She is the other gaze

"The machismo here was vehement." Any of the artists could have made this statement: Renate Bertlmann, Linda Christanell, Lore Heuermann, Karin Mack, or Margot Pilz. What unites the women, who were all part of the Viennese art scene in the 1970s, is the memory of an era of humiliating paternalism. In She is the other gaze, filmmaker Christiana Perschon lets these women, born between 1936 and 1943, tell their stories of male ignorance and the invisibility associated with that, of denial of their creativity, of a situation in which their only possibility to learn was from men. When the artists talk about sexual assault, about helplessness in the face of patriarchal structures in society and the family, about being defined by their role as mothers, and a lack of autonomy, the old rage still flashes through at times. Nonetheless, what defines the documentary is its protagonists´ passion and positivity. Their resistance ultimately found a prolific echo in the Austrian women´s movement — in initiatives such as the Aktion unabhängiger Frauen (AUF) and the feminist artists´ network Intakt. Encouraged by the Frankfurter Schule slogan "the private is the political," and reinforced by a collective of likeminded women, these forerunners found the courage to transform what was pressing on their minds into artistic works. Perschon provides this act of self-empowerment a creative form in She is the other gaze: the white primed canvases by the artist Iris Dostal serve as a symbolic platform in the film, as a stage for narration and work. A respectful free space emerges in which the artists are invited to collaborate with the director in presenting and staging their works. (Anne Katrin Feßler)
Translation: Lisa Rosenblatt

Christiana Perschon´s documentary She is the other gaze presents a series of interviews with five female visual artists: Renate Bertlmann, Linda Christanell, Lore Heuermann, Karin Mack, Margot Pilz. Most of these artists started their careers in the 1970s, in Vienna, and the film explores the relation between their practice and feminism. As we see them working in their studios, performing in front of the camera or commenting on some of their pieces, they recall the difficulties, constraints and resistances encountered at the beginning of their paths. She is the other gaze has a unified tone (minimalist, drenched in white, without music), while building each segment as a particular collaboration between the artist and the filmmaker, in an intergenerational dialogue whose traces are visible on screen. Equally, each one of the artists featured has a unique approach, a specific artistic vision, but their trajectories have all been informed, in one way or another, by women´s issues: the fight against patriarchal structures, the lack of visibility, an intimate relation to the objects of everyday domesticity, the difficulties in negotiating family life and artistic ambitions. (Viennale 2018, Cristina Álvarez López)

Orig. Title
Sie ist der andere Blick
90 min
Orig. Language
Christiana Perschon
Christiana Perschon
Christiana Perschon
Christiana Perschon
Christiana Perschon
Linda Christanell, Karin Mack, Iris Dostal, Lore Heuermann, Renate Bertlmann, Margot Pilz
Supported by
Theodor Körner Preis 2018, Land Niederösterreich, Wien Kultur, BKA - innovative film
Available Formats
DCP 2K flat (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
Frame Rate
24 fps
Color Format
colour, b/w
Digital File (prores, h264)
Festivals (Selection)
Viennale - Vienna Int. Film Festival
Wien - Frauenfilmtage
Graz - Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films
München - Int. Dokumentarfilmfestival
Wroclaw - New Horizons Festival
Duisburg - Duisburger Filmwoche
Jihlava - IDFF East Silver Market
Kassel - Dokumentarfilm- & Videofest
Leeds - Int. FilmFestival
Porto - Post Doc
Hamburg - Dokumentarfilmwoche