Monday October 28, 7pm
Short Films of Patrick Bokanowski
Suggested Donation $6

Stills from “Au Bord du Lac” (Patrick Bokanowski, 1993)

Microscope presents a rare night of short works by French filmmaker and artist Patrick Bokanowski. In these works made between 1972 and 2002, Bokanowski, who has been referred to as “the artist-alchemist of celluloid”, employs warped lenses, specially manufactured reflective mirrors, animation, still frames and other techniques to take the viewer from the mundane – a woman powdering her face, beachgoers, a family breakfast – into the realm of dreams, nightmares, and other strange and distorted realities. Intense original soundtracks, composed by his spouse Michèle Bokanowski, accompany each piece.

“His [Bokanowski’s] work lies on the edge between optical and plastic art, in a ‘gap’ of constant reinvention.” Pierre Coulibeuf


Program Includes:
(All 16mm film transfers to video)

La Femme qui se poudre (Woman Powdering herself)
1972, 18 minutes, b&w, sound, 16mm transfer to video
“…the space the film is describing is being constantly scrambled; it’s a film without any floor in it and, as a spectator, when you are watching it, even if you are comfortably seated, your own seat leaves the ground. One notices these briefly passing creatures (one of which is, yes, a woman powdering herself) slowly and deliberately undertaking acts you don’t quite understand, but which are clearly of a ghastly nature. …” – Dominique Noguez

Dejeuner du matin (Breakfast)
1974, 12 minutes, color, sound, 16mm transfer to video
“It can be called a dreamscape, but don’t go looking for any hidden meanings in these disturbing images. Such as that long nocturnal hallway we’ve walked down in our dreams, down which psychoanalysts have followed their customers, or on their own behalf. It leads us into the deepest depth of ourselves.” – Claude Mauriac

La Plage (The Beach)
1992, 13 minutes, color, sound, 16mm transfer to video
“Bokanowski’s film has an almost classical quality in this sense, insofar as it is composed like a painting, or, perhaps because of Michèle Bokanowski’s contribution, like a piece of music. … one no longer associates his work with Kafka or Isidore Ducasse, but rather with the light-filled drawings of Victor Hugo or Seurat, Tanguy or even Mir-. It’s as if a period of nightmares had come to an end, and a new sense of something like serenity had taken over.” – Dominique Noguez

Au bord du lac (By the Lake)
1994, 6 minutes, color, sound, 16mm transfer to video
The realization of this film required almost fifteen mirrors, meticulously manufactured and selected among dozens of samples.
“…it’s as if the proximity of water metamorphosed everything around, fluidizing all of the matter into endless spirals before our delighted eyes.” — Jacques Kermabon

Patrick Bokanowski is a French filmmaker and artist born in 1943 who lives and works in Paris. He has made over 10 films since 1972 including the 1992 feature “L’Ange (The Angel)”. He also exhibits painting, drawings, and photography.

Still from “La Femme qui se poudre” (Patrick Bokanowski, 1972)

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