Aesthetic Strike: Cinemas of Exhaustion will consider the affinities and convergences between durational cinemas and experimental film and art practices, exploring how a preoccupation with temporality, duress, and exhaustion in these works relies on embodied labor. Aesthetic Strike will examine several interstitial corporeal states—decelerated movement, fatigue, waiting, sleeping—that are central to the aesthetics and politics of recent film art practices, and it will seek to complicate discourses on slow and durational cinema by prioritizing corporeality, energy, and performance labor. These interval states signal the paradox of cinematic bodies—queer, female, marginal, precarious, othered—that do and don’t matter, and that do and don’t work in a 21st-century global image economy.

Elena Gorfinkel is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of Lewd Looks: American Sexploitation Cinema in the 1960s (Minnesota, 2017) and co-editor of Global Cinema Networks (Rutgers, 2018) and Taking Place: Location and the Moving Image (Minnesota, 2011). Her essays on experimental, adult, and marginal cinemas, sexuality and embodiment, and women’s filmmaking appear in Discourse, Screen, Jump Cut, Camera Obscura, Cinema Journal, World Picture, Framework, Cineaste, and several edited collections. She also writes criticism for Sight & Sound and Art Monthly, among other publications.