Thursday July 10, shows at 7pm & 9pm
Olfactory Cinema
16mm films by Bradley Eros
plus a live expanded cinema collaboration with Optipus expanded cinema group and the smell-o-vision artist Vanessa McDonnell
admission $6 – reservations recommended for both shows at
approx. 50 minutes

From “Osmosis” by Bradley Eros / © image courtesy of the artist

Microscope welcomes Bradley Eros back to the gallery for this long awaited “Olfactory Cinema” screening & performance event. The night includes two films by Eros “Osmosis” – a triple screen projection blow up from Super 8 to 16mm film played simultaneously for the first time with the video transfer of the work – and “Aurora Borealis”, a collage film made from numerous discarded educational science films and dedicated to Joseph Cornell and Jean Painlevé. Both works are from the early 2000s and were featured at “Views from the Avant-Garde” at the New York Film Festival and at “The Whitney Biennial” respectively.

A live special collaborative performance “The Eyes of Animals” with the expanded cinema group Optipus (w/ members Katherine Bauer, Kenneth Zoran Curwood, Bradley Eros, Rachael Guma, Lary 7, Joel Schlemowitz) along with the smell-o-vision artist Vanessa McDonnell follows. “Olfactory Cinema” is taking place in connection with Eros’ current exhibition at the gallery “eau de cinema: constellations & contradictions” which ends this Sunday July 13th.

Optipus is a nomadic group of chameleon artists, cine-scientists in search of a laboratory, shape-shifting according to site-specific requirements. The group embraces the ephemeral cinema of unfixed forms and open composition. It is a magnetic field, derived from the psychic urge to build, via collective energy and desire, that also contains its opposite, the destructive impulse, seen in its wild sway towards the dangers of pure experimentation, obsolete media, and an attraction to aesthetic decay, technological destruction and failure.
Optipus’s members emerge in myriad collaborations, producing works and events, soundtracks and invented instruments, video edits and film loops, and expanded cinema and immersive installations. Optipus has been seen at various venues including The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, Participant Inc., New York University, Microscope Gallery, Bobby Redd Project Space (The Church), Millennium Film Workshop and others.

Vanessa McDonnell is a filmmaker and editor based in New York. She produced and edited the feature film Go Down Death and the feature documentary John’s of 12th Street. Vanessa is a programmer and trailer editor at Spectacle, a Brooklyn microcinema and a frequent contributor to Screen Slate. Vanessa first developed a Smell-o-Vision accompaniment to Aaron Schimberg’s anachronistic debut feature Go Down Death, the ultimate vehicle for “the weird perfumes and other odd tinctures I’ve made out of plants, foods, etc.”


OSMOSIS = Oscillating Simultaneous Memories Of Sensuality’s Intimate Spectrum
The elemental, the ephemeral & the constructed, in a process of absorption and diffusion.
A panoramic composition for three images, blown up to 16mm from original super-8 footage, evolved from an original triple projection performance. This highly personal document of architectural structures, nature & landscape, and the body’s intimacy is fabricated from thirty years of collected material.

Aurora Borealis
16mm film on DVD, color, sound, 2002, 12 minutes
(This version features a foley & vinyl soundtrack by Bradley Eros & Rachael Guma, with Gabriel Guma)

Aurora Borealis treats the laboratory as a theater of metamorphosis, a magic show for staging transformations, with technicians as prestidigitators, performing conjuring and vanishing acts on elemental materials of solid-liquid-gas, using prisms, crystals, dyes to invoke the phantasmagoric and the sublime.

Confusions of scale, where the microscopic is analogous to the astronomic, and vice versa, provoke the latent force of displacement and imaginative disorientation in these seemingly hallucinatory parallel universes. Nebula or protozoa? Galaxy or cell? These sci-fi landscapes compel a fantastic voyage to distant, perhaps, infinitesimally inner, spaces.

Created primarily from found footage acquired from a Texas school library, Aurora Borealis is an homage to two lyric surrealists of the cinematic collage, Joseph Cornell and Jean Painlevé. To Cornell, in his irrepressible wonder at the marvelous made manifest in the mundane, where common objects reclaim their mystery through subtle juxtapositions and revelatory tangents. And for Painlevé, in his own subaquatic science of marine biology turned wonderland and his poetic junctions of the subversive and the submerged. From the collection of detritus to the construction of oneiric and obsessive templates, I composed this film through a process of subtraction of the original expository devices, and the insertion of unexpected diversions and creatures – the caterpillar’s slothful opacity, the jellyfish’s phantom transparency and the sudden terror of the octopus’ whiplash emergence – excavating nocturnal associations and triggering the uncanny perception of hidden worlds within worlds, where the invisible spectrum masks a fierce and powerful universe of decay and regeneration, hidden in the dark matter, but finally eclipsed and unveiled via the instruments and apparatus seemingly more alchemical than clinical.

2014, 16mm film prints & loops, 35mm slides~hand-made & photographed, DVDs, color & b&w, gels & lenses, + foley & vinyl.
approx. 25 minutes

An expanded cinema performance using multiple projectors, films, videos & slides, live foley & vinyl records, and scents that are sprayed, mixed & dispersed from aromatic liquids and other fragrant items. This unique composition will feature works by Optipus, in solo projections and various combinations & Vanessa McDonnell’s laboratory of smells + olfactory elements from the group.

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