Skip to main content
Lux OnlineHomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch
Luxonline
Artists Artist's home pageArtists essay index page
Marina GrzinicClick here to Print this Page
Sandra Lahire
Two important trilogies marked Lahire's work. In the 1980's it was the films about radiation: Plutonium Blond, Uranium Hex and Serpent River and in the 1990's the trilogy dedicated to Sylvia Plath.

In Plutonium Blond (1987,15 min) Lahire tries to define Thelma, a woman working with the plutonium monitors at the core of a reactor. For Lahire this meant questioning processes, the one at the core of the plutonium terminal, and the one that constructs female identity. Thelma, the main film heroine is an interface, more than a paradox, between the monitors that she controls and the ecology that is, as a product of devastation, out of control. We have technology to also transform it into an instrument of research, while being almost pressed by an (im)possible physicality.

It was in her film titled Terminal with which she started to work on this trilogy, putting under question any possible balance between nature and the plutonium waste. Sandra Lahire, Terminal (1986, 18 min.) is about radiation as a shadow, while the terminality of the intoxication is as the terminality of a real body.

In Uranium Hex (1987, 11 min.) the story is about uranium mining in Canada and women's work. It was made in collaboration with a group of film-makers (Jean Matthee and Anna Thew, etc.), working closely together to produce this film funded by Channel 4 at the London Film-makers' Cooperative. In this film obsession, passion, politics are intertwined so tightly together to make an explosion, or rather a destruction of our nerves. The radiation of the body is transferred to the radiation of the picture. The radon 222 that disintegrates the skin seems here to over-expose the film image. The relation between nature and culture is always a research into relations of power between man and woman. There is no difference between the politics of the medium and the politics of the topic; both are reunited in a clash of layers within deadly light. Radioactivity is deployed as a radioactivity of the film image in itself.

Serpent River (1989, 30 min.) is a 'serpent´┐Ż that shows the tail in the unspoiled Canada nature and the head in the heart of a Uranium Mine. The company that is in charge of the uranium death is the Rio Tinto Zinc Company. In Serpent River, Diane is the first woman uranium miner. Women are put under question in the way they are dealing with waste, along with being miners. The film is all about radioactive waste and toxic fields used for the master, Mr. Uranium.

Still from Serpent River by Sandra Lahire, 1989
Go to top of                             page
HomeThemesArtistsWorkEducationEducationToursHelpSearch