing site for six decades. Through this creative play with light, reflection, and distance, the artist imagines other uses for this terrain after the military’s pressured exit from the island in 2003. In Gosila (2018), the artist explores the disordered aftermath of hurricane Maria. By presenting an intimate exploration of often-stereotyped spaces, Santiago Muñoz’s reflections on her home fracture expectations and illuminate her subjects in new ways. All artwork clips have been removed from this event recording.

Santiago Muñoz is joined in conversation by Taína Caragol, curator of painting and sculpture and Latino art and history at the National Portrait Gallery, and Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

This program was part of SAAM’s fourth annual Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival, which was presented completely online and ran from March 1-23, 2022, in honor of Women’s History Month. In 2022, the festival focused on the theme of “(Re)Making Space,” and featured the following artists: Sasha Wortzel, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Shirin Neshat. Through their artistic choices, the conventions they overturn, and the visionary insights they bring to each frame, each artist uses their cameras and imaginations to reshape how we see the world. Through powerful and experimental artworks, they invite us to examine our relationships to and deeper understandings of chosen landscapes.

This program was made possible by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, and was co-presented with the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Shirin Neshat

Internationally acclaimed artist Shirin Neshat (b. 1957, Qazvin, Iran) works across photography, film, video, and performance to consider the intersection of individual lives, imposed ideologies, and cultural divisions. Living in the US since Iran’s Islamic revolution in 1979, Neshat creates art that reflects on contrasting experiences between women and men (in Iran and beyond), countries and regions, ideals and values, ancient and post-modern worlds, and entanglement and exile.

Virtual Screening with Artist Shirin Neshat

Watch the Conversation

On Wednesday, March 23, 2022, the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) hosted internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat for a virtual film screening and conversation about her latest body of work, Land of Dreams (2019-2021). Part fiction and part documentary, Land of Dreams is a multidisciplinary project that reflects on New Mexico’s diversity and fraught history. All artwork clips have been removed from this event recording. Neshat was joined in conversation by Adriel Luis, curator of digital & emerging practice at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and Saisha Grayson, curator of time-based media at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

This program was part of SAAM’s fourth annual Virtual Women Filmmakers Festival, which was presented completely online and ran from March 1-23, 2022, in honor of Women’s History Month. In 2022, the festival focused on the theme of “(Re)Making Space,” and featured the following artists: Sasha Wortzel, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Shirin Neshat. Through their artistic choices, the conventions they overturn, and the visionary insights they bring to each frame, each artist uses their cameras and imaginations to reshape how we see the world. Through powerful and experimental artworks, they invite us to examine our relationships to and deeper understandings of chosen landscapes.

This program was made possible by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story, and was co-presented with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Credit

Women Filmmakers Festival at SAAM is made possible by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Because of Her Story.

The logo of the Smithsonian's Women's History Initiative