. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Shu Lea Cheang’s Fresh Kill

Posted by | gfung | Posted on | April 11, 2024

Thursday, April 11, 6:00 p.m

Join Shu Lea Cheang for a screening of her acclaimed cyberfeminist eco-thriller FRESH KILL, newly restored for its 30th anniversary.

Shu Lea Cheang, Fresh Kill, 1994. Courtesy of the artist.

“Shu Lea Cheang’s audacious directorial debut is a lethal comedy swimming through a torrent of toxic multinational treachery.” —Lawrence Chua, BOMB Magazine

Renowned media artist Shu Lea Cheang presents her groundbreaking debut feature, a cyberfeminist eco-thriller, newly restored for its 30th anniversary. Partners Shareen (Sarita Choudhury) and Claire (Erin McMurtry) find themselves in the crosshairs of a nefarious multinational corporation after they discover it is poisoning citizens through toxic cat food, contaminated sushi, and nuclear waste. When their daughter disappears, they turn to a global band of hackers and activists. Cheang shifts between horror, camp, and agit-prop, structuring the film around an electric sense of destabilization and disruption. Characteristic of the activist impulse that runs through all her work, Fresh Kill’s themes of predatory capitalism and environmental catastrophe remain just as pressing today. 

1994, Shu Lea Cheang, USA, 80 min.
In English / Format: 35mm

Presented in partnership with Video Data Bank.

About the artist

Born in Taiwan and now based in Paris, Shu Lea Cheang is an artist and filmmaker whose work aims to re-envision genders, genres, and operating structures. She began her career as a member of activist media collectives Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish TV. Later, as a celebrated pioneer of Net Art, her work Brandon (1998–99) became the first-ever web-based artwork commissioned and collected by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Since 1994, she has produced four feature films, Fresh Kill (1994), I.K.U. (2000), Fluidø (2017), and UKI (2023), which encompass a new genre she calls “Scifi New Queer Cinema.” In 2019, she represented Taiwan at the Venice Biennale with the mixed media installation, 3x3x6. Over the years, Cheang has participated in many renowned international biennials, including Performa 19, New York; the 11th Taipei Biennial; the 50th and 58th Venice Biennale; and the 1992 and 1994 Whitney Biennials among others. Her works are included in the world’s key permanent collections for contemporary art, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; NTT InterCommunication Center, Tokyo; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and DSL collection, Paris. 


CATE events are presented with real-time captions (CART). Hearing loops, wheelchair accessibility, and companion seating are also available at the @filmcenter. For other accessibility requests, please visit saic.edu/access or write cate@saic.edu.