“Chun-Li (2017) by Cassie McQuater is the fourth video presented within the program FILTRO, the third edition of DIGITAL VIDEO WALL curated by Gemma Fantacci. The program is an artistic exploration of the outcomes of the researches of five international artists, whose practice is centered on the possibilities offered by digital technologies. FILTRO is conceived in its twofold meaning of device that allows the implementation of modifications, real or virtual, and of lens through which we experience an altered version of reality.

Chun-Li” (2017) is one of the levels of a more extensive work, the browser-based video game Black Room: the latter is a narrative game centered on an insomniac person who, falling asleep on his computer, starts a poetic journey that moves within different settings. in one of these settings is possible to meet Chun-Li, character of Street Fighter II and first first female fighter within video game history.

Chun-Li is not controlled but becomes the master of her own destiny in a continuous performance in which she reclaims possession of her actions and movements, free from any kind of external intervention. Cassie McQuater’s practice is inscribed in net art and her work stands at the intersection of new media and video games to examine the practices of objectification of the female body in today’s media landscape, subverting the logic of appropriation of the female body subjected to the so-called male gaze, a chauvinist and often misogynistic glance. 

It is also possible to watch the video online but to be able to access the URL of the game it is necessary to be inside a chain of sharing from player to player, Where the URL is copied and pasted: the video game becomes a possibility of an intimate exchange. Within the several settings, different protagonists follow one another in a fantasy and dreamlike environment where they can rediscover a new degree of independence.


© Cassie McQuater, Chun-Li, Still, 2017, Courtesy the artist