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Lisa Birke ‘Bombshell’


Bombshell plays with the cinematic cliché of the hero passively walking away from an explosion in an unflinching walk. Usually a stoic and emotionless male, our hero has been replaced in “Bombshell” by a milkmaid, a fairy, a housewife turned superhero, and a business woman who systematically and subversively challenge this trope (and other expectations) in a series of cheeky and explosive vignettes.


Lisa Birke is an award winning Canadian video artist who situates between the traditions of painting, digital video and performance art. She received an MFA with distinction from the University of Waterloo in 2013.  She has had solo exhibitions across Canada and her short films have been screened at film/video festivals and media centres internationally, including: Vancouver International Film Festival (Canada), European Film Festival (touring), Athens International Film + Video Festival (USA), ARTVIDEO LAB (France), InShadow International Festival of Video, Performance and Technologies (Portugal), Cologne OFF X (USA, Israel, India), International Short Film Week Regensburg (Germany), and SESIFF(Seoul international Extreme-Short Image & Film Festival) amongst many others.  red carpet was awarded the “Lakehead Juror's Prize” and the “Audience Choice Award” at the Orillia Museum of Art & History in Orillia (Canada) in 2014.  Calendar Girls was awarded a “Jury Award for Creative Achievement” at the Arizona International Film Festival (USA) and the Jury Award at ForadCamp (Barcelona) in 2015.  Bombshell was presented at CAFKA 16 (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area) in 2016 and Calendar Girls was recently installed at Manif d/’art, the Quebec City Biennale in Canada.

Lisa Birke examines notions of ‘self’ through the lens of gender, bringing the cultural tropes of woman into focus and into question. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in nuanced and complex narratives in single and multi-channel video works that make reference to art history, mythology and popular culture.  Revealing what lies beneath the surface of femininity, her work toys with a conclusion that is problematic, comi-tragic, and most essentially, human.



Bombshell, 10min loop, 2016


May 28th – Jun 26th 2016: large-scale public video projection, CAFKA 16 (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener & Area), Kitchener, Canada


Mar 15th 2017: Toronto Short Film Festival, Toronto, Canada

Jan 20th 2017: Tally Shorts Film Festival, Tallahassee, USA

Nov 8th 2016: Hamilton Film Festival, Hamilton, Canada

Sept – Dec 2016: Fem Tour Truck (touring screening program), Bilbao, Madrid, Covilha, Lisboa, Valencia, Barcelona, Vitoria, Cuenca, Bogotá, Manta, Quito and Guayaquil, Spain, Portugal, Ecuador and Colombia

(Nov 18th – 19th 2016): Official selection (no public screening) Blow-up Fest, Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival, Chicago, USA

Lisa Birke 'Bombshell'Canada 2016 10'

Image/Sound: HD1080p, colour, (no dialogue), stereo