“I always liked to talk about sex!” Signe says. “It is a very underestimated subject, and that, to my opinion, causes a lot of misunderstandings.”
“Until recently it was not very clear to me what my main subject was. Some would say sex, but that’s only the most scandalous, visible topic. It is clear to me now that what I am interested in is the relationship of the human body and the human spirit.”—Signe Baumane
The number six is a very sexy number, if you know your Latin. It’s no coincidence that day six of the Animators are God? Series at Observatory belongs to Signe Baumane. Signe is famous for her “Teat Beat of Sex” episodes; animated films that have been called delightfully silly, charmingly honest, ambiguously serious and sexually explicit. In her own words, they are films that examine sex-themed topics from the perspective of a very knowledgeable female lecturer. Indeed, she began examining the subject of sex as a young writer in Latvia.”My first novel was a romance, actually, more of a sexual escapade” recalls Signe, “my mother read it and was shocked how precisely her 8 year old described the sexual act.” She was first published at the age of 14, and continued to write professionally until she left Latvia to study Philosophy at the prestigious Moscow University. There, she was inspired her tell her stories through animation.
Tonight, Signe will show seven of her films–including the “Teat Beat of Sex” episodes. She will also talk about her work, explaining the hows, whys, and stories behind these compelling animations.
Signe Bauman studied Philosophy in Moscow, where she was inspired her tell her stories through animation. She started to work at Riga’s Animated Film Studio at the lowest possible position – cell painter. In few years she gained enough experience to write, direct, design 3 animated shorts, produced at the studio on government grants.The films were recognized at the international festival circle.
Signe had a good reputation as a new Latvian animation director. Longing for a stronger challenge and a bigger pond, Signe left Riga in 1995 for New York, where she started to work at independent animation star Bill Plympton’s studio at the lowest possible position – cell painter. In few years she gained enough experience of the wild capitalism to start producing film on her own and in 2002 she left Bill’s studio to start her own small studio.
Since her arrival to New York she has produced and co-produced, written, directed and designed more than 14 independent animated shorts. Signe has also continued her collaboration with Latvia’s leading animation studio – Rija Films – where she directed 2 of her own stories since 1995, and Pierre Poire Productions that produced her most successful films “Teat Beat of Sex” and “Birth”. Her films have been screened at such prestigious festivals as Annecy, Tribeca, Sundance, Berlin, Ottawa, Venice and they have received numerous awards. Signe is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and a Fellow in Film from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Besides her own career Signe is also interested in promoting other people’s work. She advises series of film festivals in USA on their animation programs, as well as she curates special shows where she personally presents films and filmmakers. Animation is a passion for Signe, as well as a lifestyle.