She Puppet

2001, 15 min, color, sound

Re-editing footage collected from months of playing Tomb Raider, 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.

Voiceovers: Yuko Aramaki, Samuael Topiary, Eva Waniek. Quotes from "The Book of Disquiet," by Fernando Pessoa, "The Female Man," by Joanna Russ, and Sun Ra. Thanks: Jon Di Benedetto, Su Friedrich, Keith Sanborn, Samuael Topiary, Karim Ghawagi, The White Box Gallery, Stella's Tombraider site. Funding: New York State Council on the Arts.