What was the original brief?
The brief came directly from photographer Nick Knight. He asked various SHOWstudio contributors to respond to the recent ‘Punk: Chaos to Couture’ exhibition at the MET where he’d served as a consultant.
Rather than looking at the traditions of punk per se, my instinctive reaction to the brief was to consider certain aspects of its legacy and in particular post-punk movements like the Riot Grrrls. I am very interested in how the legacy of subversive punk tactics, protest and sloganing has been picked up by so many activists and groups such as Pussy Riot and Femen over the past couple of years. Also as an image-maker I have become more and more conscious of the hyper-sexualisation of young women in fashion, music and advertising so my initial thoughts were to make a film which would focus on these issues and turn this on its head.
What triggered your visual response?
The visual response came from a lot of research and particularly a photograph I found of artist Judy Chicago’s Fresno Feminist Experiment in the 1970s which had four female artists all in pink satin posing as cheerleaders with the word CUNT spelt out across their chests. The image just blew me out of the water, as it was so powerful. Out of curiosity I then began looking at clips of cheerleaders today, in particular the NFL cheerleaders, and was gob smacked when I realised how reminiscent of the Russ Meyer school of filmmaking they had become with cameras going up skirts, down tops and the generally anatomical nature of the filming.
These original inspirations coincided with a summer full of music videos that, as a woman, left me feeling pretty cold. I don’t need to name them but you know the ones I mean. So I decided to hold up a mirror to reflect the absurdity of this trend in some music videos, and indeed fashion film too, and subvert this trend with a smile.
Tell me about the shoot please, how it came about?
I was out in L.A working this summer and although I hadn’t planned to shoot it there due to cost, I ended up meeting a fantastic production company called Connect the Dots who helped me pull the whole thing together in a matter of days. Looking back the film would not have worked nearly as well had it been shot in a rainy field in Kent so I’m really glad it came together over there.
The girls in the video are all freelance dancers and their stories of what they are asked and indeed expected to do on some jobs were fairly worrying so together we worked on this piece to kick back at this trend. I worked with a very talented DOP called Andrew Shulkind who really got the brief and shot the piece beautifully.
Punk, Rear Guard
Director: Kathryn Ferguson
Concept : Kathryn Ferguson & Trine Hav Christensen
Producers: Wes Olson, Meghan Gallagher, Cassandra Bickman For Connect The Dots Inc
Director Of Photography: Andrew Shulkind
Stylist: Sophie Assa
Stylist Assistant : Angela Garner
Prop Stylist: Lisa Bazadona
Make-Up Artist: Mynxii White
Hairstylists: Nichole Chew And Christopher Farmer
Production Assistants: Philip Brock And Natalie O’moore
Choreographer: Claude Racine
Talent: Kristin Elliott, Micaela Johnson, Natalie Avakian, Anna Zahn, Caley Yavorsky, Taylor Trad, Nadine Candelario, Daphnique Springs, Heather Iniba
Sound Design : Lung
Editor : Carly Baker
Grade : Faith Millen @ Pundersons Gardens
Post : Oscar Granse
Story Board Artist : Duncan Mcgonigle
Text : Phoebe Frangoul
Special Thanks: Cast Partner, Siren Studios, Benchmark Camera, Syliva Farago
Concept, Direction, Edit and Soundtrack : Younji Ku
Cinematography: Heewon Cho
Performance: Sunyoung Ju
Styling: Yoolhee Ko
Hair & Make-up: Minchul Hong
Hair & Make-up Assistance: Minji Kim and Seulgi Park
Fashion: Hyeryon Lim
Girls Boil Eggs
Concept & Direction: Bella Freud
Cinematography: Seamus McGarvey
Performance: Gala Gordon and Alice Costelloe
Styling: Bella Freud
Hair: Jose Quijano
Make-up: Ciara O’ Shea
Edit: Charlie Moreton
Fashion: Bella Freud
Soundtrack: Bodies by the Sex Pistols
Production: Black Dog Films
Search and Destroy
Direction: Jez Tozer
Model: Ani Anitalo at Paparazzi Model Management Milan
Art Direction: Maria Araujo
Hair: Jose Quijano using Catwalk by TiGi
Make Up: Nami Yoshida at The Book Agency
Hair Assistance: Emma Bland
Direction assistance: Bridget Schurch
Edit & Illustration: Maisie Noble
Drums: Trevor Sharpe
Sync Sound: Edie Rohl
Production: Jez Tozer Studio
Pins and Needles
Director: Ruth Hogben
Designer: Bart Hess
Direction and edit: Penny Tu
Garment customisation and styling: Shao Yen Chen)
Make up and hair Se-Chun Liu
Assistance: Yu-Ju Chen, Hsin-Hui Chen
Sound: Collage made from ‘Record Play’ by Max Ebert, ‘Papas Fedora’ by Owlface, ‘Morning in the Forest’ by Mr. Rain and Thunder
Special thanks to Ben Evans, Megan Wray Schertler and aunt Zaida