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Artist on Fire: The Work of Joyce Wieland (part of the series Key Canadian Works by Women)

1987, 2007
Distributed by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre, 401 Richmond St. W., Suite 119, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5V 3A8; 416-588-0725
Produced by Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre
Directed by Kay Armatage
DVD, color, 54 min.
Art, Women’s Studies, Film Studies, Art History

Reviewed by Rue McKenzie, University of South Florida, Tampa

Date Entered: 1/12/2010

Artist on Fire is a straightforward survey of the work of Joyce Wieland, one of Canada’s most recognized feminist artists. Her work spans many artistic mediums, including painting, drawing, cloth/plastic works, and film. Wieland’s exuberant style is reflected throughout the film through interviews and voiceovers.

The film exhibits high technical quality and a good sense of visual and aural narrative. While I recommend this film as an excellent look at a ground-breaking Canadian artist who ‘happens to be a woman’, it could also be valuable to college level art history and film studies courses as part of the larger series Key Canadian Works by Women in surveying experimental film by women. This film, along with the others from this series, is accompanied by an excellent study guide.