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Abigail Child


Abigail Child has been at the forefront of experimental media and writing since the 1980s, having completed more than fifty film/video works and installations, and written 7 books. An acknowledged pioneer in montage, Child addresses the interplay between sound and image, to make, in the words of LA Weekly: “brilliant exciting work… a vibrant political filmmaking that’s attentive to form.”  Her films, compulsive visual and aural legerdemain, have been widely awarded and shown internationally. Her major projects include Is This What You Were Born For?: a 9 year, 7-part work; B/Side: a film that negotiates the politics of internal colonialism; 8 Million: a collaboration with avant-percussionist Ikue Mori that re defines "music video"; The Suburban Trilogy: a modular digi-film that prismatically examines a politics of place and identity; and MirrorWorlds: a multiscreen installation that incorporates parts of Child's "Subtitled" series to explore narrative excess. Her most recent work is a trilogy of feature films, including UNBOUND, an imaginary 'home movie' of the life of Mary Shelley, teenage author of Frankenstein; ACTS & INTERMISSIONS, on the life of anarchist Emma Goldman in America; and the last, ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES which explores human-machine interactions in the 21st century.

Winner of the Rome Prize, a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellowships, the Stan Brakhage Award, as well as participating in two Whitney Biennials (1989 and 1997) Child has had numerous retrospectives worldwide. These include Buena Vista Center in San Francisco, Anthology Film Archive (in conjunction with The New Museum, NY), Harvard Cinematheque, Reservoir, Switzerland, EXIS Korea, the Cinoteca in Rome and Image Forum in Tokyo. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art NY, the Whitney Museum, Centre Pompidou, Museo Reina Sofía, and in numerous international film festivals, including New York, Rotterdam, Locarno, and London. Harvard University Cinematheque has created an Abigail Child Collection dedicated to preserving and exhibiting her film work.

Child is also the author of six books of poetry (A Motive for Mayhem, Scatter Matrix and Mouth To Mouth among them) and a book of critical writings: THIS IS CALLED MOVING: A Critical Poetics of Film from University of Alabama Press (2005). Child is emerita professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1999-2016), Tufts University. As head of the department for 9 of her 16 years, Child has been instrumental in building an interdisciplinary media/film program; her work and practice have inspired several generations of younger artists.

Update: 27 September 2022


Has participated in

Female filmmakers

Xcèntric Archive

Scenes in the life of Mary Shelley

Round tables Xperimenta'09

Projections Xperimenta'09