Peggy Ahwesh (born 1954 in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) is an American experimental filmmaker and video artist. She received her B.F.A. at Antioch College. A true bricoleur, her tools include narrative and documentary styles, improvised performance and scripted dialogue, synch-sound film, found footage, digital animation, and crude Pixelvision video. Her work is primarily an investigation cultural identity and the role of the subject in various genres. Her interests include: women, sexuality and feminism; genre; reenactment; artists’ books. Her works have been seen around with world in San Francisco, New York, Barcelona, London, Toronto, Rodderdam, and Creteil, France. Starting in 1990, she has taught at Bard College as a Professor of Film and Electronic Arts. Her teaching interests include: experimental media, history of the non-fiction film, and women in film.
au•gust art festival project
In She Puppet (2001, 15 min), re-editing footage collected from months of playing Tomb Raider, Peggy Ahwesh transforms the video game into a reflection on identity and mortality. Trading the rules of gaming for art making, she brings Tomb Raider’s cinematic aesthetics to the foreground, and shirks the pre-programmed “mission” of its heroine, Lara Croft. Ahwesh acknowledges the intimate relationship between this fictional character and her player. Moving beyond her implicit feminist critique of the problematic female identity, she enlarges the dilemma of Croft’s entrapment to that of the individual in an increasingly artificial world.