Our City Dreams

By Chiara Clemente

Our City Dreams

Filmed over the course of two years, Our City Dreams is an invitation to visit the creative spaces of five women artists, who span different decades and represent diverse cultures, yet have one thing in common beyond making art: the city to which they have journeyed and now call home - New York.

The artists profiled are Nancy Spero, whose work has consistently questioned the polemics of sexual identity and warfare since the late 50s; Marina Abramovic, a pioneer of performance art who uses her own body as a canvas to respond to contemporary issues; Kiki Smith, who addresses philosophical, social and spiritual aspects of the human body through work that incorporates glass, plaster, ceramic, bronze and paper; Ghada Amer, who creates erotic canvases in traditional needle and thread and who refuses to bow to the puritanical elements of Western and Islamic culture and "institutionalized feminism"; and Swoon, one of New York's most promising emerging artists, whose fugitive street art transmits the pulse of urban life.

Our City Dreams


The film presents the many triumphs and challenges of the artists and the intricate processes of creation and inspiration. Director Chiara Clemente combines an intimate style of documentary filmmaking with the ephemera of city life surrounding each woman and the work she creates. The film’s achievement lies in its lyrical, fascinating intersections between location and imagination.

  Our City Dreams
United States 2008, 85min. Video
English. No subtitles

Cinematography: Theo Stanley
Sound: Ron Bochar, Nicholas Renbeck, Lidia Tamplenizza
Editing: Marty Levenstein
Production: Chiara Clemente, Tanya Selvaratnam, Bettina Sulser for Di San Luca Films
Distribution: Cinephil

Chiara Clemente's work revolves around questions of identity and cultural contrast. Her love for film and art both emerged at an early age being the daughter of Italian painter Francesco Clemente . She started out making films on contemporary artists and architects, and collaborating with artists on short art films. Our City Dreams is her first feature-length documentary.