Sweatmother is an American artist and filmmaker located in London. Their visual work re-evaluates cinematic conventions and explores alternative narratives to queer identities, feminisms and womxn-identifying representations. Visible within a safe space of exploration their work reclaims the often misplaced voice, body and gaze. ‘Soft Exits’ is a combination of experimental techniques and hybrid documentary film. Using just a green screen and voice recording phone apps personal stories that shape queer experiences are opened up, old narratives are claimed.
Sweatmother << My bedroom growing up was always my safe haven. A reserved space where the only things I could control were in it. At times all I had to do was shut the door and my world could begin. Which is why making this film came easy at a peak time of isolation for me.
I had just moved to London from El Cajon, California to pursue my masters in Experimental Film. Throughout my course I felt the isolation of not knowing anyone other than the friends I could access through my phone. With borrowed university equipment; a camera and green screen, I was able to make this DIY film in my bedroom.
Through my continued practice of queer care within collectives, I engaged with AFAB and non binary friends to share stories that affected them in some way via the free audio recordings app on our phones. From their recordings and filming of my own personal experiences as a Genderqueer person, I began creating a moving image work documenting pivotal moments in our lives called ‘Soft Exits’.
‘Soft Exits’ is a combination of experimental techniques and hybrid documentary film making. To challenge mainstream representations I chose to adapt the film through an experimental format rather than from within the mainstream industrial complex, which is usually governed by a patriarchal system. The only way to make this film was through the experimental/hybrid form, because to navigate through stories of otherness demands radical form. >>