Poetry of the Everyday is a selection of short films by Rose Lowder, Tara Merenda Nelson, Helga Fanderl, and Anne Charlotte Robertson. Featuring travelogues, portraits, and diary films, this virtual program highlights a personal practice of filmmaking rooted in intimacy and observation. All the titles are shot on Super 8, the smallest of film formats, which registers images that invite viewers to engage more deeply with the texture, grain, and density of each frame. These poetic films approach the world from a personal point of view, using the camera as a mechanism for self-discovery.
*Note that the films are organized as a program and presented as such. However, due to their digital presentation, you are also able to watch them separately at your convenience.
Streaming from July 19–July 31, 2021:
- Beijing (Rose Lowder, Peru, 12:17, 1988-2011, Color, Sound, Super 8 to 16mm to digital)
- Flying Fish (Tara Merenda Nelson, USA, 5:40, 2012, Color, Silent, Super 8 to digital)
- 43 street Treelapse (Tara Merenda Nelson, USA, 3:20, 2009, Black and white, Silent, three-channel, Super 8 to digital)
- Leopard (3:17, color, 2012) + Mädchen / Girls (2:10, color, 1995) + The Color Run 3’18 (3:18, black and white, 2014) + Im Schnee / In the Snow (1:41, black and white, 2001) - (Helga Fanderl, Germany, Silent, Super 8 to digital)
- Snow (Tara Merenda Nelson, USA, 6:14, 2010, Black and white, Sound, Super 8 to digital)
- Five Year Diary, Reel 31: Niagara Falls, August 19–28 (Anne Charlotte Robertson, USA, 24:36, 1983, )Color, Sound, Super 8 to digital
- Last Day of Capricorn (Tara Merenda Nelson, USA, 6:00, 2013, Color, Sound, Super 8 to digital)
Rose Lowder (Peruvian, b. 1941) is a filmmaker based in Avignon, France who studied at Lima School of Fine Arts and Chelsea School of Art. Her work has been shown at Tate Modern (London), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Cinema Project (Portland), etc. She is the co-founder of the Archives du film expérimental d’Avignon (1981) and an Associate Professor (practice, history, theory, and aesthetics), at the Université de Paris I (1996-2005).
Tara Merenda Nelson (American, b. 1975) is a filmmaker, curator, programmer and lecturer working with film and digital media. Her films, videos and installations have been shown at MoMA, Flaherty NYC, Views from the Avant Garde (NYFF), the Dallas Medianale, VideoEx Film Festival (Switzerland), Anthology Film Archives (New York City), MONO NO AWARE (New York City), the Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), and many galleries and festivals throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She is currently the Curator of Moving Image Collections and Programmer of the VSW Salon Series at Visual Studies Workshop.
Helga Fanderl (German, b. 1947) is a filmmaker based in Berlin and Paris. From 1987 to 1992 she studied at the University of Fine Arts in Frankfurt am Main with Peter Kubelka and then at the Cooper Union School of Arts New York with Robert Breer. She presented her films internationally at galleries, museums and festivals, among others at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen and Toronto International Film Festival. Her films are represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt am Main and in the collection of the Center Pompidou in Paris.
Anne Charlotte Robertson (American, 1949-2012) was a Boston-area experimental filmmaker who used her intimate personal life as subject to produce a large and distinctive body of Super 8 films. She studied under filmmaker Saul Levine at the Massachusetts College of Art in the 1980s, and along with contemporaries such as Carolee Schneemann and Ed Pincus made a significant contribution to personal diary filmmaking, particularly with the Five Years Diary (1981–1997), her major work which covers a 15 year period of her life and runs to over 36 hours in length. Robertson died of cancer in 2012, leaving her large archive of Super 8 films to the Harvard Film Archive.
The Memorial Art Gallery is extremely grateful for the Harvard Film Archive’s generous in-kind support. The curators would like to thank Helga Fanderl, Mark Johnson, and Miguel Armas.
Poetry of the Everyday is co-curated by Tara Merenda Nelson and Almudena Escobar López, MAG’s Associate Curator of Media Arts; and it is presented in conjunction with MAG’s exhibition Tara Merenda Nelson: FourMats (on view from May 28–August 8, 2021). On July 29, 2021, MAG has also scheduled a discussion between Tara and Almudena. More information for both the exhibition and the public talk can be found here.