The Filmballad of MAMADADA is a collectively-authored experimental biodrama about the early 20th Century artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. A sculptor, poet, painter, public provocateur, and proto-performance artist, Freytag-Loringhoven made critical interventions in the development of artistic modernism. Yet, like many other women who carried out aesthetic and social movements of that time, her contributions have been largely excluded from history. The Filmballad of MAMADADA is a response this absence.
Lily Benson and Cassandra Guan initiated this project in 2012, seeking to revisit the amorphous legacy of feminism from a variety of contemporary viewpoints. They recruited a group of over fifty filmmakers and artists worldwide to adapt fragments from Freytag-Loringhoven’s biography, asking each participant to interpret and represent on their own terms. Forty-nine individual passages were eventually completed and assembled together into a feature-length film. Like a game of exquisite corpse unfolding in time, the production process gave shape to a conflicted picture of desires and fears surrounding identity politics today. The many voices contend with one another, but ultimately proclaim a shared desire to participate in a renewed, collective narrative.
Contributing artists to this project include Leslie Allison, Animals, Raoul Anchondo, Mauricio Arango, Doug Ashford, Harold Batista, Gregory Benson, Lily Benson, Caitlin Berrigan, Clara Carter, Lea Cetera, Joanne K. Cheung, Abigail Childs, Abigail Colins, Katy Cool, Cecilia Corrigan, Alex Decarli, EASTER, Chitra Ganesh, Alex Golden, Cassandra Guan, Jorun Jonasson, Prudence Katze, Simone Krug, Joyce Lainé, William Lehman, Alexandra Lerman, Ming Lin, Thomas Love, Rob Lowe, Kirby Mages, Markues, Mores McWreath, Erin Jane Nelson, Anne Marte Overaa, Michala Paludan, Leah Pires, Sunita Prasad, Joanna Quigley, Will Rahilly, Amy Reid, Isaac Richards, Doron Sadja, Saki Sato, Frances Scholz, Dash Shaw, Josephine Shokrian, Sydney Shen, Beau Sievers, Shelly Silver, Ursula Sommer, Jim Strong, Aaron Vinton, and James N. Kienitz Wilkins.
An ongoing production.