Enter the VardaVerse: Women’s Liberation Through Film, 1971–1977

Mar 2 – Apr 8, 2023

Continuing our celebration of the prolific feminist filmmaker Agnès Varda (1928–2019), whose work and influences are highlighted in the museum’s Director’s Inspiration gallery on view in the exhibition Stories of Cinema , part two of the VardaVerse explores the rich period between 1971 and 1977 when women around the world took up cameras to tease out the theories and the demands of second wave feminism through cinema. Beginning in 1971, when Varda joined hundreds of women in signing the Manifeste des 343 , a French petition started by women who obtained illegal abortions, and running through 1977, when Varda’s One Sings, The Other Doesn’t beautifully showcased an intense female friendship through the lens of the women’s movement, this series looks to radical works made by women in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, France, West Germany, Italy, Lebanon, the former People’s Republic of the Congo, and the United States to more deeply understand Varda’s films through a symbolic dialogue with her international contemporaries. Within this collection are stories of labor struggles, body politics, sex work, liberation movements, spirituality and religion, and sexuality, which, when considered together, form a snapshot of a fertile era for independent productions by and for women, just one locus of which is Varda’s vibrant, activist oeuvre.

Programmed and notes by K.J. Relth-Miller.