Silvia Defrance

Gravin Johannastraat 25
9000 Gent
T: +32 (0) 475 98 26 79


Media: Video, animationfilm, drawing, crossover.

In her search for an ‘alternative cinema’, Silvia Defrance explores the potential of a sensory visual style that puts the physical experience of film before the rational understanding of a narrative plot. In her films she combines live action and animation techniques such as drawing, digital manipulation, live-action and found footage.

Existing models of representation of traditional film in relation to the representation of women in our visual culture.

The theoretical reflection, is contained in the book Her Voice: Een artistiek onderzoek naar het potentieel van het zintuiglijke filmbeeld in alternatieve verhaalstructuren (‘Her Voice. Artistic research into the potential of the sensory cinematic image in alternative narrative structures’).

The traditional narrative structures whose potential influence on individuation is analyzed on a theoretical level in the book are effectively dismantled in the experimental films Candy Darling and Her Voice that Defrance created in the course of her PhD research. Through the use of a distinctive corporeal and visual language that combines live action and animation techniques, Defrance evokes a sensory experience in these films, exploring the line between suggestion and representation.

In exploring the limits of certain traditional film codes, she questions the dominant structures of filmmaking. To this end, she makes use of an experimental method of montage where she lets the film develop ‘in the process’. Defrance’s films are exponents of the independent experimental film scene and of time-based art within the visual arts. Her film, Candy Darling, was warmly received at international film festivals in the ‘short independent films’ category and gained several awards including Best Short Film at the San Francisco Short Film Festival (2009). Candy Darling was screened at The Anthology Film Archives in New York, Project Horizon, Flemish Artists in Teheran, Souvenirs from Earth, Palais Tokyo, Paris and added to the Tribeca Film Institute’s Reframe Collection (2011). The film was also acquired by the Flemish public broadcasting company Canvas in 2010.