A programme of screenings to accompany the exhibition “The Thinking Machine. Ramon Llull and the «ars combinatoria»”
Before artists worked with computers, a series of avant-garde painters such as Oskar Fischinger, Harry Smith and Jordan Belson created a form of non-narrative film that addressed geometry, the possibilities of mathematic combinations, and spirituality. After these visionaries, artists like John Whitney embraced the new synthetic image medium to continue exploring abstract animation. Many artists have followed in their wake, up until the present day.
This collection of films by Jodie Mack investigates the formal principles of abstract cinema while maturing an interest in found materials, evolving modes of production, forms of labor, and the role of decoration in daily life. Prodding at hierarchies of aesthetic value and the tension between high and low, these works question the role of abstract animation in a post-psychedelic climate.
Presenting three films of very differing genres and approaches, this programme reflects the fascination people have always felt with the ability of photography to make the invisible visible, even according it supernatural attributes.
Based on an ontology founded on an immutable belief in images and the power of conversing with the invisible, cinema took from spiritualist photography the elements of a formal grammar whose phenomena of on-screen appearance and disappearance are the essential markers of its magical nature.
This session presents two of Marjorie Keller’s most important films, Misconception and Daughters of Chaos, personal musings on the female experience, both intimate and everyday, constructed from domestic footage subjected to complex editing experiments and the correspondence between image and sound.
Marjorie Keller died prematurely in 1994 at the age of 43, leaving over 25 films in 8 mm and 16 mm and a series of critical texts about the kind of cinema that interested her, such as a book about childhood in the work of Brakhage, Cocteau and Cornell, and incomplete research into experimental film by women, from pioneers like Germaine Dulac, Maya Deren and Carolee Schneemann to the young generation of her contemporaries, represented by Peggy Ahwesh, Su Friedrich and Leslie Thornton.
Like a scientific observatory, this session brings together a series of experimental films that set out to capture the ephemeral forms, the variations in appearance of things, the modulation of light and the transformations of colour in the landscape.
Using different filming techniques (static shots, time lapse or filters) and various treatments of the film in the laboratory (solarization, tinted, toning or overprinting), the images become optical illusions of the natural world, moving canvases that are transformed and become highly expressive.
Hannes Schüpbach leads us into the world of Swiss artist Klaus Lutz (1940-2009), by means of the simultaneous screening of his films on a screen and balloons, a talk about his work and a documentary by Frank Metter on his creative process.
The enigmatic work of Klaus Lutz lies somewhere between the meditations of a recluse and the fantasies of a utopia visionary. With reminiscences of Georges Méliès, Chaplin, the Russian avant-gardes and the Bauhaus, with a touch of futurism, his films are mysterious mental landscapes that tell almost mythological stories about a man who lives in a strange, solitary world. The protagonist—Lutz—flies over imaginary cities and through interstellar space, interacting with anthropomorphic signs and drawings, all filmed and edited in camera in the small Manhattan apartment where he lived.
The films of Hannes Schüpbach interweave light, colour, gesture, and many details of everyday spaces to create highly lyrical images. This session will be attended by the Swiss filmmaker, who will be presenting his films. The cinema of Hannes Schüpbach aims not to represent the world, but rather, like the geometries of a carpet, to reconstruct and materialize its system of infinite relations. For this Swiss artist and filmmaker, a film is like a carpet in which a series of images unfold, handwoven into a patterned fabric.
Daïchi Saïto’s films are the product of artisan work and a manual development of the photochemical image, with a view to creating a vital experience in which the spectator imagines other perceptive, interior worlds. Saïto studied literature and philosophy in the United States, and Hindi and Sanskrit in India, and now lives and works in Montreal, where he cofounded the Double Negative collective.
Defined by Scott MacDonald as powerful and unusual in their emotional effects, Rolls: 1971 invites the viewer to participate in the always ongoing process of making the most authentic and satisfying human life. It is the most effective culmination of Robert Huot's intent of creating an interesting and beautiful film without being inaccessible.
Sound in cinema is a key element to understanding the authors' artistic conception. This is a session specially designed to learn a bit more about the different roles of the soundtrack in the structural film.
The filmmakers who practise the technical and aesthetic considerations of structural film work with sound from disruptive stances. Graphic manipulations on the optical soundtrack of the celluloid and alterations to ambient sound offer acoustic dialogues about noise and soundscape.