The Documents programme explores the relationships between art and publishing, and other subjects that include the effects of archive on narratives of art history, the artist’s book and publishing as an artistic practice. This edition, therefore, presents the Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir, an audiovisual archive that comprises the first feminist video in France and representations of women in the mass media.
The Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir was founded in 1982 by three members of the collective Les Insoumuses (Defiant Muses): actress Delphine Seyrig and video producers Carole Roussopoulos and Ioana Wieder, the subjects of the exhibition Defiant Muses. Delphine Seyrig and the Feminist Video Collectives in France in the 1970s and 1980s organised by the Museo (running from 25 September 2019 to 23 March 2020). Along with other groups like Le lézard du péril mauve et de la guerrière pamplemousse (The dangerously purple lizard and grapefruit fighter), Vidéo Out and Vidéa, Les Insoumuses were part of a French militant movement for women’s liberation that materialised in the wake of May ‘68. Through new portable video camera technology, a new medium enabling women to build their own image, experiences of the feminist movement were documented, and, with productions characterised by irreverence and humour and the playful use of montage, they questioned representations of women in film and television in the 1970s.
The Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir is the first archive centre devoted to the history and memory of women and with the aim of archiving, disseminating and promoting this intensive first decade of feminist video production in France and films on the history of women and their rights, struggles and creations. Since reopening in 2004, the Centre, in addition to its pioneering role in feminist archive, is an institution focused on education in the image, analysing the persistence of gender stereotypes in the mass media and organising workshops with vulnerable collectives, thereby upholding the developments that led to its foundation. The Centre will be presented by Nicole Fernández Ferrer.
Nicole Fernández Ferrer is an archivist, educator and audiovisual researcher specialised in early feminist video and film. She is also general delegate of the Centre audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir, where she coordinates the projects Travelling feminista, on artists’ archives, and Genrimages, on sexual stereotypes in images.