The DVD brings together 11 films by Peter Gidal made between 1967 to 2013. It is accompanied by a unique 40 page booklet of texts about the filmmaker’s work by Patricia L. Boyd, Stephen Heath and Chris Kennedy. The booklet is composed of transparent pages and was designed by Diana Vidrascu at RE:VOIR.
Condition of Illusion: 11 films by Peter Gidal from 1967 to 2013
- Clouds, 1967, 10 '
- Focus, 1971 7 '
- Upside Down Feature, 1967-1972, 62 '
- Epilogue, 1968 9 '
- Guilt, 1988 40 '
- Flare Out 1992, 15 '
- Assumption, 1997, 1'30
- No night No day, 1997 14 '
- Coda I, 2013, 2 '
- Coda II, 2013, 2 '
- Bonus: Room (Double Take), 1967 10 '
"It’s upside down, inside out, negative, reversed — as though Gidal had cranked all the navigational tools of his medium to their absolute zero, and, in so doing, groped his way towards a spot that’s not on any map, some true, magnetic north of cinema itself. The viewer, held in this liminal space, this threshold, is by turns (or simultaneously) mesmerised, disoriented, captivated, frustrated and delighted. And we’re not just talking about cinema here: Upside Down Feature is awash with radios performing Cage-like trawls across their dials; with typewriters; static cameras; even Man Ray’s photos of the dust on Duchamp’s Large Glass. The leitmotif of clocks (their faces, naturally, flipped) is fitting: what we’re ultimately witnessing, perhaps, is a countdown, taking place on the far side of the screen, of all screens; the exhilarating spectacle of not just a medium but media tout court in a state of immanence, of almost-becoming." -Tom McCarthy
“... the film attempts to deal with those questions of representation that persist as problematic, for me; for the basic questions of aesthetics: what it is to view, how to view the unknown?, as to me the known is not possibly a viewing.” -Peter Gidal
"Gidal doesn’t so much produce films as make interventions into filmmaking. The films on this DVD, which span some forty-years of filmmaking, can thus be seen as a challenge to the coherence of the overall system of signification in both dominant cinema and moving images more generally." -Patricia L. Boyd
One of the foremost experimental filmmakers since the late 1960s, Peter Gidal received in 2015 the L’Age d’or prize at the Brussels Cinematek for his film not far at all, as well as the Ljubljana International Biennial Lifetime Achievement Award. His book Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966-2016 has just been published by The Visible Press. He was a central figure at the London Filmmakers Co-op in the 1960s and 1970s, and taught advanced film theory at the Royal College of Art, London from 1971 to 1984. His books include Andy Warhol: Films and Paintings (Studio Vista/Dutton, 1971), Understanding Beckett: Monologue and Gesture (Macmillan/Palgrave,1986), Materialist Film (Routledge, 1989/2014), and Gerhard Richter in the 1990s: The Polemics of Paint (d’Offay, 1996).