Laura Kipnis

Laura Kipnis, a critic and essayist as well as a videomaker, has developed an original form of analytic video essay that asserts theoretical and political polemic through an amalgam of narrative, documentary, song & dance, television parody, and other popular forms.

Kipnis' provocative video essays, which are informed by the artist's feminist and critical analyses of contemporary culture, are articulated through a melange of often contradictory, interwoven voices that the viewer is left to disentangle. Kipnis practices humor as well as social critique, adroitly applying an ironic admixture of narrative ploys, pseudo-documentary strategies and theoretical tactics to further her discourse on the ideologies and economics of sexuality, racism, capitalism and the mass media.

Among her publications are the essays 'Refunctioning' Reconsidered: Toward A Left Popular Culture, in High Theory, Low Culture (1986) and Feminism: The Political Conscience of Postmodernism? in Universal Abandon — The Politics of Postmodernism (1988).

Kipnis was born in 1956. She received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute and an M.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Center for New Television Regional Fellowships. Kipnis has taught at the University of Michigan and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently assistant professor of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Kipnis' videotapes have been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; American Film Institute National Video Festival, Los Angeles; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; New Langton Arts, San Francisco; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; London Film Festival; Australian Video Festival; and the Chicago International Film Festival, among other festivals and institutions. Kipnis lives in Chicago.