"The goal is for the projected image to have the same force of awakening sight as any other great image."
Over five decades, American filmmaker Robert Beavers (*1949) has come closer to this self-set goal than anyone else in his métier. Those fortunate enough to have experienced the complete retrospective of Beavers' work organized by the Austrian Film Museum in the autumn of 2010 are familiar with the sensory intoxication and the intensity of visual and aural experiences these works give rise to. They offer an immersion into the beauty and intelligence of craft – both when it comes to the places and activities recorded by Beavers (anywhere between Florence and Massachusetts) and in relation to his own film craft shining in the projection.
Since this retrospective, the Austrian Film Museum has taken further steps towards preserving and disseminating the work of Robert Beavers – and he himself has made new films. On two evenings, these lines of activity will be brought together. Introducing: the first monograph on the artist; the restoration of his key work From the Notebook of… (1971/98) carried out by the Film Museum and already presented at the Berlinale, the New York Film Festival and the Cinémathèque française; a new acquisition for the collection – Early Monthly Segments (1968-70); as well as the world premiere of the 35mm versions of his three latest films.
1968 to 2017: examples of a rare oeuvre that eschews the moving-image hypes of the art world and refuses to go along with marketable classifications of period and style. Which is why New York Times art critic Roberta Smith made a rather late, but all the more emphatically declared discovery of his "astounding achievement": "Mr. Beavers has spent his career being precociously ahead of schedule and also somewhat outside his time."
The screenings will take place in the presence of Robert Beavers. The book "Robert Beavers", edited by Rebekah Rutkoff (Volume 30 in the FilmmuseumSynema publication series), will be presented on this occasion.
- From the Notebook of... (1971/98, 35mm, Colour, 48 min)
- Listening to the Space in My Room (2013, 35mm, Colour, 19 min)
- Early Monthly Segments (1968–70/2002, 35mm, Colour, 34 min)
- The Suppliant (2010, 35mm, Colour, 5 min)
- Pitcher of Colored Light (2007, 35mm, Colour, 23 min)