17th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

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9 – 12 September 2021

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Thanks to all who have entered films to this autumn’s festival. We will let you know about the selection status of your film by the 9th of August.

Renèe Helèna Browne

Available online

17 September – 11 October, 2020

In Daddy’s Boy, Renèe Helèna Browne creates an intimate portrait of their Irish homeland, documenting their father as he undertakes tasks around the house and on a rural farm. Browne’s voice-over draws the viewer in as a confidante, introducing elements of narrative from the 1990 sci-fi Jurassic Park and using the character of T-Rex to explore patriarchal dynamics, gender conformity and societal expectations.

In this Programme:

Daddy’s Boy

(Renèe Helèna Browne, 2020, 22 mins)
Marla: Notes on Daddy’s Boy
by Esther Draycott

Daddy’s Boy

In Daddy’s Boy, Renèe Helèna Browne creates an intimate portrait of their Irish homeland, documenting their father as he undertakes tasks around the house and on a rural farm. Browne’s voice-over draws the viewer in as a confidante, introducing elements of narrative from the 1990 sci-fi Jurassic Park and using the character of T-Rex to explore patriarchal dynamics, gender conformity and societal expectations.

The work opens with Browne’s father manoeuvring a digger into position. The pastoral scenery and familial space are witnessed from Browne’s own perspective: a curious donkey sniffs the camera, washing dries in the living room and their father lazes on the couch. Browne’s voice breaks this everyday scene with viscerally violent descriptions from the dystopic thriller Jurassic Park, “A tearing laceration runs from his shoulder down his torso. At the edge of the wound, the flesh is shredded and at the centre, the shoulder is dislocated with pale bone exposed.The work is punctuated by images of the artist moulding and reshaping a piece of purple plasticine into the form of a dinosaur.

Daddy’s Boy takes its title from a photograph by Phyllis Christopher, first published in the Lesbian Erotica magazine On Our Backs. The image captures an embrace between two people, one bearing a tattoo with the words ‘Daddy’s Boy’ in gothic font. Browne’s Daddy’s Boy examines heteronormative expectations and explores the potential for change. Browne investigates human control over natural impulse, traditional structures and belief systems, and what happens when these are challenged or ruptured. In Jurassic Park, the human-driven experiment begins to deteriorate and eventually descends into chaos. Daddy’s Boy journeys to a similar point of break-down, as the artist’s voice begins to change and distort, and the familiar imagery morphs into abstraction. —Claire Hills

Daddy’s Boy was commissioned for the 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2020.

Renèe Helèna Browne is an Irish artist who makes vocal soundscapes, essay films, and angsty drawings. Browne is currently Research Associate with Centre of Contemporary Art Derry for 2020 and was Graduate Resident at Hospitalfield in 2019. They were selected for Platform, the emerging artist commission for the 2018 Edinburgh Art Festival and are a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Art programme at the Glasgow School of Art. They have upcoming solo exhibitions at Lunchtime, Glasgow and Intermedia, CCA Glasgow. Browne is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Browne focuses on schisms and transitions between language and the body. This practice centres a feminist epistemological view of chosen historical and pop culture objects to unravel identity politics, desire, and bodily experience of gender through personal testimony and fiction-making. Fandom, storytelling, and modes of translation are important considerations in this process.

Filmography

Daddy’s Boy (2020), Sacred Disease (2019), Sacred Disease: Epilogue (2019), R69-32 (2016)  

Director

Renèe Helèna Browne

World Premiere
SDH Captions

Production Countries

Ireland United Kingdom

Production Year

2020

Duration

22 mins

Dialogue Language

English

Print Contact

Renèe Helèna Browne

Live Event — 1 October 2020, 20:00

Propositions: Renèe Helèna Browne in conversation

Renèe Helèna Browne discusses their new film Daddy’s Boy with poet and trans / queer activist Nat Raha as part of this year’s propositions strand. They will be joined by programme fellow Christina Demetriou. Daddy’s Boy was commissioned for the 16th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2020.