Agnès Varda: Vision of an Artist
Take a closer look at the work of this pioneering artist and visionary.
“I had an idea that I could make a film that was words, music, images and movement – I thought, that will be art”
Over six decades, Agnès Varda has established herself at the vanguard of world cinema and become a major influence on moving-image culture. On the eve of her presenting new commissioned work at Liverpool Biennial 2018, our two-month retrospective foregrounds Varda as an artist experimenting with the moving image and reflecting on artistic creativity and collaboration. With her training in art history and her experience as a photographer, Varda has pushed the boundaries of what cinema as an art form can achieve, creating her own singular style by blending reality with poetic imagery, and fiction with documentary. As our season shows, she’s created memorable and groundbreaking female protagonists, portrayed marginalised communities with a deeply felt humanism, and filmed rich portraits of other artists.
“The tool of every self-portrait is the mirror. You see yourself in it. Turn it the other way, and you see the world”
The final part of our retrospective highlights Varda’s exploration of the creative practice, as she reflects on what it means to be an artist. This is evident in the way she portrays the creative path of her late husband, filmmaker Jacques Demy. Varda also turns the lens on herself – on her role as an artist behind and in front of the camera – and reveals the importance of collaboration to her authorship. She has mastered the cinematic essay and continued to underline the importance of other art forms to her cinema – photography and painting most prominently. And throughout her career, Varda has pioneered new ways of expressing her artistic vision: she began using a digital camera in the early 2000s, and adopted social media more recently (follow Varda on Instagram @agnes.varda).
See our screenings of Vagabond.
See our Experimenta strand.
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'This June we honour the trailblazing women of yesterday, today and tomorrow with major retrospectives and events at BFI Southbank. Join us as we pay tribute to those who transcend their worlds to expand ours.'
Gaylene Gould, Head of Cinema and Events
Girls on Tops are a T-shirt celebration of women in film. They produce simple, bold tees that share the names of iconic women in cinema.