Friday April 20, 7:30pm
Bradley Eros
Ephemeral cinema performances and films

Eros_ion_Bradley Eros
Image courtesy of Bradley Eros and Microscope Gallery

Microscope is very pleased to present a night of rare ephemeral cinema performance and films by Bradley Eros in connection with his current solo exhibition at the gallery “All that is solid melts into eros”, which is on view through April 22. The works in the program, spanning nearly two decades – from “eros.ion” (1999), a shutter-less Super8mm projection performance, to Eros’ most recent and never-before-seen “Flick or Film” (2017) – revolve primarily around the artist’s investigation of film as an ephemeral, physical medium and the ways of transforming it to in effect extend its life, including through collaging, spray paint, burning, burial, and various manually activated means of projection.

Among the other works in the program are Eros’ new iteration of his 2002 “Aurora Borealis” a cinematic homage to Joseph Cornell and Jean Painlevé shown this time in its original 16mm format with live foley and electronics soundtrack by Rachael Guma and Gabriel Guma (aka Gestalt Tone Color); “Liquid Crystal” (2000), a film-less projection performance with light beams passing through cut crystal drinking glasses, lenses, whiskey and water; and one of Eros’ best known works “burn (or, The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics)”, a video in which a found Super8mm filmstrip of 1970s bondage porn burns frame-by-frame as it is pulled through a damaged projector to a soundtrack from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

Eros will be available for Q&A following the screening and performance.

General admission $8
Members or students w/ ID $6


Bradley Eros is an artist working in myriad mediums including film & video, collage, performance, expanded cinema, and installation. Eros has been a catalyst of the New York film community since the 1980s and his works have exhibited and screened extensively in the US and abroad including at the Whitney Museum of American Art (in “Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art: 1905-2016”, “The Whitney Biennial 2004”, and “The American Century: Art & Culture 1900-2000”) as well as at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), MoMA PS1, New Museum, The Kitchen, Participant Inc., Pioneer Works, Performa09, Exit Art, Anthology Film Archives, Parrish Art Museum (Water Mill, NY), The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh, PA), Camden Arts Center (London), Arsenal (Berlin), and The New York, London and Rotterdam Film Festivals. His work has been written about in ArtFCityArtforumHyperallergicThe Brooklyn RailThe Wall Street Journal, and the Village Voice, among many others. Collaborations include the Alchemical Theater, the band Circle X, Voom HD Lab, and the expanded cinema groups kinoSonikArcane Project and currently with Optipus. Grants and Awards include: Acker Award, NYFA Fellowship, Experimental Television Center (ETC), and Issue Project Room’s artist in residence, among others. His work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Eros currently lives and works in Queens, New York.


Aerodynamics of the Black Sun
Digital video, color, sound, 2006, 6 minutes

“Aerodynamics of the Black Sun” is an alchemical process reflecting decay and regeneration in the solar realm. The elasticity of materials under chemical change creates metaphors and abstractions for manipulated plastics burning in the gate. These pyrographic ruptures are inspired by entropic phenomena and disintegration, as well as by artists who explore surface distress, puncture and erosion, such as Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana and Alberto Burri.

Aurora Borealis
16mm film, 2002, 12 minutes
w/ live foley & electronics by Rachael Guma and Gabriel Guma (aka Gestalt Tone Color) and Masami Tomihisa

“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. 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.” – BE

Digital video, 2004, 9 minutes

An ephemeral film of subterranean science, Deliquescence creates an aquatic environment that emphasizes the liquidity of projected light. The work employs external glass lenses, plus violet and rose-tinted gels, and strategic hand-masking to interlace the figures in a sexual mélange, overlaying a particularly tender fragment of pornography with the amorphous undulations of a Japanese documentary on marine flowers.

burn (or, The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics) v.3
Digital video, 2004, 5 minutes 35 seconds

The work uses a short strip of super8mm footage of 1970s bondage porn pulled through the projector gate and burned frame-by-frame, in a live performance. A soundtrack fragment of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, with Robert De Niro’s methodical rant and Bernard Herrmann’s haunting score, seeps beneath the disintegrating images, signaling the sleazy milieu of Times Square. Here the fragility of the plastic material is both magnified and transformed, serving as a physical fact of film and a brutal metaphor. Meanwhile, energy is expelled through the process of heat, and liberation is attempted through an act of destruction. In melting, the image becomes temporarily alive and strangely beautiful.

Flick or Film
16mm film, silent & live sound, 2018, 7 minutes
w/ live sound by Muyassar Kurdi

This film results from the frame-by-frame shooting of various monochromes, followed by the spraying of silver paint onto the 16mm filmstrip. The flickering colors are given a new texture and sense of depth by the physicality of the paint, shifting in and out of focus. This work is always played twice, once silent, once with live sound.

Performance, multiple film projectors, 2004, 7 minutes

“With 8mm projector and 16mm projectors with no film, slide projector with dust on clear slide, spotlight, flashlight, anamorphic lens, glass, matches, white, black & silver 8 x 12 boards, mylar, mirrors, gels & filters, powder & spray, aperture plate, screen, streetlights, carlights, shadows, reels, soundhead, microphone, contact mic, performance demonstration, fingers & blink […] A didactic deconstruction (an apparatus stripped bare) of a multi-medium plastic polymorphic cinema concrete.” – BE

“Screen” was the last work performed by Eros at NYC alternative theater venue “Collective: Unconscious”.

Liquid Crystal
Performance, 8mm projector, flashlight, cut crystal drinking glasses, lenses, whiskey and water, 2000, 5 minutes

“Pulsating and flickering from projector strobe, moving projected light without celluloid or filmstrip. Light beams through glass as liquids (water then whiskey) are poured into and out of translucent vessels projecting clear and colored images and prismatic refractions onto the white wall of an unframed screen surface.” – BE

Performance, water-damaged Super8mm film, 16mm film, color, 1999, 10 minutes

“This filmstrip is projected without the use of the shutter. It is pulled through the projector by hand at an irregular speed, moving ahead (or backwards) slowly or quickly, sometimes stopping, altering focus, and at times allowing the deteriorated emulsion and celluloid to burn in the gate. It is a film without flicker and no fixed time frame. It has “continuity without intermittency”, challenging a given notion of cinema. […] It magnifies what Rosalind Krauss calls the ‘film in potentia because film not-yet-projected.’ Nature of the thing in hand. An objet trouvé transformed by a (revealed) trompe l’oeil.” – BE

ASH (arcana sub hic / astra sub hoc: the secrets are under here / the stars are beneath this)
Hand-made slides, 16mm film loops, live burning, 2018, 7 minutes
w/ live sound by Samara Lubelski

“Embrace the ephemeral, but mourn extinction.” An unfixed projection with film loops and slides made daily from the ashes produced by the ritual charring in the current show. These elements are reanimated and given new life in exhibition and performance. With “spring ephemerals” flower loop by Katherine Bauer.

Microscope Gallery Event Series 2018 is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

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