Name
Diane Nerwen
Country
USA
Diane Nerwen was born in 1965 in Montréal, Canada, and studied Video Art in New York State and Massachusetts. Between 1996 and 2000 she received grants from the Creative Capital Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Central to her experimental video works are the diverse interrelations between media, politics and daily life; as seen in "Under the Skin Game" (1996) and "In the Blood" (2000). By combining her own material with found footage and archival material as well as combining text and sampled audio clips, she reveals visually encoded social and gender-specific conventions.

"Spank" (1999) marks the beginning of the deconstruction of the iconography of classic Hollywood cinema within Nerwen’s work. This principle is the basis of her collage film "The Great Yiddish Love" (2002), which was made during Nerwen’s time as a DAAD scholarship holder in Berlin in 2001. "Die Große Liebe" was the title of an Ufa melodrama made in 1942, featuring Zarah Leander; one of the biggest box office hits of the Third Reich. The new version depicts the fictional love story of Marlene Dietrich and Zarah Leander, the former having recently emigrated to the USA and the latter being her Nazi-endorsed equivalent. It is a melodrama of love, emigration and betrayal reassembled from Hollywood, German Ufa and Yiddish films from the 1930s and 40s. The film is satirical, cheekily correlating the pathos of old Hollywood and German Ufa films, but it is actually the ironic version of Nerwen’s reflections on German-Jewish history. The film was invited to take part in the Berlin International Film Festival’s Short Film Competition in the Panorama section of 2003.

In "The Thief of Bagdad", Nerwen presents a re-reading of this 1940 technicolour fantasy by parodying the invasion of Iraq and using clips from classic Orientalist films, such as "Lawrence of Arabia". In the "psycho-sexual horror film", "The Sexorcist: Revirginise" (2005), Diane Nerwen draws extensively on classic American horror films and collaged clips to produce a parody of the prude, sexually uptight America, with Britney Spears as the leading actress. Her prize-winning films have often been screened at international venues including New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Durban, Basel, Berlin and Kassel. Diane Nerwen lives and works in New York.