Kunsthall Stavanger is proud to present Vision Machines – the first survey exhibition in Scandinavia by American artist Peggy Ahwesh (b. 1954, Pennsylvania, USA).
Ahwesh is considered a pioneer and game changer within the fields of experimental film and video art. She has been questioning the politics of image-making using a variety of techniques and aesthetics for more than four decades.
Since the early 1980s, Ahwesh has forged a distinctive moving image practice in the ruins of originality and authority. Whether by working with nonprofessional performers or by repurposing existing images – such as a decaying pornographic film, the video game Tomb Raider, or computer-animated news coverage – Ahwesh embraces improvisatory strategies that probe the critical potential of play. With keen attentiveness to the materiality of bodies and media technologies alike, her works articulate a feminist commitment to the marginal and the minor.
Peggy Ahwesh, Vision Machines was produced by Spike Island in Bristol, where it was on display from September 25, 2021, to January 16, 2022. The exhibition is co-curated by Erika Balsom and Robert Leckie.
Peggy Ahwesh is an American experimental filmmaker and video artist. Born in 1954 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, she received her B.F.A. at Antioch College, Ohio. Retrospective exhibitions include: Girls Beware!, Whitney Museum of American Art; Filmmuseum, Brussels; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Peggy’s Playhouse, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. Screenings include: the Whitney Biennial (1991, 1995, 2002); New York Film Festival (1998, 2007); Flaherty Film Seminar (2003); Pompidou Center (2002, 2004); Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival (2017). Film festivals include: Berlin; London; Cairo; Toronto; Rotterdam; and Creteil, France. Certain Women (codirected with Bobby Abate) (2004) was an official selection at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the opening night film at the New York Underground Film Festival (2004). Other films include: Martina’s Playhouse (1989), The Deadman (codirected with Keith Sanborn) (1987), Strange Weather (1993), and Nocturne (1998), all of which are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Ahwesh has received grants from Jerome and Guggenheim Foundation fellowships, Alpert Award in the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and Art Matters. She is an Emeritus Professor of Film & Electronic Arts at Bard College, New York.