Whose Identity Is It Anyway?

Identity, Power, Image : these 3 words came together this week in our filmmaking journey with Heintz. Hard on the heels of a thoughtful news feature about Heintz and her work on Fox 31, Denver, (watch it from the link in our previous blog Riders of the Perfect Storm ),  the same story and footage was repackaged with a male voiceover and very different tone.  Watch this version of Heintz’s story and see if you find it as patronizing as we do. Note the expression “cuckoo” half way through:

Denver woman fed up with marriage talk buys mannequin family

Heintz’s response nailed it: “I’m still fighting the “crazy lady” label. But I’m beholden to it.  I need media exposure to make an impact, and carry the message of my work beyond the walls of the gallery space. However, I am fighting mass media, as much as I am getting a boost from it. It’s like playing with a greased pig.”

This latest slap down courtesy of a dismissive segment of mainstream media is hardly unexpected. For centuries, women choosing to exercise power over their own lives and roles have been ridiculed and dismissed as mad. But as we said in our last blog, there is a method to Suzanne Heintz’s “madness” and more will be revealed soon. We are encouraged that at least her art activism is resonating around the world. The latest proof of this, is her inclusion in a fascinating Swiss exhibition about the nature of identity. (The greased pig’s days may be numbered!)

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