UNTITLED (Dyketactics Revisited), 2005
Rosenfeld’s Untitled (Dyketactics Revisited), a 16 mm film transfer to video, is a revisiting, both an embrace and deviation, of Barbara Hammer’s 1974 film Dyketactics (Mazur, Queering the Wild Zone…, 15). This work is a pure corporeal expression of bodies interacting, mingling, touching. Bodies fragment, superimpose and melt into one another in mutual synthesis; bodies engage in playful actions that unfold slowly, quietly; bodies exist independent of social codes, and move freely through an ambiguous urban “utopia” … or do they? Rosenfeld’s film/video strongly evokes the aesthetics of the original Dyketactics through her formal use of camera movement and superimposition, as well as her melancholic rendition of Hammer’s original soundtrack. Important departures are revealed through Rosenfeld’s relocation of bodies from the natural and pastoral settings in Hammer’s Dyketactics to the urban and concrete margins of a city (Youmans, Performing Essentialism, 127). Rosenfeld’s utopia is not an escape from the city – rather, it exists within it (Mazur, 16). Even more fitting, the community occupying this urban space is queer(ed). Gender presentation is expanded in Dyketactics Revisited; some bodies have bound chests or strap-on dildos, while others oppose any sort of gender imposition through the fragmentation of shots and the androgyny of the artist’s subjects. Liz Rosenfeld references both history and future in her translation of Hammer’s 1974 lesbian utopia through her own contemporary, fluid lens.
This work has been screened extensively at venues including The Tate Modern, The C/O Gallery, The Kitchen, The Hammer Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, as well as many international film festivals.
Text by Jana Morrison
Photo Credit: Christa Holka