Sphinxes Without Secrets

A film by Maria Beatty

1991 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 99275


Since its inception, performance art provided a forum for those artists whose work challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo. In SPHINXES WITHOUT SECRETS, performers, curators and critics unravel the mysteries of performance art and ponder the world women confront today. Performers featured in this stylish program include Diamanda Galas, Holly Hughes (one of the 'NEA Four'), Robbie McCauley and Rachel Rosenthal; intercut with appearances by many others such as Laurie Anderson, Annie Sprinkle and Reno.


"An excellent document that presents some of the most engaging work being produced by women performance artists today."

Steven Durland High Performance


  • Chicago Film Festival, Silver Plaque Award
  • Three Rivers Arts Festival, Festival Award
  • Berlin Video Festival


Maria Beatty

An astute observer of the cultural aspects of the fetish world, Venezuela born Maria Beatty's artistry as a filmmaker sets new standards of quality. Her unique vision covers ground explored by artists as varied as Andy Warhol, Werner Fassbinder, Irving Klaw and Betty Page -- but presents it more explicitly and daringly. The high art quality of the films is a dramatic contrast to the (frequently) sometimes shocking images she reveals.

In 1997, Maria Beatty unveiled her hypnotic work THE BLACK GLOVE, an intimate portrayal of a sadomasochistic encounter between herself and a dominant female partner. The now-legendary movie made the entrancing submissive a cult star in the worldwide fetish scene and defined her "erotic noir" style, an atmospheric blend of lesbian hardcore and the shadowy look of old crime flicks.

Committed to total control over her own work, Maria Beatty has gone on to establish herself as a true independent, winning acclaim and awards for her uncompromising work. Her highly personal approach achieves an authentic sensuality rarely seen in adult cinema, leading viewers into the enticing world of fetishism: rope bondage, spanking, stilettos, latex, hot wax, golden showers, breast play, foot worship and more. In her own words, "My films delight in the playful relationship between pleasure and pain." (8/14)


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