Considered of one of our greatest living avant-garde masters, we are very fortunate to host Larry Gottheim in person as part of his tour of Europe which includes screenings in London, Vienna, Budapest, Stockholm, Hamburg, Spain, among others. The program will present a selection of earlier films as well as his new, recently completed, 42 minute work Chants and Dances for Hand (1991-2016)
Born in 1936, Larry Gottheim taught himself 16mm filmmaking in the 1960s and became one of America’s leading avant-garde filmmakers. From his late-1960s series of sublime ‘single-shot’ films to the dense sound/image constructs of the mid-1970s and after, his cinema is the cinema of presence, of observation, and of deep conscious engagement. While addressing genres of landscape, diary and assemblage filmmaking, Gottheim’s work properly stands alone in its intensive investigations of the paradoxes between direct, sensual experience in collision with complex structures of repetition, anticipation and memory.
Gottheim developed the Department of Cinema in Binghamton, N.Y. and taught there for more than three decades. This extremely influential department attracted the most talented artists, academics, and filmmakers of the day including Ken Jacobs, Hollis Frampton, Peter Kubelka, and Ernie Gehr among many others. In the 1990’s Gottheim has also served for a brief time as director of the Filmmaker’s Co-op in New York. Gottheim’s films are in the collections of museums and archives throughout the world, and a program of his restored early films premiered at the 2005 New York Film Festival.
(text: Revista Lumière)
- Chants and Dances for Hand (1991-2016, digital, 42 min, colour, sound)
“There are scenes of Vodou ceremonies in which I participated, scenes filmed during an uprising, personal images (Hand is my son from a Haitian marriage) but this is far from a documentary. There are no sounds other than the sync sounds that accompany the images. The sections devoted to five ceremonies are separated by “Interludes” that introduce other material, some of it threaded throughout. This is a tightly wound network of sonic and visual connections, with secret passages between elements. Thoughts about the relationship between ceremonies and personal and political life can arise, and of spectatorship in and outside of cinema, video and dreams.” – Larry Gottheim
- Mnemosyne Mother of Muses (1987, 16mm, 18 min, colour, sound)
Christened for the Greek mythological personification of human memory, MNEMOSYNE, MOTHER OF MUSES is Larry Gottheim’s facsimile edition of how one reflects on life and experiences (namely, in flashes and excerpts of sound and imagery). Typically known for his avant-garde, single-shot meditations on nature, Gottheim here provides a palindromic quotation of his own memories, including street corners, movie quotes, family members and Johnny Hartman tunes. - Tom Fritsche
- Your Television Traveler (1991, 16mm, 18 min, colour, sound)
“The history of space, the place of mystery, the mystery of trace, the space of history.” – Larry Gottheim
- Corn (1970, 16mm, 11 min, colour, silent)
“A fixed camera companion to Fog Line. Bright green leaves stripped from ears of corn, and later, the vibrant yellow ears placed steaming in the waiting bowl. Each of these actions inaugurates a period in which one contemplates an image whose steady transformation is barely perceptible – the delicate slow movement of light and shadow, the evolution of subtle steam into the film grain. A meditation on the fragile moments of corn’s passage from living sun-nourished plant to food to light image. The mind attempts to grasp duration itself, to distinguish its own creating from its perceiving, but distinctions blur in the wholeness of times’ and consciousness’ flow.” – Larry Gottheim
- Blues (1969, 16mm 18fps, 8’30 min, colour, silent)
“A bowl of blueberries in milk, changing light radiant on the berries and on the glazed bowl, the ever more radiant orb of milk transforming into glowing light itself, with a brief shadow coda answering the complex play of shadows. The regular pulses of light framing the looser rhythmus of the spoon, itself a frame. A charging of each of the frame’s edges with its own particular energy. Within and without, whites and blues, lines and curves. The pulses of vision, the simple natural processes, lift the spirit.” – Larry Gottheim
Curated by James Edmonds as part of the Light Movement series