Lavatelli works in installation, performance, and video to examine femininity and expectations in cinema— how moving image has fragmented realities and perceived female identity.
She designs installations that use moving image to suspend the construct, the female star, in the very unreality of the image. Containing visual references to film history she establishes a scene for the performer to enter and disarm the cinematic machine through the complexity of the gaze. The work opens up a space within femininity that is not entirely articulatable but relating to a vulnerability or performative sensitivity intrinsically present in identity. Featuring of young actresses in recent projects opens a space between through the subjects themselves, as they in the process of becoming. This is particularly evident in their performce of a feminine representation while their identity construction continues to be affected by the intake of specifically codified images of ideality in popular culture. This opens up the a space within femininity in relation to the performative process of identifying as female.
The examination of these issues occurs through the experimental directorial techniques that point toward the power relations at play on the set and Lavatelli’s struggle to locate the moment of in-between-ness. Through the process of post-production she engages suspension, not just of time, but also identity. From the footage, she gathers image fragments to reconstruct what she finds to be pivotal moments in an effort to re-capture the “gasp.” That is this moment where the subject is inside and outside of herself simultaneously, where performance disintegrates and bodily ego fails to assert itself.