It Wasn’t Love (1992) by Sadie Benning
It Wasn’t Love (1992) (20:00) (Chicago)
by Sadie Benning
Sadie Benning illustrates a lustful encounter with a “bad girl,” through the gender posturing and genre interplay of Hollywood stereotypes: posing for the camera as the rebel, the platinum blonde, the gangster, the ’50s crooner, and the heavy-lidded vamp. Cigarette poses, romantic slow dancing, and fast-action heavy metal street shots propel the viewer through the story of the love affair. Benning’s video goes farther than romantic fantasy, describing other facets of physical attraction including fear, violence, lust, guilt and total excitement. As she puts it, “It wasn’t love, but it was something…” It was a chance to feel glamorous, sexy and famous, all at the same time.
*Digitized from 3/4″ Umatic
Sadie Benning is a lesbian videomaker who began making videos when she was 15-years old, using a Fisher Price Pixelvision toy camera. Benning’s early works were made in the privacy of her childhood bedroom, using scrawled and handwritten text from diary entries to record thoughts and images that reveal the longings and complexities of a developing identity. Evoking in turn playful seduction and painful honesty, Benning’s floating, close-up camera functions as a witness to her intimate revelations, and as an accomplice in defining her evocative experimental form. Her work emerges from a place half-innocent and half-adult—with all the honesty, humor, and desperation of a personality just coming into self-awareness, trapped and uneasy. Her more recent work moves beyond the Pixelvision camera and into animation, film and installation. Sadie Benning is a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow.