Rena Del Pieve Gobbi
The Transmutation of Visceral Desecration.
The experiences of my life as a young woman living in the Downtown Eastside, an unarguably hazardous neighborhood, are the primary source of the structure of this film. I started photographing the city of Vancouver in response to being confronted on the bus each day with images in the daily papers from the trial of Robert Pickton.
Reinsertion, as a film, explores the content of this issue through the material of the film and then abandons the content for the material. I depict the city of Vancouver as a hostile, dangerous predator of marginalized women — women whose bodies and lives are in constant danger.
As an abstract film, Reinsertion is my personal response to the issue of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside missing women. As such, it presents a difficult challenge. My goal with this footage was to create an abstract film from literal images of Vancouver — images with which the viewer may already be familiar. I communicate to the viewer the various thought processes and experiences that were distilled from the historical practice of experimental and abstract film process. I then try to emote through the construction of film.
The idea of conveying the emotions of women dealing with the aftermath of sexual violence through film is not a new one. However, creating a film about sexual violence without depicting the victim or any representation of physical violence is another matter entirely. By referencing the women of the Downtown Eastside through their surroundings, and filming the city rather than the women, I have attempted to extricate the eroticism of the ‘streetwalker’ and to subvert the “determining male gaze”.¹ It is my hope that the visceral affect of the film on the autonomic nervous system of the viewer will communicate directly as a synesthetic experience. The images go by too quickly to process, leaving the viewer with only their gut physical and emotional responses. Reinsertion, along with my other abstract narratives of sexual violence, engages the viewer on a visceral level. You are not meant to like this film. ¹ Mulvey, Laura. Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema