Eve Fowler's Artist's Choice Screenings


15 June 2018

As a multi-arts organisation where a wide range of art forms sit side by side, we’re lucky that for each exhibition in our galleries we can offer the exhibiting artist a chance to choose a film (or films) to screen in our cinema during their exhibition’s run. This is something that isn't usually possible at other galleries, giving visitors (and the DCA team) insight into an artist’s influences, and a chance to connect with the exhibition in new ways. For our cinema audiences, we hope it will encourage them to see something different and perhaps help them to find a new route into the galleries.

For her new exhibition, what a slight. what a sound. what a universal shudder., Eve Fowler has selected four beautiful films: Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life  is first up on Sun 17 June, then we're showing Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul on Tue 26 June; on Wed 11 July it's Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idahoand last but by no means least, Greta Schiller's Paris Was a Woman is on Sat 28 July.

We asked Eve why she’s selected each film and then caught up with a couple of DCA team members about why they’re excited to see them.

"certain feelings of alienation, of being ‘other’ in some way"

Eve Fowler: "I’m drawn to these films because of the way they explore certain feelings of alienation, of being ‘other’ in some way.

Imitation of Life is a remarkable film, visually, and Douglas Sirk’s own closeted identity as a gay man can be glimpsed throughout this beautiful melodrama that looks at race, class and gender in 1950s America. 

Sirk’s visual style and content influenced many of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s films in the 1970s. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, much like some of Sirk’s best work, explores issues of intolerance and social oppression, and intensifies these studies of ‘other’ across racial and national divides. 

My Own Private Idaho is simply a favourite film of mine from the 90s that I think is a perfect expression of the unrequited love that most young queer people experience when they are coming out. 


Finally, when I started making work using Gertrude Stein’s texts a friend suggested that I watch Greta Schiller's documentary Paris Was A Woman. This film tells the story of women writers and artists (mostly lesbians) in the early 1900s in Paris, who created vital spaces for art and literature to flourish in spite of so much systematic oppression around them. I always find this film inspiring." 

Paris Was a Woman- trailer from Jezebel Productions on Vimeo.

"wonderfully diverse yet precisely curated" 

Jessica McGoff, Visitor Assistant, says: "Eve Fowler’s choice of screenings are wonderfully diverse yet precisely curated - spanning from Sirk’s melodramas of the 1950s all the way to the punky New Queer Cinema movement of the 1990s. It’s a rare treat to see both classics and overlooked gems on the big screen."

Eoin Dara, Head of Exhibitions: "It's been such a joy to talk with Eve about her book selections for our Info Space and her film choices to coincide with her exhibition - we've basically arrived at what is my dream reading and watch list. Feminist texts, radical poetry and powerful queer cinema - I couldn't ask for more. Regarding the films, I'm a huge fan of Fassbinder and Van Sant's work in general, I've not yet had the pleasure of seeing Sirk's Imitation of Life on the big screen, and I've never seen Greta Schiller’s documentary about the incredible women of the Left Bank in Paris. I can't wait to see them all at DCA whilst Eve's stunning work is in the building at the same time."

"Feminist texts, radical poetry and powerful queer cinema"

Meg Greenhorn, Communications Officer: "I love the Artist's Choice Screening section of our cinema programme as it gives you a chance to see something on the big screen that you might not otherwise, on the advice of a trusted curator. It's particularly exciting with an artist such as Eve Fowler with her intense connection to feminist texts.  Having already spent time with her work in the galleries I'm really looking forward to seeing these films to understand more about Eve's practice, to get closer to the themes of her work and of course, there's the fact I get to see some cinematic masterpieces that I have (shamefully) never seen before!" 

Jennifer Phin, Communications Officer on My Own Private Idaho: "The first arthouse-type film to enter my teenage radar, mainly because it made it to the review pages of Smash Hits thanks to 90s pin-ups Keanu and River. I was too young to understand the subtleties, but My Own Private Idaho was a glimpse into an adult life that was more complex and difficult than Hollywood had let me believe until that point. Unrequited love, queer romance, a touch of Shakespeare - completely unforgettable."

The good Dr. Mark Kermode, Film Critic, (okay, so he doesn't work here....but we think his recommendation for Ali: Fear Eats the Soul is worth checking out anyway!) 

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