For years, Dora García has meditated on the legacy of Bolshevik feminist Alexandra Kollontai, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Norway, Sweden, and Mexico. García’s movies, books, and exhibitions element how Kollontai’s materialist imaginative and prescient of ladies’s liberation — rooted in free love and abolition of the nuclear household — was by no means absolutely realized. Two of García’s current movies are screening as a part of her exhibition at Amant, Revolution, fulfill your promise!. Each foster dialogue between Kollontai’s work and communism in Mexico. Love with Obstacles (2020) follows six girls analyzing Kollontai’s archives in Moscow, whereas If I Might Want for One thing (2021) focuses on abolitionist struggles in Mexico Metropolis, the place feminists are forging networks of survival within the ashes of hetero-patriarchal buildings.
As the primary feminine ambassador in historical past, Kollontai resonated with girls of the Mexican Revolution, whose handmade present to her is featured in each movies, connecting the 2. Filmed footage of Soviet girls’s councils present males in fits following their lead, with love letters and posters from lectures contextualizing her private life and political persona. Caroline Daish reads Kollontai’s brief story “Quickly (In 48 Years’ Time),” which describes a utopian future communism, whereas the digital camera zooms into the chilly eyes of Soviet monuments, weighing the dream towards its failure.
Kollontai’s writings influenced Soviet laws defending maternity and social safety, regardless of her being derided by male friends. In Mexico Metropolis, authorities neglect of maternity and social safety spawned uprisings in the course of the 2020 Worldwide Day for the Elimination of Violence towards Girls. If I Might Want for One thing is ready towards the backdrop of those demonstrations, whereas trans musician La Bruja de Texcoco information her tune “Nostalgia” — drawing affect from a Weimar-era ballad popularized by Marlene Dietrich.
Within the movie, García paperwork the time Bloque Negro anarchists occupied the Human Rights Fee federal constructing in November 2020, turning it right into a shelter for ladies and youngsters fleeing home and sexual abuse. President Andrés Obrador, extensively referred to as a social democrat, responded by condemning each sexual violence and the protests, regardless of years of peaceable actions yielding no significant laws. Empty hallways show graffiti phrases similar to “Say goodbye to your dick, fucking rapist,” “Zapata is alive,” and “Abortion can be an act of affection.” Out within the streets, girls distribute “inexperienced tide” bandanas, conflict with police, gentle flares, and sing protest songs as hospitality staff and elders cheer them on. García cuts between her personal footage of protestors spray-painting native monuments with actual cellphone recordings, blurring the boundaries between auteur, spectator, and revolutionary.
Relatively than promote a feminist state, García focuses on abolition, hinting that the Bolsheviks by no means actually smashed the state as Lenin predicted. To drive this level house, she sifts by a number of copies of the identical Kollontai portrait. Every successive picture seems in clearer decision, indicating her resurgence in modern discourse. From one movie to the subsequent, García supplants Soviet machismo with new communities of care rooted in Kollontai’s unfinished revolution.
Dora García’s Revolution, fulfill your promise! is on view at Amant (315 Maujer Road, East Williamsburg) by April 24, 2022.