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12 SEPTEMBER 2014

MoMA: Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s

Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s, March 19–July 28, 2008, The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor, The Museum of Modern Art.

"This exhibition considers the transformation of the art object from static image to light projection within two distinct artistic lineages: the unconventional optical techniques and social analyses of the 1920s Neue Optik, or 'New Vision,' generation of artists, among them László Moholy–Nagy, Hans Richter, and Marcel Duchamp; and the situational aesthetics advanced by Gordon Matta–Clark, Robert Smithson, and Anthony McCall in the 1970s. Drawing attention to the conditions and complexities of perception–both within the framework of institutional display and in other surroundings–these artists have redefined the social potential of visual agency."

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1920s1970safterimage • Anthony McCall • art object • artistic lineage • durationEl Lissitzkyexhibitionexperimental cinema • fluid light projection • geometric abstraction • Gordon Matta-Clark • Hans Richter • Hollis Frampton • immaterialityintangible creationsJames Turrell • Klaus Biesenbach • Laszlo Moholy-Nagylight and space • light and space movement • light artlight projectionMarcel Duchamp • Maria Nordman • materialisationmotion artsmovementmovement-image • moving through space • Museum of Modern Art • Neue Optik (New Vision) • non-narrative • objecthood • objecthood and space • optical techniques • Paul Sharits • peripatetic • Richard Serra • Robert Irving (artist) • Robert Irwin • Robert Smithson • Roxana Marcoci • solid light films • static image • structural film • VernissageTV (VTV) • Viking Eggeling

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 SEPTEMBER 2013

The artistic image: 'between the sayable and the visible'

"The sworn enemy of this logic of combination or juxtaposition are the border police of genre classification (typical of art history and its curatorial leanings which seem to contaminate film theory too) who struggle with any notion of redistribution of the sensible. It is in The Future of The Image that Jacques Rancière defines the artistic image as a set of operations or relations 'between the sayable and the visible' and calls this the regime of the 'distribution of the sensible', a status quo which can be altered, through a redistribution, which creates new ways of seeing (Rancière, 2007: 6). In the work of Marker and Godard, such a redistribution of the sensible has been generally understood, categorised as–and duly named–'film–essays', ever since André Bazin coined the phrase, referring specifically to Marker's work as a political and historical type of writing mediated by poetry (Bazin, 1985: 179–181). Fine. But what does the catch–phrase cover? What practice does it immunise? Is there a risk of seriously limiting the scope and aesthetic dimension of such films by segregating them?

Phillip Lopate considers the film–essay a 'cinematic genre that barely exists' in Can Movies Think? In Search of The Centaur: The Essay–Film (Lopate, 1998: 280). It must have words, whether spoken, subtitled, or intertitled. These must represent a single voice and exclude any collage of quoted texts that do not reflect a 'unified perspective'. The film must be an argument, an attempt at working out a problem; it must put across a personal view, and be well–written (Lopate, 1998: 283). However, his classification is quite prescriptive: no interviews are allowed and no documentaries (Lopate, 1998: 305). Yet, Lopate's examples include Resnais's documentary Night and Fog (1955) and his dictate of 'reasoned, essayistic discourse' seems too narrow from the perspective of visual art, and certainly contradicts his celebration of Marker, whose digressive approach to text and image is deliberate in a spiralling multiplicity that brings to mind, for example, Carlo Emilio Gadda's novels which are equally and intentionally digressive and always on the edge of subverting the integrity of the text, or, perhaps closer to home in a French milieu, Georges Perec's roving pen in Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (1997) that picks up from the smallest detail of everyday life a point of departure for a long intellectual journey. In this regard, Italo Calvino's 1985 Harvard lecture on multiplicity, later collected in Six Memos of the next Millenium (1993), provides an excellent cultural context for exploring the method and the creative potential of experimenting beyond the limitations of genre from inside, showing how genre can become a nonsense when its border lines are crossed, because you are invited to look at the real differently; true of these filmmakers, true of Calvino himself, true of the films of Michelangelo Antonioni or of Federico Fellini's too."

(David Brancaleone, 2012, Vertigo Magazine)

Brancaleone, D. (2012). "The Interventions of Jean–Luc Godard and Chris Marker into Contemporary Visual Art". Vertigo Magazine. Spring 2012.

TAGS

Andre Bazinart history • artistic image • border crossings • border/boundaryborderline • Carlo Emilio Gadda • Chris MarkerChristian Boltanski • cinematic genre • classificationcontemporary artcontemporary visual artcuratorial practice • digression • digressive approach • distribution of the sensible • essayistic discourse • experimental cinemaFederico Fellinifilm essayfilm theory • genre classification • genre differentiation • Georges Perec • integrity of the text • interventionist artJacques RanciereJean-Luc GodardjuxtapositionMichelangelo AntonioniMnemosyne Atlasmulti-media collagistmultiplicitiesmultiplicity • new ways of seeing • Night and Fog (1955) • Okwui Enwezor • Phillip Lopate • problem centric approach • redistribution • redistribution of the sensible • sayable • sensible • set of operations • set of relations • Six Memos of the next Millenium (1993) • Species of Spaces and Other Pieces (1997) • text and image • unified perspective • Vertigo (magazine) • video artist

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 DECEMBER 2012

Influential American experimental cinema: Meshes of the Afternoon

"Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in American experimental cinema. A non–narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the 'trance film,' in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open–ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted 'to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately.'

Made by Deren with her husband, cinematographer Alexander Hammid, Meshes of the Afternoon established the independent avant–garde movement in film in the United States, which is known as the New American Cinema. It directly inspired early works by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and other major experimental filmmakers. Beautifully shot by Hammid, a leading documentary filmmaker and cameraman in Europe (where he used the surname Hackenschmied) before he moved to New York, the film makes new and startling use of such standard cinematic devices as montage editing and matte shots. Through her extensive writings, lectures, and films, Deren became the preeminent voice of avant–garde cinema in the 1940s and the early 1950s."

(MoMA, 2004)

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999.

Maya Deren (1943). "Meshes of the Afternoon", 16mm film, black and white, silent, 14 min. Acquired from the Artist.

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16mm1943 • Alexander Hackenschmied • Alexander Hammid • American cinemaavant-garde cinemablack and whiteBolexcinemacinematic devicescloakdeathdream • dream world • dreamlike qualityeditingexperimental cinemaexperimental film • experimental filmmaker • filmfilm pioneerfilmmakerflowerFreudianindependent cinemainfluential directorinfluential worksKenneth Angerkeyknife • matte • Maya Deren • Meshes of the Afternoon • mirrorMoMA • New American Cinema • non-narrativeopen-endedpersonal filmrecurring ideasrepetitionrhythmscreen-mediated virtual spaceseminalsilent filmstaircaseStan Brakhagesurrealist cinemasymbolic meaningsymbolism • Teiji Ito • tranceunconscious desires • unconscious meaning • women in filmwomen in historywordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 MARCH 2012

Senses of Cinema: Australian-based online film journal

"Senses of Cinema is an online journal devoted to the serious and eclectic discussion of cinema. We believe cinema is an art that can take many forms, from the industrially–produced blockbuster to the hand–crafted experimental work; we also aim to encourage awareness of the histories of such diverse forms. As an Australian–based journal, we have a special commitment to the regular, wide–ranging analysis and critique of Australian cinema, past and present.

Senses of Cinema is primarily concerned with ideas about particular films or bodies of work, but also with the regimes (ideological, economic and so forth) under which films are produced and viewed, and with the more abstract theoretical and philosophical issues raised by film study. As well, we believe that a cinephilic understanding of the moving image provides the necessary basis for a radical critique of other media and of the global 'image culture'."

(Nicola White, Senses of Cinema Inc)

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academic journal • AFI Research Collection • analysis and critique • APAIS • art formAustralianAustralian cinema • Australian content • Australian Public Affairs Information Service • Australian-based • Bill Mousoulis • blockbuster • bodies of work • cinemacinephilic understandingcritical theoryeclecticexperimental cinema • film analysis • film industryfilm scholarship • film study • Film Victoriafilmmakinghand-craftedhistories • image culture • International Bibliography • journalmedia culturemedia studiesMLA • MLA Directory of Periodicals • Modern Language Association of America • Movie Review Query Engine • moving imageNational Library of Australiaonline journalradical critiqueRMIT Universityscreen cultureSenses of Cinema (journal) • theoretical issues

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 JANUARY 2012

Virtual Circuit: a cabinet of cinema curiosities

"The project 'Virtual Circuit' contains a crowing collection of important avant–garde cinema, audio, lecture and science related to human creativity. Please notice it's a strictly noncommercial project with the goal to show old and new innovations in visuals, sound and new media."

(wiewunderbar@gmx.de)

Fig.1 Cuban Telephone Company (1950) "Historia de la telefonía en Cuba".

Fig.2 Yoshinao Satoh (1991). "Papers", A brilliant structuralistic animation made with japanese newspapers.

Fig.3 Andrew Huang (2005). "Doll Face", A machine with a doll face mimics images on television screen in search of a satisfactory visage. Doll Face presents a visual account of desires misplaced and identities fractured by our technological extension into the future.

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avant-gardeavant-garde cinemacabinet of curiositiescinemacinema historycollectionCubadocumentariesdocumentaryexperimental cinemaexperimental film • fine art documentaries • human creativity • new innovations • noncommercial project • short filmsilent filmsocial reality • sound innovation • structuralistic animation • Virtual Circuit • visual communication • visual innovation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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