Vanessa Woods
5 Cents a Peek
2007
5 Cents a Peek, RT: 06:33, 16mm b&w film transferred to video, sound (2007)

5 Cents a Peek is a filmic interpretation of a poem by Sharon Olds wherein the circus becomes a metaphor for a woman’s performance in, and for, the world. The film incorporates animation, archival circus footage and distortions of the female form to explore ideas of performance, spectatorship and the male gaze. The eye is a reoccurring trope in the film, referencing the spectator/audience looking at the subject and the subject looking inward at herself. Because the circus is a spectacle whose very existence derives from performance and illusion, the performative and illusory aspects of the film are exaggerated. The audio of the film draws upon this concept, wherein the narrator stops and starts the poem over and over thereby making the practice and performance of the poem evident.
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