"Subjectivity and the Mirror: Framing the Self" workshop with Ruth Novaczek

Subjectivity and selfhood in the age of the selfie. This 3 day course will look at how we frame ourselves in any chosen medium and will explore notions of self and the mirror.
This workshop asks questions about subjectivity and framing the self. So what do you remember in the mise en scene of a film? Do you notice the background, the colours, the details, or the central narrative action? By this I mean, where do you stand. Subjectivity can be the prism through which you parse the world and give it meaning. So the standup and the artist aren’t that different. We observe, we take a position. The subject can be looking out at the world or in on the self. The frame is our approach to subjectivity and the self a prism for experience.

The assignment is to research and make a short film or piece of work in your chosen medium over three days.



Ruth Novaczek is an artist and curator, she studied fine art film at St. Martins School of Art in London, and an MA in Fine Art, at Central St Martins in 2000. In 2015 she earned a practice-based PhD entitled ’21st Century Avant-Garde; New Vernaculars and Feminine Ecriture’ from the University of Westminster, London (UK) and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Westminster. She has since been making film, performance and installation work that explores diaspora, gender, humour, sexuality, cinematic language and philosophy.

Using found footage, aphorism and live action the films are diasporic stand-up, feminist mash-ups, poetic, irreverent musings. She has been a DJ and played in bands, and applies an eclectic musical compositional element to her work. She received an Arts Council of England award for her film ‘Philosopher Queen’ and has had solo shows at the New York Kunsthalle, Arsenal, Berlin, and the BFI Southbank, London.

She curated a selection of films at Catalyst Arts Belfast. Living and working in the UK, the US and the Middle East, she has been a guest, and visiting lecturer at art schools and universities in the UK, teaching film theory, world cinema and film practice. 

She was Dartington Arts (UK) artist in residence in 2002, and has published three collections of her films on DVD. 

Her DVD publication Radio includes an introductory essay by Chris Kraus, and Denah Johnston, reviewing her most recent film The New World called her ‘the Patti Smith of film’. She is currently working on an expanded film project and writing an experimental novel. Her work is featured in the recommended viewing section of Chris Kraus’ new book ‘Akademie X: Lessons and Tutors in Art’ which was published in February 2015 by Phaidon Press.

More about Ruth