Film by Leigha Mason
16mm Film
Performance and Film
Excerpt
The following footage was taken during the duration of The Joan Cycle. The Joan Cycle revolves around a connection to the spiritual reconciliation within the sacrifice of the performers’ body. The work looks towards the story surrounding Renée (Maria) Jeanne Falconetti during the filming of her role of Joan of Arc in the 1918 Carl Dreyer film Passion of Joan of Arc. According to witness accounts, during filming Dreyer forced Falconetti to kneel painfully on stone for hours at a time in order to externally reveal an inner pain.
Within this initial image, a performance was proposed, in which the female performer’s body portrayed Falconetti performing as Joan. The artist kneeled on a slab of slate for the duration of the film (110 minutes), after the elapse time, the artist proceeded to cut off all her hair in an attempt to capture the film’s climatic scene. After being stripped of her hair the performer marched to the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue and lit the hair on fire.

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