Andrew Noren: What the Light Was Like

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Time Being Andrew Noren (b. 1943, Santa Fe, New Mexico) has been making moving image art for over forty years, and in that time he has become one of the cinema’s master practitioners in the manipulation of light and shadow. His films combine those elements into a haunting metaphysics of luminosity and somber darkness, a visual music of delicacy and powerful kinesis, revealing and reveling in the phantasmal nature of appearances. This retrospective, comprising six works in five programs, opens with Charmed Particles, which was the closing film of Noren’s 1981 MoMA retrospective, Of Light and Texture. All films are directed by Noren and from the U.S.

Andrew Noren: What the Light Was Like

October 21, 2009–October 25, 2009


Charmed Particles

1978. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. “Charmed Particles is a physics term ... it describes the point at which energy becomes matter, intangible ‘nothing’ becoming, somehow, ‘something.’ What lies at the heart of each atom is nothing ... the beast at the heart of the labyrinth ... and from that nothing comes the something we call the world. Being emanates from nothing, and vice versa. Oldest question in the world: ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’” (Andrew Noren). "In Noren's alchemy of light and living, it is the light which has become 'real' and the flesh illusory. In his luminous universe, reminiscent of Plato's cave, light is the essence, life an illusory play of shadows" (Lindley Hanlon, Film Culture). New 16mm print. 63 min.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, 5:00 pm, T2

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, 5:00 pm, T2

Imaginary Light

1995. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. “Intuitive conjuring and orchestration of retinal phantoms, refined by abstraction into music for light and mind. Light, both wave and particle, alive and moving, making shadow and, therefore, time” (Andrew Noren). 32 min.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, 5:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, 5:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Aberration of Starlight

2008. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. Noren’s most recent work is a complex visual symphony, playing resounding variations on sight, light and shadow, time, and spatial illusion. “’Use your own light, and return to the source of light. This is called “practicing eternity” (Lao-Tsu). So ... Splendor Solis ... in spades. What the light was like” (Andrew Noren). 91 min.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, 7:00 pm, Theater 2, T2 *Andrew Noren will introduce this screening

Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, 1:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

The Lighted Field

1987. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. “Ghost pictures from the ‘other world,’ which is this world. The Ghost in love, at work, at play with bright companions in the Lighted Field, mortality lurking in the shadows. Flutter of phantoms, trick of light, sleight of eye” (Andrew Noren). “Noren seems to have discovered his own law of physics ... his camera dematerializes the world into a pure rush of energy” (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice). New 16mm print. Silent. 62 min.

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, 7:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, 3:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Time Being

2001. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. “Music for light and mind. Cinema isn’t materials... it’s refined, imaginative seeing ... darkness made visible. It existed long before modern devices, since the first opening of the first animal eyelid ... scene one, take one. Light creates mind” (Andrew Noren). 62 min.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, 5:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, 4:30 pm, Theater 2, T2

Free to Go

2003. USA. Directed by Andrew Noren. “Energy pictures; mindful kinesis. Light and shadow vigorously conjoin, conjuring delusion of depth and duration, fiction of space and time. The fool’s paradise of the illusory window ... (remember: flutter of phantoms, trick of the light) ... is savored and shattered and seen for what it is” (Andrew Noren). Silent. 62 min.

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, 7:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, 6:00 pm, Theater 2, T2

 

Related Links:

- Andrew Noren interview with Laurence Kardish

- Andrew Noren interview in A Critical Cinema 2

- P. Adams Sitney on Andrew Noren in Eyes Upside Down

- R. Bruce Elder on Andrew Noren in A Body of Vision

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