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Leonora (The Joker)

Lucy Skaer

Available formats: 16mm

The silent 16mm film Leonora (The Joker) (2006), initially presented in an installation that paid oblique homage to the Surrealist Leonora Carrington. Barely forty seconds long and looped continuously, the film establishes a couple views of Carrington’s home studio in Mexico followed by shots of her tremulous hands and of Carrington herself.Carrington addresses the camera for several seconds, yet her discourse is thwarted by Skaer’s rapid montage and, above all, the film’s muteness. Though there is the temptation to ascribe some kind of violence or Oedipal requital to these gags, their effect is less to silence the historical figure than to distill her language into an image – an image, precisely, of the artist speaking. (Joanna Fiduccia)