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The Overwoman by Ari Angkasa

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"Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the superhuman, a rope over an abyss. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, an over-going and a down-going." — Friedrich Nietzsche

The Overwoman is a new experimental live film by Ari Angkasa presented with Seventh Gallery and commissioned by Multicultural Arts Victoria as part of their Diasporas commissioning series. Through live and archival forms, Angkasa extends the trope of the femme fatale figure in cinema to make sense of trans-diasporic identity in a society edging dangerously towards fascism. Borrowing from the ritual and theatre of organised religion, The Overwoman subverts the famous right wing incel-adopted Nietzschean concept of the Übermensch (Overman)—an ‘ultra-human’ birthed from the pitfalls of postmodernity—as a critique of Western exceptionalism and its sociological effect on queerness.

Anchored in an acute awareness of the body as a cinematic medium, The Overwoman sees Angkasa across live and archival forms performing rituals of nostalgia for the femme fatale. Contextualising Nietzsche’s Übermensch in different realities both on stage and on screen, Angkasa reconciles her transitional dysphoria with the narcissistic guilt of Western exceptionalism. Asking, where does altruistic social responsibility end and indulgent self-preserving individualism begin? Where do they blur together?

The Overwoman is presented by Seventh Gallery and commissioned by Multicultural Arts Victoria through their Diasporas commissioning series. The Overwoman is generously supported by Creative Australia and the City of Melbourne.

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