Pinochet Porn (2008–2016) is an epic experimental film embodying the multifaceted work of the late artist Ellen Cantor (1961–2013). Cantor worked on this feature-length, episodic narrative about the intertwined lives of five children and their maturation into adulthood during the final five years of her life. Produced using Super 8, archival footage, and animated drawings, Pinochet Porn takes the form of a soap opera, at once tragic and comical, and marked by a subversive sexuality. The story weaves between personal, political, and historical circumstances, obliquely revolving around the political discord under General Augusto Pinochet’s regime in Chile. The film is a document of an extended moment in New York and London avant-garde art and culture, featuring a range of artists, curators, writers, filmmakers, protagonists of the underground, musicians, and their children.
Ellen Cantor, Pinochet Porn, 2008–2016, 123 min, Courtesy The Estate of Ellen Cantor
Followed by a conversation between Fatima Hellberg and Sabeth Buchmann
There have been an exhibition and a film program already taken place in Vienna this year featuring earlier works by Ellen Cantor: Ellen Cantor. Is Tragedy a Choice?, Neuer Kunstverein Wien (March 16 – April 14, 2017), and Blickle Archive Series #20: Ellen Cantor, Blickle Kino im 21er Haus (April 12, 2017)
Sabeth Buchmann lives in Berlin and Vienna. She is an art historian and critic and professor for modernist and postmodern art at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. With Helmut Draxler, Clemens Krümmel, and Susanne Leeb, she co-edits PoLyPen, a series on art criticism and political theory.
Fatima Hellberg is a curator and writer, and artistic director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart. Recent projects focused on the work of Ellen Cantor include: Ellen Cantor – Cinderella Syndrome, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2015), and ELLEN CANTOR, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart (2016), both curated with Jamie Stevens. In May 2017, a book dedicated to Ellen Cantor and the making of Pinochet Porn, edited by Hellberg, Stevens and Lia Gangitano will be published.