Institute of Contemporary Arts in London is presenting a retrospective on the films of Yvonne Rainer. Yvonne Rainer is a United States choreographer, dancer and filmmaker who has been a pioneering figure of the North American avant-garde movement since the 1960s. She is widely regarded as one of the most influential performance artists of the twentieth century.

The retrospective, which runs from 17 to 27 August 2023, features seven new restorations of Rainer's films, undertaken by the Museum of Modern Art and the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation. These films showcase Rainer's innovative and radical approach to cinema, which combines documentary, fiction, autobiography, humour, politics and aesthetics.

The opening night of the retrospective will feature Rainer's debut feature film, Lives of Performers (1972), which announced both her shift from dance to cinema, and her interest in 'women's stories' and melodrama. The film follows a group of dancers rehearsing for a performance, while their personal relationships and emotions are revealed through voice-over narration, letters and intertitles. Other highlights of the retrospective include Film About a Woman Who... (1974), a meditation on ambivalence that plays with cliché and soap opera conventions while telling the story of a woman whose sexual dissatisfaction masks an enormous anger; Kristina Talking Pictures (1976), a story of a female lion tamer from Budapest who comes to New York to become a choreographer; and Privilege (1990), a personal and political essay film that tackles issues of ageism, sexism, racism and classism through interviews, re-enactments and archival footage.

The retrospective will also feature a Q&A with Yvonne Rainer herself, who will discuss her career and her influences. This is a rare opportunity to see the work of one of the most original and influential artists of our time, in new digital restorations that bring out the richness and complexity of her vision.

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