Microscope Gallery welcomes Philadelphia-based film and video artist Peter Rose for “Spectacle of Light and Languages”, a comprehensive screening of his works in film and video since the 70s, including the premiere of his latest short Solaristics and footage from new 3D works-in-progress.
A mathematical training underlies Rose’s early structural films, where quick cuts and superimposed images form the basis of a kinesthetic exploration of space, time, light and perception. Lyricism and a persistent attempt at breaking down language and meaning continue to guide the artist’s later works, in a personal and uncompromising search for transcendence.
Peter Rose will be in attendance to introduce the screening and available afterwards for Q&A.
Philadelphia-based artist Peter Rose readily moves between film, video, performance, and installation, creating thought provoking works since the late 1960s. Both formally inventive and mischievously articulate, these propose raptures of vision and riddles of language that position his work as entirely unique within the contemporary American avant-garde.
Rose’s work has received extensive national and international exhibition, including shows at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Yokohama Museum of Art, the Fabric Workshop and Museum, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Film Society of Lincoln Center. His work is included in several international collections.
Programme: (approx. 60 minutes)
- Incantation (1970, 8 min, 16mm, color, sound)
Using rapidly edited, superimposed images of plants, trees, water, the sun and the moon, Incantation weaves a dynamic tapestry of organic forms and textures, combining its images with a fierce rhythmic intensity so as to suggest a kind of natural force. The film was shot entirely in the camera, in 8mm, according to a pre-arranged, music-like score, and then blown up to 16mm using a home-made optical printer. The accompanying sound track, a chant taken from Islamic liturgy, is breath-based and brings the film into the form of a prayer. Incantation was shown as part of the Whitney Museum’s New American Filmmakers Series.
- Secondary Currents (1982, excerpt, 16mm, B&W, sound)
Secondary Currents is a film about the relationships between the mind and language. Delivered by an improbable narrator who speaks an extended assortment of nonsense, it is an “imageless” film in which the shifting relationships between voice-over commentary and subtitled narration constitute a peculiar duet for voice, thought, speech, and sound. A kind of comic opera, the film is a dark metaphor for the order and entropy of language.
- Pneumenon (2003, 5 min, two-channel video installation)
Pneumenon is a two-channel video installation that offers dramatic visible metaphors for ideas about appearance and reality, sign and referent, cause and effect. The heart of the piece is a video shot on the Rio Grande in southern Texas. A blue tarpaulin hangs from a line of rope and sways in an intermittent breeze. The shadows from the leaves on a tree in the distance are projected onto this surface by the sun, and they grow and decline in size as the tarp sways back and forth towards the camera.When the wind occasionally lifts the tarp, the entire landscape behind is revealed- a tree, some RV vehicles, a road. And then the curtain falls again, fluttering. In the installation, this image is projected from behind onto a large silk screen that hangs in front of the viewing audience. A small fan is positioned in front of this screen and has been slaved to the chapter numbers in the video so that it goes on and off on a pre-programmed basis. This is a piece about phenomenon and noumenon, about air, wind, breath, and light, and it operates at an odd juncture between video art and a theatre of objects.
- Odysseus in Ithaca (2006, 5 min, video)
Odysseus moors his boat in an alien architectural machine, a labyrinth with echoes of De Chirico and Escher – a place of mystery and power where the rules of visual perspective are transformed and another space erupts. Commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
- Studies in Transfalumination (2008, 5 min, video)
This video exploits modified flashlights and stripped down video projectors to explore the visual complexities of the ordinary world: a tunnel, a clump of grass, a discarded table, the underside of a bridge, fog, a piece of rock, and a tree. All images were shot in real time- there is no animation. The video is the third in a series of works that explore light and darkness.
- The Indezerian Tablets (2013, 17 min, video)
Transfaluminal ideoglyphs are used to present a nocturnal portrait of a vanished people: their myth, scripture, technology, art and poetry as reconstructed from fragments found in the archive at Kiens.
- Solaristics (2013, 10 min, video) (premiere)
The phenomenology of the black sun; an anthology of sightings; an ecoparable.
- Selections from 3D works-in-progress