About

The subject(s) of my films are women through my own self-inscription into texts and narratives about female characters, experience and as subjects. I combined the subjective voice and narrative with the moving image as a means of enabling a feminine perspective.

An ‘intense subject’ is at the centre of my films.  I  give importance to authorship to overcome absence and ostracism through presence – as ‘woman’.  I revert to the third person from now on.

A font of energy is expressed in vocalisation and spoken narration through the woman as text through which she mediates herself in the act of inscription where the ‘feminine’ intersects with or breaks out of, the institutional.  Archetypes and real women – saints and mystics are the empowering figures in her work – The Virgin, the visionaries, Chapter 18 of Ulysses, St Teresa of Avila, that she adopts in her inscriptive process to transport the viewer.  She inter texts these figures into scripts for her film soundtracks.  Her work searches for the possibility of speaking through inscriptive practice and for communicating emotion through the trope of the subject – within the visual rigour of  experimental film language.  She developed a style of camera movement and fast editing in her films of the 90s which are  released on the DVD Rupture/Rapture/Jouissance – The Religious Trilogy 1990-1997 and which mix religious iconography with psychoanalysis, experimental film and vocals.

She negotiated the absence of the subjective in the legacy of structural film through Peter Gidal’s structural/materialist concept of the ontology of film within the ethos of the London Filmmakers’ Co-operative – where she was based 1981-1987 making 16mm films – and still does. She also adopted non-film theory to do this – Julia Kristeva’s writing, psychoanalysis as a critical tool to deconstruct the gaze, feminist literary theory and criticism mediated through the intersection of L’ecriture feminine (broadly incorporative of different psychoanalytic approaches to creative production and the ‘feminine’), a Catholic understanding of the image and the trope of religious ecstasy, to produce a form of heightened filmic experience which is a territory that she conceived in the films of the 90s and introduced into experimental film.

She produced soundtracks with singers and experimental vocalists combined with her own speaking voice to reach the expressive potential of each film.   The original film soundtrack to “Now I am yours” (1993) is performed by American vocalist Shelley Hirsch and is released on the CD States and the soundtrack to her feature film Temenos (1997) BFI is performed by Tuvan singer Sainkho Namtchylak with parts by Shelly Hirsch and English soprano Catherine Bott and is released on CD by Leo Records. Her method in experimental filmmaking developed her concept of materiality as a form of close working and of pressure on the image. As a woman filmmaker today, she continues a jouissance-based/seeking self inscription as a form of visibility.

Since 2010 when she was invited to take part in the important show From Floor to Sky (2010) she has also shown installations in historic, industrial and religious buildings .

In 2010-2016 she made a group of film Portraits;  Communion (2010) a black and white 35mm film of her daughter as a young girl, photographed by Oscar winning cinematographer Billy Williams BSC,  Jennifer (2015), a feature-length documentary of a childhood acquaintance who became an enclosed Carmelite nun and resides with the Carmelites in Ronda, Spain and Sorelle Povere di Santa Chiara (2015-16) which includes a video of the ten-woman community of enclosed contemplative Franciscan nuns in their monastery in San Marino – who were gracious in accepting her presence to record their life, a 6-channel sound installation, a silent 16mm film and two artists’ publications.  These studies are made using observational reality and documentary forms.

Una Vaga Zona Geográfica/ A Vague Geographic Zone is an ongoing cycle of visual, audio works and writing which includes Terrace (2012), Gibraltar-Genoa (2013), Apparitions (2013, 2017, 2018), Meteorologies (2013, 2019) and  “..and the figtrees in the Alameda gardens” Mousse Publishing (2013) a mapping of memory, photographs, places, novels, films, set in the  climate and geography of a small region around Gibraltar and the Straits.

Her films are in the collection of the British Film Institute National Film Archive.Visionary Landscapes is an illustrated monograph by Black Dog Publishing (2005).

In 2017 she completed a PhD by publication Experimental Film: Catholic and Feminist Readings of my films 2010-2016.

Writing has been an important part of her work and she was a member of the editorial collective of the journal Undercut (1982-1988), editor of the important issue Cultural Identities No 17 and co-Editor of the Undercut Reader (2002).  The magazine was based at the London Filmmakers’ Co-op and had a central role in experimental film culture throughout the 80s especially in validating artists’ writing on their own and others’ work  – which she supports. Her current academic research is in Women’s Experimental Film and its historical intersection with the London Filmmakers’ Co-op in the 80s.    She convened the roundtable discussion Women of the London Filmmaker’s Co-op  (MIRAJ Vol 4 1+2) 2016.

Her new film I Die of Sadness Crying for You (2019) is an essay film on ‘copla’ a genre of Spanish song about women’s experiences of ostracism and unrequited love.

Nina Danino lives and works in London. She is Reader in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Filming First Memory, Royal College of Art, 1981