Ernie Gehr (1941) is a key figure in American avant-garde cinema and the structural film movement, and he is undoubtedly one of the most influential and innovative artists of his generation. The film Serene Velocity, which he made in 1970 in the cellar corridors of Binghamton university, is a masterly synthesis of the conceptual and aesthetical preoccupations which even in his earliest films (Reverberation, 1969) tend to subvert a purely illusionist cinema by affirming the primacy of its elementary constituents. For over fifty years since then, Gehr has been deploying a genealogy of the photographic in cinema, no matter whether it is made on celluloid or digitally, and no matter whether it is screened in a theatre or as (part of) an installation. Gehr’s body of work therefore constitutes a homogeneous and consistent entity in which the artist, nourished by his observations of quotidian American urban landscapes (Winter Morning, 2013), his reflection on the obsessive nature of the photographic or cinematographic image, and the temporary nature of human life (A Commuter’s Life (What a Life!), 2014), purposefully articulates recurrent themes.
Ernie Gehr will personally attend the presentation of this selection from his films which also includes some unreleased titles. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Ernie Gehr and Jonathan Pouthier of the Paris Centre Pompidou.
- Reverberation (1969, 16mm, b&w, sound, 20')
- Winter Morning (2013, digital, colour, sound, 18’)
- Serene velocity (1970, 16mm, colour, silent, 23')
- Bird's Eye View (2014, digital, colour, sound, 13’)
- A Commuter's Life (What a Life!) (2014, digital, colour, sound, 20’)