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© Lorna Milburn

Ruth Novaczek is an artist and curator. She studied fine art film at St. Martins School of Art in London, and an MA in Fine Art, at Central St Martins in 2000. In 2015 she earned a practice-based PhD entitled ’21st Century Avant-Garde; New Vernaculars and Feminine Ecriture’ from the University of Westminster, London and is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Westminster. She has since been making film, performance and installation work that explores diaspora, gender, humour, sexuality, cinematic language and philosophy.


Using found footage, aphorism and live action the films are diasporic stand-up, feminist mash-ups, poetic, irreverent musings. She has been a DJ and played in bands, and applies an eclectic musical compositional element to her work. She received an Arts Council of England award for her film ‘Philosopher Queen’ and has had solo shows at the New York Kunsthalle, Arsenal, Berlin, and the BFI Southbank, London.


She curated a selection of films at Catalyst Arts Belfast. Living and working in the UK, the US and the Middle East, she has been a guest, and visiting lecturer at art schools and universities in the UK, teaching film theory, world cinema and film practice.


She was Dartington Arts (UK) artist in residence in 2002, and has published three collections of her films on DVD.


Her DVD publication Radio includes an introductory essay by Chris Kraus, and Denah Johnston, reviewing her most recent film The New World called her ‘the Patti Smith of film’. She is currently working on an expanded film project and writing an experimental novel. Her work is featured in the recommended viewing section of Chris Kraus’ book ‘Akademie X: Lessons and Tutors in Art’ which was published in February 2015 by Phaidon Press.


You can view some of Novaczek's film work here.

Solo and Group Shows

2021 Retrospective at Kunstverein Gartenhaus, Vienna

2018 Monica Majoli and Ruth Novaczek, Queer Thoughts, New York

2017 BEEF, Bristol UK

2013 Peninsula Arts, Plymouth, UK, Falmouth University, UK

2012 BFI Southbank London2002 Crossing Time Gallery, Dartington, England

2001 Kunsthalle New York2000 Lux Cinema, London1993 Berlin, Arsenal

Selected Screenings

2022 ICA London, Up Yours! Punk and Feminism Revisited 

2019 Jewish Women Filmmakers discussion at Phoenix Cinema; Into The Archive, Chronic Youth at Barbican

2018 Feminist Circles at St Martins, Unvictiming: Women Filmmakers Reclaim Sexual Violence at Union Docs, 151 Allmendstrasse, Zurich, Eat The Dust in Experimenta, LFF (BFI)

2017 Buenos Tiempos International, Haunted Cinema BFI Southbank, (‘experimental’ event),

Group show, Display Gallery, Berlin, ‘Extremity’, Panorama Punjab, Patiala, India

2016 Filmmakers Co-op New York. Inside Out Toronto, Cinefamily, Los Angeles, London Film Festival,

Vulva Club Berlin, Uplink,Tokyo, Visions, London, CineCity, Brighton, 'Reclaiming Her Image' at Tate Modern

'Woman Tiger, Woman Dove' Tate Modern

2015 Filmmakers Co-Op New York, Dresden Kunsthaus, Germany, Museum of Contemporary Art, Wroclaw, Poland

2014 Experimental Film Programme, Queen Mary University, London

2013 'The New World' at London Film Festival (Official Selection), Dresden Kunsthaus, Vienna Kunsthalle

2012 Chris Kraus curated event, South London Gallery

2011 Mix Festival, New York, Intimate Journeys, London

2009 Lumen, Leeds

2007/8 Mishkan Omanin, Herzliya, Israel, ‘Annual Art Alert’, Wisconsin Jewish Film Festival,

Camden Arts Centre ‘Imagined Futures’, London, ‘Night Train’ Tel Aviv

2005/6 Catalyst Arts ‘Filmart’ (curator)  291 Gallery ‘Take 291’, Dash Arts, London,

Betsey’s Salon, London, Toyota Museum, Japan, Diwan, Paris, Directors Lounge, Berlin, MoMA, New York.

2004 ‘Experiments in Moving Image’ Lumiere Cinema, London. Shedhalle, Zurich,

Catalyst Arts, Belfast, Herzl St. Studios, Tel Aviv, Lux Salon, London.

2003 Stuttgart Kunsthalle

2002 291 Gallery, London. Salon D’Automne, Tel Aviv, Lounge Salon, London,

Nova Scotia College of A&D/Centre For Art Tapes, Canada

2001 Kitchen, New York, Nova, London

2000 ‘Blowing Up’, ‘Handbags & Hardware’, 291 Gallery.

1999 San Francisco Outfest, ICA, London, Liverpool Biennial

1998 Cinenova 'Beacons of Style' tour.

1997 Mix New York, Berlin Film Festival.

1996 Mix New York, Viper, Switzerland, ‘Rubies and Rebels’, Barbican Cinema.

1995 ICA, Mix New York, Oberhausen Short Film Festival.

1992 Riverside Studios, Rio Cinema, ICA, Feminale, Koln

1990 ICA Screening & Panel Discussion, London Film Festival


Talks and interviews


2022/23 Schule Friedl Kubelka, Vienna

2020/21 Birkbeck, University of London

2021 Ruth Novaczek in conversation with Kunstverein Gartenhaus

2019 Jewish Centre, Lernnacht, Frankfurt
2019 Jewish Museum, London
2020 Sadeh Jewish Retreat, UK

2018 Chris Kraus: Cruelty and Crime - Panel discussion with Ruth Novaczek, Hestia Peppe and David Morris, ICA

Afterglow (A Dog Memoir): a book launch, reading and conversation with Eileen Myles, Serpentine Gallery

'It Felt Like Love' at Port Eliot festival, Cornwall
2016 Bloomsbury DocHouse, introduction to Chantal Akerman’s 'No Home Movie'

After Chantal: University of Westminster  ‘Against Idolatry:
Akerman’s Matrixial Gaze”

2015 Transart Triennale panel, Berlin

2014 ICA with A Nos Amours introduction to Chantal Akerman’s 'Histoires D’Amerique',

2013 Screen International, Glasgow, Conference paper ‘Trouble in Paradise: Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake’

2011 Ruth Novazcek and Chris Kraus in Conversation, CREAM, University of Westminster

2008 Luxonline Ruth Novaczek - Artist Filmmaker Interview



1979-1981 Courtauld Institute of Art, History of Art

1983-1986 St.Martins School of Art, Film and Video B.A. (Hons)

1998-2000 M.A. Fine Art, Central St Martins, London

2009-2015 PhD. By Practice, University of Westminster, CREAM, London



Selected Teaching 1999-2016


Guest Lecturer Barnard College, New York, Kent Institute of Art and Design, Dartington School of Arts, Devon, University of Plymouth, Exeter, Wimbledon School of Art, Vienna Kunst Akademie


Visiting Lecturer Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Westminster University, School of Media Arts and Design. Dartington College, Devon, Falmouth University, Cornwall UK.


Part-time Lecturer Regents American University, London 2005-2013


Advisor Transart Institute, ongoing


Visiting Research Fellow University of Westminster, ongoing

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