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Peggy Shaw – A Film Portrait

Tanya Syed

2014
16 minutes, 30 seconds, B&W/colour, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: 16mm film/ HD digital video
Available formats: HD Digital file

With improvised interviews, sketches to camera and monologues from Shaw’s solo shows, both filmmakerand performer muse over the nuances of performance and gaze.This film begins in shadows. The half – light colluding with cinematic references to implicate the queer body as dangerous. The poignancy of Shaw’s physicality against the brick wall resonates with current news of incarcerations. Yet what reflects back is potency, the aliveness of the fight.We are held by Shaw’s voice, her stories, as the film takes us toward a staged performance reminiscent of Vaudeville. Here our queer psyche troubles over our allocated status of novelty act. And in the same instant we are compelled by the transgressive presence of this fine raconteur, and beckoned away from parody into celebration.Filmed, edited and directed by Tanya SyedPeggy Shaw performs herself with extracts from Upwardly Mobile Home 1984, You’re Just Like My Father 1998 and Menopausal Gentleman 1997. Shot at Chisenhale Dance Studio London 2009