Filmmaker Nicole Hewitt explores the possibilities of documentarian language inside a fictional structure, examining the specificities of the cinematic and the relationship between representation and rhetoric, fiction and real-time. Women Minor Speculations is no exception. Here, Nicole attempts to rewrite a historical narrative, manipulating the levels of authority held in an image and trying to inscribe into each frame or sequence the possibility of yet another one.
Taking as its starting point the Neolithic figurines found throughout the Danube region—from Croatia to the Black Sea through Serbia, Romania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece—Women Minor Speculations is part road trip, part time travel and part speculative fiction. It uses fragments of time, archaeological fragments, sound fragments, and imaginary audio files to weave a potential whole from many distinct parts.
During a period of four years, Nicole collected materials in film, images, sounds, and text dealing with remains as evidential material, with landscapes as witnesses, with interwoven biographies of archaeologists, including their objects and subjects of research (the figurines, constellations, cement, gossip, and songs) in an exploration of how real and unreal objects of material culture produce gendered interpretations, collisions, and hallucinations of public accounts. Using the technologies of memory, data storage devices, Nicole fractures the official historical narrative through minor histories, minor narratives, and minor speculations. Shot on 35mm, 16mm, digital Bolex, Digital 8, mobile phone and still cameras, the film involves a tentative encounter of two women explorers in Southeastern Europe separated by 6,000 years.
An original electronic soundtrack by the cinematographer and sound artist Ivan Slipčević accompanies the film. This audio was acquired from various sources, including field recordings, poetic fragments and fragments of speculative fiction collated from the archaeological record, as well as notations of everyday life in the locations Women Minor Speculations was filmed and the archaeological digs they took part in.
Nicole Hewitt explores the possibilities of documentarian language inside a fictional structure, examining the specificities of the cinematic. For decades, she has made animated and experimental films which were regularly screened at international festivals and exhibitions. Apart from her visual art practice she does scientific research of contemporary art theories and practices. She holds a PhD in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Her previous education includes an MA in Fine Art Media from the Slade, a BA in Visual and Performative Art from the Brighton Polytechnic Art College and a specialization in Animated Film at the Jiří Trnka Studio in Prague. Hewitt teaches at the New Media Department of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb.