a film by Derek Jarman
MONDAY JULY 30, 7PM
preceded by the short Art of Mirrors
Suggested Donation $6
We present Derek Jarman’s masterpiece the feature length film Jublilee shot in London in 1977 during the celebrations of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The work originated from an idea for a Super8 film about the punk icon Jordan, who the director met around that time at Victoria Station. Jubilee questions the future of England, imagined through a rare combination of anarchy, the sublime, and ultimately, freedom.
Numerous punk icons appear in the film including Jordan (Pamela Rooke), Toyah Willcox, Nell Campbell, Adam Ant, Demoriane and others. It features performances by Wayne County and Adam and the Ants and cameo appearances by The Slits and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Film score by Brian Eno.
The film will be preceded by the Jarman’s 1973 short Art of Mirrors, originally shot in super 8mm.
by Derek Jarman
Originally shot in 16mm (transferred to video), color, sound, 1978, 100 minutes
“One of the things that Jarman tried to depict in Jubilee was how everybody gets corrupted – even punks posturing as iconoclasts who would never sell out. He wanted to show too that there was no future in England’s dreaming. Later, he believed events proved him right. In the second volume of his memoirs, Dancing Ledge, published in 1993, a year before his death, Jarman wrote: Afterwards, the film turned prophetic. Dr Dee’s vision came true – the streets burned in Brixton and Toxteth, Adam was on Top of the Pops and signed up with Margaret Thatcher to sing at the Falklands Ball. They all sign up in one way or another.” — Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 2007
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Derek Jarman (1942 – 1994) was a British avant garde film director, stage designer, painter, and writer. His body of work includes 11 feature films and over 30 short films shot on Super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm, made between 1970 and 1993. His works are considered radical and highly controversial for the times.
He died in 1994 from complications related to AIDS.
Performance by Jeff Donaldson
MONDAY JULY 9, 7PM
We are very pleased to welcome Jeff Donaldson back to Microscope. Last year he brought his 8-bit Nintendo based works to Microscope for a a live performance and then as an installation piece in the “Bushwick in the Box” exhibition we presented at White Box in Manhattan. This time, Donaldson returns with a real-time audio/visual improvisation generated with a Panasonic WJ-MX12 video mixer. We have been looking forward to this night for months.
“For Infinite Regress, the video output signal is split into two signals: one signal is sent to an audio processing device and the other is sent back into the video input of the Panasonic creating a feedback loop. Audio and video are therefore perceived as an abstract continuum which is guided live. What one sees is what one hears and what one hears is what one sees.” — JD
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Jeff Donaldson is an audio/visual artist who has been working with feedback systems since the late 1980s. At the beginning of the new millennium, Donaldson began applying the concept of feedback to video game systems, transforming them into generative audio/visual instruments. Since publishing his video work online, Donaldson has exhibited internationally as well as helped to pioneer the fields of video bending and glitch aesthetics.
© All images are courtesy of Jeff Donaldson
Stop-motion videos by Jake Scharbach
w/ sound by Scharbach and Adam Steiglitz
SATURDAY JULY 7, 7PM
Admission $6 – Artist in person
We welcome Brooklyn-based artists Jake Scharbach to Microscope to present his stop-motion video serial works, made over the past 5 years. The videos show the artist at work, painting and re-painting, constructing and de-constructing his artwork. In the end, the videos are “the art” made from the process.
The short videos are grouped into several series: Wreckdom, Recent Past, Studio Tests, Trophies, Junkshop, and Human Nature. A additional work, Trophies 3, originally presented at Chashama as part of the exhibition “Big Institutional White Box” will also be shown.
trt: approx. 45 minutes
Wreckdom Series, 2007–2008
The process of making a drawing to completion both forwards and backwards. The content is from Scharbach’s sketches and photography. The first of his serial works.
Recent Past Series, 2008
The making of two paintings and a drawing. Each picture is painted to completion, only to be painted over. In the end, the picture is painted white—erased to become a surface on which the video is projected on a continuous feeder loop.
Studio Tests Series, 2008
In these videos, an isolated image, photographed from faded advertisements, is used as a fixed blueprint. Change occurs while quietly transforming and distorting the whole.
Trophies Series, 2008
Portraits of trophies, each one obscuring the last. The trophies were from a thrift store, which led to the Junkshop series.
Chashama, Big Institutional White Box 2008, Harlem
In 2008, Scharbach was part of a group of artists who were invited to change, alter, or inhabit the interior of an empty storefront in Harlem. With the Trophies project already underway, Scharbach decided to use the whole space as an environment for the videos as he drew the trophies along the tops of the walls.
Junkshop Series, 2008–2009
Photographs of the interior of a junkshop are used as source material, building compositions by overlaying, grounding, and piling the images. The videos play backwards, like an archeological dig.
Human Nature, 2011
A single video that takes an autobiographical look at nature, humankind, and Scharbach’s feelings about his relationship to the world.
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Jake Scharbach is a painter, photographer, and video artist from Washington State now living in Brooklyn, New York. His work has exhibited at Family Business, the Fountain Art Fair, Marketplace Gallery, the ACE Film Festival, Chashama, and Brooklyn Art Museum.
© All images are courtesy of Jake Scharbach
Super8mm Films By Paul Clipson
SATURDAY JUNE 30, 7PM
Admission $6 – Filmmaker in person
We are thrilled to welcome San Francisco-based filmmaker and Super-8 specialist Paul Clipson to Microscope for an evening of his recent Super8 works. The program includes four b&w/color films made from 2009 to 2011, with footage shot during Clipson’s numerous travels throughout the US and abroad, and Clipson’s 2011 Compound Eyes No.1-5, a collection of five film studies on insects and animal life filmed in the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens and other sites in San Francisco. In each of the works in the show, Clipson utilizes Super8mm reversal film and complex superimposition through in camera editing to transform and transcend his subject matter.
TRT – 65 minutes
SPHINX ON THE SEINE (2009) Super 8mm, 9 minutes, color/B&W, music by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
The beginning of a journey, musing on a series of brief, but enigmatic images taken from around the world. These images follow one after the other, but geographically span thousands of miles and large passages of time between each cut. Time, space, and memory collide within a visual fabric of abstractions, landscapes, textures, superimpositions and graphic forms, to suggest the first moments of dream-sleep.
CHORUS (2009/2011) 8 min., Super 8mm, sound, color/B&W, music by Gregg Kowalsky
Three cities become one in this nocturnal journey in which space, color and light pass through the eye of the camera to create thoughts visualized before their conception. Shot in San Francisco, New York and Rotterdam.
LIGHT FROM THE MESA (2010) 7 min., Super 8mm, sound, color/B&W, music by Barn Owl
A collage of foliage, trees and sun: green, grey, red and golden yellow, weaving, spinning and bursting outwards from within the density of Barn Owl’s twin guitar fusion. Filmed in Rotterdam, San Francisco and Orlando, Florida.
UNION (2010) Super 8mm, 14 min. color/B&W, music by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
A figurative exploration of movement, woven into layers of time, and photographed in natural and nocturnal urban spaces, ambiguous within a confluence of lights, colors and darkness.
COMPOUND EYES No.1-5 (2011), Super 8mm, sound, color/B&W, music by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
A series of short film studies, commissioned by the San Francisco Exploratorium, studying aspects of insect , animal life, viewed within a succession of environments in unexpected ways. Filmed in the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens, Academy of Arts & Sciences and San Francisco.
COMPOUND EYES (No. 1) - 7 min. , color/B&W.
A macro-menagerie of natural life-forms are introduced in a forest’s tapestry of earth, water and air: Spiders, slugs, flies, bees, and ants navigate their lives in darkness and light.
ODONATA (No. 2) - 5 min., color.
The expectations of damselflies, skyscrapers and all of the indeterminate space between them.
DIPTERA AND LEPIDOPTERA (No. 3) - 5 min., color.
Flies and butterflies pollinate in a series of beautiful landing maneuvers.
ARANEAE (No. 4) - 5 min., color/B&W.
The fear dream of a spider, a web and a factory.
CARIDEA AND ICHTHYES (No. 5) - 6 min., color.
Fish and crustaceans appear to swim within an ether of natural and unnatural energies.
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San Francisco-based filmmaker Paul Clipson has shown his work internationally in various galleries, festivals and performance venues throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia and Japan, screening work at the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Cinematheque Francaise and the New York Film Festival. He works primarily in Super 8mm film, collaborating on live performances and installations with sound artists and musicians.
© All images are courtesy of Paul Clipson
POOL PARTY (#1)
Group video screening
SUNDAY JUNE 24, 7PM
Featuring works by: Hey-Yeun Jang, Jayson Haebich, Amanda Katz, Bradford Kessler, Grace Kim, Jason Martin, Jean-Michel Rolland, Manuela Schininá, Joel Schlemowitz, Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa and Ursula Sommer.
Still from Emergence by Jayson Heibich (2012)
As the summer heat wave begins we think it is time to refresh our event series with a group screening of works in film and video picked from our submissions pool. Pool Party features 11 short works not bound by any particular theme, made recently by both local and international artists, established and emergent, who over the past year have been submitting their work and ideas to Microscope. We would also like this occasion to thank all the artists who have sent us works since we opened. Please, continue to send us your works!
Stills from Everness by Grace Kim (2012) and I Still Live Here by Amanda Katz (2011)
(k)now (t)here, by Hey-Yeun Jang, US, color, sound, 16mm transfer to video, 8min 50sec, 2011
“A film diary about series of journeys of summer 2009 that was simply to be ‘on the road’.” (HJ)
Emergence by Jayson Haebich, Australia, HD video, color, sound, 2 min. 22 sec, 2012
“This generative audio visual piece is based on the concept of emergence, a mathematical term used to describe the creation of complex behaviour from simple rules whereby randomness results in complex and attractive orderly structures. Emergence is often used to describe natural processes such as the behaviour of insects, weather patterns, the formation of cliffs and mountains and other complex phenomena. Using the emergence principle a custom written piece of software was developed that generates complex, mesmerising visual and audio patterns….” – JH
Saving the Planet, by Bradford Kessler, US, video animation, color, sound, 6 min 11 sec, 2011
In this public service announcement from Charles Darwin, the naturalist reenacts comedian George Carlin’s infamous stand up “Saving the Planet” in the voice of bioexorcist Beetlejuice. (performed by voice actor Jordan Lannan)
I still live here (a self-portrait), by Amanda Katz, US, Super16mm & Super 8 film transferred to video, color, sound, 15min 30sec, 2011
A self-portrait shot on Super-16mm and Super-8mm. Street-cinematography, as opposed to street-photography, combined with moving portraits of the filmmaker’s friends that she sees most often, culminating in a moving self-portrait. Explores the idea of what it is like to hold a camera, and how in deciding what to film the filmmaker or cameraman reveals something about themselves, and becomes a part of the image before them. A representation of the filmmaker in the East Village in the now (Fall 2011).
Everness, by Grace Kim, US, digital video , color, sound, 3 min 7 sec, 2012
“Everness imagines an existential, poetic landscape where different narrative of time and space co-exist. I have layered moving conditions upon an image of landscape of stillness. A symbolic fiction unfolds, bringing into form that which is unseen and unperceivable, but perhaps in a poetic way, more than reality itself…” — GK
Power Animals Wolf Vs. Lion #12, by Jason Martin, US, HD video, color, sound, 3 minutes, 2012
The wolf and lioness meet in again in battle on the crackly static semi-physical plane of standard definition video with a series of erotic hieroglyphs. The soundtrack was created in a hypnotic state with a handheld cassette recorder, containing mysterious messages whose meaning is unclear.
Burning Matches, by Jean-Michel Rolland, France, HD video, color, sound, 2 min. 30 sec, 2012
An audiovisual experiment about the light and sound generated by a burning match. Based on accumulation, this video is a declaration of love to the fire element.
Isle of Man, by Manuela Schininá, Germany, video, 1 minute 47 seconds, 2010
Isle of Man is a video and sound collage, a “re-edit” comprised of clips posted on online motor racing fan pages. The original footage is alterated through the montage, with the aim to emphasize the voyeristic gaze of the fans and their conscious/unconscious desire. The result is a reflection on homoeroticism in sport and the connection between game and maleness, and the enigmatic world of the “homo ludens” (playing man), where victory is as godgiven as death.
Mars Bar Cinema! by Joel Schlemowitz, US, HD video, color, sound, 2-1/2 min, 2011
A cinematic last hurrah at the venerable East Village holdout to gentrification, the Mars Bar, filmed on one of the final days before its sad demise. Projections by Bradley Eros, Sarah Halpern, Lary Seven, Tim Geraghty and others. Music: “The Jolly Coopersmith” Arthur Pryor’s Band, 1902
The House of Sizzle 733, by Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa, US, video, color, sound, 13 minutes, 2012
Originally inspired by Borges’ short story “La Casa de Asterión,” “The House of Sizzle 733″ investigates what it is to be a Brown Swiss Cow.Shot in central Vermont, the camera lingers with these expansive animals as they inhabit their space. Contained within the walls of her farm, the film asks where the horizon of the world begins and ends for Sizzle 733.
Heater, by Ursula Sommer, US, digital video, color, sound, 7 min 43 sec, 2012
Propane powered heat lamp.
(TRT: approximately 65 minutes)
Still from Isle of Man by Manuela Schininá (2010)
Hey-Yeun Jang is Korea-born, New York based artist. She has exhibited widely in museums in the U.S and abroad. Within last few years her work has been featured at Haus der Kulturen der Welt(Berlin, Germany), Wurttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart (Stuttgart, Germany), Carrillo Gil Museum (Mexico City, Mexico), Centro Cultural Tijuana(Tijuana, Mexico), National Museum of Contemporary Museum (Korea), Museum 63 Artist Commune (Hong Kong, China) and Queens Museum (NY, USA) and Poznan in Poland and Havana in Cuba. Her film has been screened at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Anthology Film Archives, Los Angeles County Museum and Berkeley Art Museum. She received awards from NY State Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Jayson Haebich is a Melbourne based new media artist who uses his skills as a computer programmer to create diverse and innovative works ranging from light sculptures, digital artworks, site specific installations, data visualisations, film clips and much more.
Bradford Kessler was born on the high plains of Kansas in 1982. After receiving a BFA in sculpture from the University of Kansas in 2005, he relocated to Asia living in both Tokyo and Beijing where he was a studio assistant to the artist Ai Weiwei. In 2010, Kessler relocated to Brooklyn, NY and enrolled in the MFA Art Practice program at the School of Visual Arts. He is currently an adjunct professor at Parsons the New School for Design. His films and videos have exhibited at such venues as Tokyo Big Site; Taipei Film Archive; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Anthology Film Archives, New York.
Amanda Katz is a South Florida-native, currently studying Film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Amanda Katz (21) has many aspirations. Soon she will graduate college, then she will start.
Grace Kim studied at the School of Visual Arts and International Center of Photography in New York, and is currently a Master of Arts candidate in philosophy and media at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fée, Switzerland. She is the recipient of an AHL Foundation Visual Arts Award and BRIC Arts Media Fellowship, and has recently completed residencies at the Center for Photography at Woodstock and GlogauAIR Berlin. Her work has been shown internationally at White Box (NY), G.A.S-station (Berlin), Zet Foundation (Amsterdam), Hania Bailly (Geneva) and The Last Gallery (Tokyo), among others, and was featured in the Humble Arts Foundation Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography Vol.2. She currently lives and works between New York and Berlin.
Jason Martin is a visual artist and musician who makes species-queer animal-human hybrid space canine wildcat videos, performances, and photographs, that conduct rituals. After years of operating outside academia, Martin got his MFA from NYU in 2010. He has exhibited videos internationally under his own name and as a member of groups, collectives, and under various aliases. As a musician, Martin continues to perform live music, playing in friends’ bands, solo performances, and with his own group THE JASON MARTIN ELECTRICAL BAND. He has toured, recorded, or performed with a variety of acts including J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr), Suzanne Thorpe (Mercury Rev, Wounded Knees, thenumber46), His Name Is Alive, Devendra Banhart, Dan Deacon, Raphe Malik, The Bunnybrains, Lettuce Little, Denim and Diamonds, and many others.
Jean-Michel Rolland is a musician and artist from Paris who uses video to combine the two medium: sound and image. The result is a series of experimental videos where sound and image are inseparable; one without the other would lose its meaning.
Manuela Schininá, (1978, Sicily/Italy) Studied architecture in Italy and worked as architect in Barcelona, Spain. Since 2006 – after moving to Berlin – she has worked as an artist, filmmaker and most recently as a gardener. She is active in many collectives, that deal primarily with the representation of women and the queer community in media culture, organizing film programs, workshops and hybrid events (involving art, video, music, performance, living archives).
Joel Schlemowitz is a Brooklyn based experimental filmmaker. His short works have shown at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Chicago and New York film festivals, The New York Underground and Chicago Underground film festivals, and venues including Union Docs, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, and the Seattle Film Forum.
Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa is an artist and independent curator based out of Brooklyn, New York. He recently received an MA in Media Studies at the New School for General Studies and will begin pursuing his PhD in Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz in the Fall. Schultz-Figueroa has curated and screened works at venues such as Light Industry, Artists’ Television Access, Northwest Film Forum, and Show Cave Gallery.
Ursula Sommer received her BA in Art History from Colorado College and lives and works in Brooklyn. Past exhibitions include two collaborations with artist Rita A ckermann Insanticlaus, Nuit Blanche (New York, 2011-12), Yeah, I Can Feel it. I Can Feel the Shift of Time, The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas for the New City (New York, 2011-12), and a solo screening with CoWorker Projects (New York, 2012). Later this year, Ursula Sommer will show Performer’s Body (working title), a collaboration with Marta Jovanovic, at Location One (New York). Ursula Sommer’s work recontextualizes the mundane nature of objects generally regarded for their utilitarian functions. She isolates an object’s aural and visual qualities unearthing unfamiliar details of its existence and uses this newly revealed information to give voice to the object’s aesthetic life. Ursula seeks out objects that are relics of a past steeped in tactile relationships with function rather than the smooth, invisible processes of today’s digital tools.
Still from Power Animals Wolf Vs. Lion #12 by Jason Martin (2012)
by Henry Hills
MONDAY JUNE 18, 7PM
Admission $6 – Filmmaker in person
Reservation recommended at firstname.lastname@example.org
We welcome filmmaker Henry Hills to Microscope to present for the first time the final complete version of his epic portrait of the downtown art scene “Emma’s Dilemma” featuring an adolescent Emma Bee Bernstein as she is introduced to artists, filmmakers, poets, performers including Tony Oursler, Carolee Schneemann, Jackson MacLow, Ken & Flo Jacobs and many others. Taping for the work began in 1997 when Bernstein was 12 and continued through her late teens. This screening is in conjunction with our current exhibit Exquisite Fucking Boredom featuring Polaroids and video by Emma Bee Bernstein on view through June 25.
Henry Hills, digital video, color and black & white, sound, 1997-2012, 82 minutes
Henry Hills’ Emma’s Dilemma reinvents the portrait for the age of digital reproduction. In a set of tour-de-force probes into the images and essences of such downtown luminaries as Richard Foreman, Ken Jacobs, Tony Oursler, Carolee Schneemann, and Fiona Templeton, Hills’ cinematic inventions literally turn the screen upside down and inside out. In this epic journey into the picaresque, we follow Emma Bee Bernstein, our intrepid protagonist, from her pre-teen innocence to her late teen-attitude, as she learns about the downtown art scene firsthand. In the process, Hills reimagines the art of video in a style that achieves the density, complexity, and visual richness of his greatest films.
With: Emma Bee Bernstein, with Jackson Mac Low, Eduardo Allegria & dancers, Fiona Templeton, Richard Foreman, Ken & Flo Jacobs, Roberto Juarez, Kenny Goldsmith, Susan Howe, Tony Oursler, Cheryl Donegan, Felix Bernstein, Keith Sanborn, Julie Patton, Susan Bee, Carolee Schneemann, Lee Ann Brown, and Charles Bernstein.
Henry Hills on Emma’s Dilemma:
I knew Emma her entire life. I was inspired to work with her on this project upon hearing her comments after attending a screening of my films when she was 9. The sophistication of her observations was uncanny for such a child. This was before mini-DV, though, and I was uncomfortable working in 8mm video and was unable to raise funds to shoot with her in 16mm. She had just turned 12 in 1997 when we began shooting. The project was to consist of her interviewing a range of artists about their work. Poet Jackson Mac Low was the first subject, followed after a few months by interviews with Ken Jacobs and Richard Foreman which became separate films, NERVOUS KEN (2003) and KING RICHARD (2004). We continued working together on a more or less regular basis until she was 16 and then did a final shoot the next year. As we progressed I felt the main center of focus subtly shifting from my artist subjects to my teen protagonist. I had all along intended to take an experimental (rather than documentary) approach to the interview material, to fragment and reassemble it in various ways, frequently riffing on the subjects’ own work, exploring qualities of this new medium of digital video. In this final version these explorations strangely function as interstitial material.
When this exhibit of Emma’s polaroids was announced, my longtime dear friend, poet Charles Bernstein, Emma’s father, asked me to put together some unseen outtakes out of the 30 or so hours I had shot with Emma. I took this opportunity to finally finish this project which had lain dormant for so many years. I had been somewhat fearful of approaching the material after Emma’s death. There is a bizarre aspect to editing, intensely focussing on and analyzing minute moments of time, revealing gestures and vocabularies and manners of speaking and moving, which to the editor seems like spending time with those recorded (even if I never met them). It was fantastic to hang out with Emma one last time, and only when I finished, really in the sound mix, did I feel the tragedy. I sent a preview copy to Charles and he wrote me yesterday:
You really pulled the whole work together in the new version. It takes on a narrative force, as a quest, with the time stopping or opening up in those stuttering moments, which operate as networks of stoppages in Duchamp’s sense..It’s like having Emma back, in flickering moments; and then not.
The material is basically assembled in chronological order. This is primarily a film about Emma and her changes from 12-17 (before she made any of the work in this show), but it includes much of the archaeology of it’s making.
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Henry Hills has been making experimental films since 1975. His has screened extensively across the US and internationally. His classic 80′s film MONEY was recently preserved to 35mm by Anthology Film Archives with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art among other institutions. In 2009, he was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. www.henryhills.com
© All images are courtesy of Henry Hills
& Plastic Boner Band
Live sound performances
MONDAY JUNE 11, 7PM
Microscope hosts a night of noise from New York musicians Infinity SS followed by Plastic Boner Band visiting from Chicago. Infinity SS is an art/noise manifestation founded in 2004 in the Lower East Side, inspired by looming gentrification, graffiti culture, cafe dining dj’s, and commercialism. Members Craig Klein, Philly Kondor 8, and James Curtright will join us for this show. Plastic Boner Band is a harsh meditative analog solo project of Chicagoan Sam Henry, utilizing handbuilt electronics, filters, and a slew of pedals whose sound has been described as “a pressurized blast of blizzard noise,” “prickly static swarm,” and “a choir of tiny drills, chirping away a flurry of enamel.”
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Infinity SS is an art collective spanning every medium and organized only by their dis-organization. Founding members included Carlucci Bencivenga (aka ELFmpc), Philly Kondor 8, James Curtright, and Craig Klein. They eventually joined forces with Steve Ellis, Mayuka Nobuta, Kosuke Aoki, and many more NY based artists to create the Fanatic Voyage tour. Their work has been shown in countless galleries and performance spaces including a pop-up shop with a toll free hotline to speak directly to the artists. Infinity SS has never written a song. you.are.invited.to.be.or.not.be.the.band
Plastic Boner Band has releases on Dokuro, Catholic Tapes, Power Silence, Anabolic Dimensions, Earjerk, and more. Henry has performed with Peaking Lights, Mark Solotroff, Yellow Years, Ahlzagailzehguh, Aaron Dilloway, Treetops, Dead Machines, John Olson, Hive Mind, Jason Zeh, Hex Breaker Quartet, Mike Shiflet, and others.
Both Sam Henry & Craig Klein were close friends of Emma Bee Bernstein whose works is currently on view at Microscope.
© All images are courtesy of the artists
A selection of 16mm film works by Katherine Bauer
SATURDAY JUNE 9, 7PM
Admission $6 – Filmmaker in person
We are very pleased to welcome filmmaker Katherine Bauer to Microscope for a solo evening of her 16mm films. Bauer just performed as part of the live multi-projection/sound performance at Holy BOS! film and video programs that we curated last weekend.
Bauer has divided the night into two sections. The first “Furies” features seven short films depicting “ the conjoined fates of civilization, wilderness and desire fading into one another, where the familiar transforms into the bizarre and the bizarre is brought close again…”. The second half of the program, “Cystallus,” includes a selection of segments of her continuing apocalyptic sci-fi horror epic of the same name.
Part 1: Furies
Ichor (2007) color, 3min
Ichor is defined as the fluid that flows like blood from the Gods. This film documents a transformation ritual performed by two girls who successfully conjure the spirits of the Egyptian Goddesses of the sun and the moon. Shot in Los Angeles during the winter solstice underneath a full moon.
Vanitas (2009) color, 3min
The blood is beauty as it is carved from one form of life into another.
Circa (2009) color, 7min
Through the circles of alchemical concoctions and symbolism, a witch performs her spells and controls the explosions in the slag pot. She is an enchantress like Circe who changed Odysseys’ men into pigs with her potions.
Death Love (2011) color, 10 min
Love is what lies beneath.
Arcade Isle (2011) color, 8 min
Wandering the boardwalk of Coney Island, she loses herself in many islands and oceans.
Domestic/Vortex/Thrust (2010) black and white, 6 min
A triptych of daily life hypnotized through cats’ eyes.
39.8280,-76.0121 (2012) black and white, 3 min
In collaboration with Agnes Lux. Spiral through her graphite and postcard pieces, out of her East Village studio window and then back into the blocks that are both building and destroying themselves within the cityscape.
Part 2: Crystallus
Crystallus: Astral Erotic Impact Phase (2012) color, 13 min
Within the film that constitutes it, the split-second after impact carries with it echoes of the Feline Demiurge’s sensual pleasure, and it also carries with it all the determinations of the apocalyptic succession of events already present in the material logic at work in the chemical compounds.
Crystallus: Discontinuity and Nucleation Phases (2009) black and white and color, 12 min
From the Shiny Sorceress’ belly, blood crystals have fallen to Earth, now lost within its cold crust. Matter is multiplying itself. The air is becoming saturated. The thickness of minerals that mingle under the Earth are sucked away. The saturation is becoming thicker and thicker. The process of crystallization has started to take place. It will trap her within an infinite reflection of herself.
Crystallus: Crystal Death Phase (2011) color, 6min
The interstellar mutation of the carbon cycle becomes fatal as it reaches into the inner logic of material being, transforming the world and all those who live in it into the glimmering lifeless crystal, choking out the beautiful lives with beauty itself.
(TRT: approx. 60 minutes)
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Katherine Bauer works primarily with 16mm film and its material potential for sculpture, photography and installation. Much of her work involves mythologies, folklores, and narratives. The celluloid of film gives bodily presence to these narratives and enacts their themes of decay, eroticism and horror. Katherine received a BA from Bard College where she majored in Film and Electronic Arts. She is currently working on a MFA from NYU in Studio Art where she also teaches 16mm filmmaking. She is on the Board of Directors at the Filmmakers Cooperative and member of the film collective Optipus. With Optipus she has performed at The Kitchen, Participant Inc., and Millennium Film Workshop among others. Her work has been shown across the United States and internationally in a variety of venues and galleries. Recently she has performed or shown work at Bobby Redd Project Space, 80WSE Gallery, NYU Deutsch Haus Gallery, The Knitting Factory, The Stone, Anthology Film Archives, St. Cecilia’s Convent, Millennium Film Workshop, Tribes Gallery, Microscope Gallery, Mono No Aware, Union Docs, DC #03 in Düsseldorf Germany, Unsmoke Systems Gallery in Braddock, Television Access Gallery in San Francisco, Havana Film Festival in Cuba, among others. Her films are available as rentals from The Film-Makers Cooperative in New York City.
© All images are courtesy of Katherine Bauer
I’m Sawwy, So Sawwy: An Evening of Apologetic Sound, Video, and Conversation
Performance videos by Heather Warren-Crow
Discussion afterwards with Sarah Giovanniello
SATURDAY MAY 26, 7PM
Milwaukee-based artist Heather Warren-Crow joins us this week to present a program of 7 performance videos made in the last year. The 40-minute screening will be followed by a discussion lead by independent curator, writer, performer and researcher Sarah Giovanniello.
Collectively titled I’m Sawwy, So Sawwy, this group of media-based performances considers the power and failure of words in our increasingly public lives. Moved by an undying love of the verse-chorus song form, the comforting clichés of television advertising, the efficiency of textspeak, and the whatevers of Valley Girls, Warren-Crow uses vocal repetition and rhythm to illuminate the architecture of words. Most importantly, these works attempt to measure the space between the buildings of “I,” “you,” and “we”. This is the space of treachery and of desire. What lovely gardens grow between “screw you” and “my bad”?
3 Birds Saying I’m Sorry (an introduction) (2012) 1:48 min
Hashtag Confession Part I (2011) 3:13 min
Bedtime Ritual for Suffragettes (At Any Given Time, Someone in the World is Taking to Her Bed) (2011) 5:30 min
139 Assisted Confessions (After 1984 After 1984, or Confession is the Princess of Evidence) (2011) 12 min
Praise Be Our Ancestors Who Fucked Upright (Funeral Poem For 2 Men Whose Hearts Were the 1%) (2012) 5 min
Listen 2 Me Work (2011) 7:30 min
Hashtag Confession Part II (2011) 2:29 min
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Heather Warren-Crow is a performance and sound artist. She creates live and pre-recorded performances that screw around with forms of identity brought into being by the mass media. Her work fuses the vernacular of low art (the language of pop music, social networking websites, and Internet memes) with the rhetoric of body art to critique the American Brand Identity. She has exhibited at the University of Virginia; Woodland Pattern Gallery (Milwaukee, WI); UC Berkeley; Artspace West, Arizona State University; Iron Gate Studios Gallery (Austin, TX); 21 Grand Gallery (Oakland, CA); Co-Lab (Austin, TX); Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (New York City) and at venues in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, India, Japan, Mexico, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, and across Europe. Warren-Crow has a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.
Sarah Giovanniello is an independent curator, writer, performer, and researcher from Washington, DC, by way of Philadelphia. She currently works as the Research Assistant in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she’s supported the programming, exhibitions, and collection research and development of the Center since 2008. Sarah is currently busy with several curatorial collaborations including the “Bad Feminist Reading Series,” and “LTO:LIMITED TIME ONLY,” along with ongoing performance research and writings.
© All images are courtesy of Heather Warren-Crow
Inner/Outer Space (Gregory Zinman, Leo Goldsmith and Nat Hawks)
+ New Reality Band (Nick Hallett & Zach Layton)
Sound and a/v performances
SUNDAY MAY 20, 7PM
We are very pleased to welcome New Reality Band (Nick Hallett & Zach Layton) and Inner/Outer Space, (an A/V project of Gregory Zinman, Leo Goldsmith and Nat Hawks) to Microscope for a night of sound and A/V performances. New Reality Band will open the night.
New Reality Band
Nick Hallett (electronics) and Zach Layton (electronics)
New Reality Band is a new project of Nick Hallett and Zach Layton. They developed their sound at Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music, Experimental Television Center, Jikken Kobo, Public Access Synthesizer Studio, San Francisco Tape Music Center, Treasure Isle Studios, BBC Radiophonic Workshop, WDR Electronic Music Center, TIMARA Studio 4, Bell Laboratories, Institute of Sonology, Kling Klang Studio, and IRCAM.
Gregory Zinman (video)
Leo Goldsmith + Nat Hawks = Christian Science Minotaur (electro-acoustics)
Taking its name from works by Andy Warhol and Robert Breer, Inner/Outer Space presents a live video mix exploring the space race and psychedelic consciousness expansion. The A/V journey brings together interstellar NASA footage with abstract depictions of interiority via the films and videos of Stan Brakhage, José Antonio Sistiaga, Adam K. Beckett, Jim Davis, Ture Sjölander, Elias Romero, and others. Featuring a live musical score by electro/acoustic folk-psych masters Christian Science Minotaur (www.myspace.com/littlefurythingsrecords).
Images are courtesy of Inner/Outer Space and New Reality Band © 2012
Just A Girl
Two live performances by
Angela Washko / Ann Hirsch
FRIDAY MAY 18, 7PM
We are very pleased to have Angel Washko and Ann Hirsch join us for a night of live performance, with each of the two NYC artists presenting a new work. In “Cause A Flat Chested Woman Might As Well Be A Man”, Washko will introduce audience members into what she describes as the incredibly misogynistic realms within World of Warcraft (the massive multi-player on-line role playing game). Then she will invite them to evaluate actual players responses to her questions regarding feminism. The performance is an extension of her recent founding of The Council on Gender Sensitivity and Behavioral Awareness in WoW.
Ann Hirsch’s performance “BDD” is a completely new piece in which she grapples with her “new” body, including appropriating a famous William Wegman video performance and imitating various bodily functions as she continues to investigate what it means to be a female performance artist in the age of the internet. Growing up, Ann Hirsch was a late bloomer. She says that it has taken longer than normal, but she has finally developed her womanly body.
(TRT: approximately 50 minutes)
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Angela Washko is a visual artist and independent curator based in New York City. Exploring the territories of advertising psychology and perceptions of women created in the media, her works are a call-to-action, demanding a drastic attitude change in our collective consciousness. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including most recently at The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Spanien 19c in Denmark, Grace Exhibition Space in NYC, LUMEN in NYC, Garage Gallery in San Diego, Carnival of e-Creativity in New Dehli, Videopolis in Barcelona, and The Budapest Short Film Festival. Washko has recently been granted the Terminal Award from Austin Peay State University and has completed artist residencies at Flux Factory in NYC, Gullkistan in Iceland, Contemporary Artists Center at Woodside in Troy, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in Rhizome, Hyperallergic, The New York Times, Time Out NY, and the Huffington Post.
Ann Hirsch is a video and performance artist engaging with the contemporary portrayal of women in media. She often acts as an amateur social scientist, inserting herself into popular culture and reporting back her findings in the form of art works. Hirsch has exhibited incarnations of her projects nationally and internationally, including video installations at the Video and Digital Arts Festival in Girona, Spain, SKOL in Montreal, Central Utah Artist’s Space and has given performances at Vogt gallery in Chelsea, Flux Factory in Queens, Grace Exhibition Space in Brooklyn, NOMA gallery in San Francisco, Sarah Lawrence College and more. She has completed residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and Yaddo. Her work has been written about by The New York Times, Rhizome and Artinfo.com. You can read more about her shenanigans at TheRealAnnHirsch.com.
Images are courtesy of Angela Washko and Ann Hirsch © 2012
VISIONES DEL MEXICO
Films & videos curated by Microscope
MONDAY MAY 14, 7PM
With works by: Martha Colburn, Raul Vincent Enriquez, Sergio García, Ron Rice, Caspar Stracke & Gabriela Monroy, Moira Tierney, Nick Zedd, and others
We indulge our current obsession with our southern neighbor – a country neither of us have yet had the chance to visit – with a program of works from US, European and Mexican experimental film and video artists made in or dealing with Mexico. Collectively the works in the program span more than 50 years, from Ron Rice’s rarely seen The Mexican Footage filmed in the 50s, to Sergio García’s 1970 El Fin (originally in Super8) to a new video work Cock Fight by former New York/current Mexico City resident Nick Zedd completed this month. Featuring animation, appropriated footage, personal/diarist, installation and documentary works by Martha Colburn, Raul Vincent Enriquez, Sergio García, Ron Rice, Caspar Stracke & Gabriela Monroy, Moira Tierney, Nick Zedd and others.
(Approximately 60 minutes)
Secrets of Mexuality
by Martha Colburn, 16mm transfer to video, color, 5 min, 2002
A dense and highly detailed film exploring sexuality in the specific realms of Mexican wrestling and kitsch paintings through rapid-fire transformations. Much of the film is hand scratched frame by frame, hand painted (over collage animation). This film was made as a commission by the Mexican Composer Felipe Waller and screened live in Europe and Mexico with live accompaniment by the Dutch group ‘Martin Altena Ensemble’.
Director, camera and editor: Sergio GarcÌa
Super-8mm film transferred to video, color, sound, 9 min, 1970
“Synchronizes very studied images with American folk music and can be synthesized with the mention of certain episodes juxtaposed with great ease and an irony which is at once metonymical and direct. A man is pursued, beaten and imprisoned by a group of soldiers. Idyllic nudes in a forest of chaste hippie lovers. A young person smoking marijuana; the joint is removed and he is given a Coca-Cola. A timid employee gets in a car and drives around listening to “Adoro” by Manzanero. All presented in a brilliant and impulsive montage.” — Jorge Ayala Blanco in Excélsior, 1971
The Mexican Footage
by Ron Rice, 16mm, color & b/w, 10 min, 1950s
“When Ron Rice died, in Mexico, he left a dozen rolls of exposed film. This sample contains four rolls of beautiful color and black and white, shot in Mexico.” -- Jonas Mekas
“Penny & Brian: Lots of Love…”
by Caspar Stracke & Gabriela Monroy, video, b&w, sound, 3 minutes 2010
A film made while the filmmakers were living in Mexico for the occasion of the marriage of filmmakers Brian Frye and Penny Lane.
by Moira Tierney, 16mm, b/w, silent, 4 minutes, 2009
Shot in El DF – Mexico City – canvas pounding and divided allegiances.
by Nick Zedd, video, color, sound, 15:30 minutes, 2012
COCKFIGHT features homeless kids on the street in Tequisciapan along with candid backstage footage of Mexican entertainment royalty Sylvia Pinal (Simon of the Desert), singer Enrique Guzman and their daughter, singer Alejandra Guzman. In a remote arena in Pachuca illegal cockfights wire people up, preceding a sensational concert appearance by Alejandra Guzman backed by Moderatto.
Also on view:
Andrew Dasburg’s Lucifer (animated digital photographs, made for ipod, 2008) by Raul Vincent Enriquez will be projected on installation before and after the screening.
“I was asked by the db Foundation to physically or conceptually disarm a work of my choosing from the original Armory Show, the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art. ” – R V E
Stills from Sergio Garcia’s El Fin (1970)
Visions of Burroughs
William S. Burroughs film collaborations, interview, and more
SUNDAY MAY 13, 7PM
Suggested Donation $6
We spend a night in the company of William S. Burroughs screening several of his “cut up” films along with an excerpt from a portrait film of Burroughs by German filmmaker Klaus Maeck. The complete series of “Cut-Up” films were made over a decade with shooting on “Towers Open Fire” in Paris and Gibraltra beginning in 1961. All Burroughs “cut-up” films – his earliest work with the medium – are collaborations with UK director Antony Balch.
Balch met the artist/writer Brion Gysin, who was developing separately and collaboratively with Burroughs their “cut up” technique in writing. Balch approached Burroughs about trying to achieve a cinematic equivalent in the language of film. Their aim was for utter “disorientation of the senses”. Reports from the first screening of “The Cut-Ups” (in London) describe the audience as suffering from nausea and vomiting and of leaving behind numerous personal items – umbrellas, pants, shoes – out of confusion.
“The method is simple. Here is one way to do it. Take a page. Like this page. Now cut down the middle and cross the middle. You have four sections: 1 2 3 4 . . . one two three four. Now rearrange the sections placing section four with section one and section two with section three. And you have a new page. Sometimes it says much the same thing. Sometimes something quite different—cutting up political speeches is an interesting exercise—in any case you will find that it says something and something quite definite. Take any poet or writer you fancy. Here, say, or poems you have read over many times. The words have lost meaning and life through years of repetition. Now take the poem and type out selected passages. Fill a page with excerpts. Now cut the page. You have a new poem. As many poems as you like. As many Shakespeare Rimbaud poems as you like.”
– William S. Burroughs (from “The Cut-Up Method of Brion Gysin”, 1962)
Approximately 60 minutes
(please note we are screening video transfers of the 16mm films)
William Buys a Parrot
1963, USA, col, silent, 1:25 min
cinematography by Antony Balch
screenplay: William S. Burroughs
A bizarre silent short film showing author William S. Burroughs negotiating to buy a parrot
Towers Open Fire
1963, UK, b&w, sound, 9:29 min
cinematography by Antony Balch
screenplay: William S. Burroughs
featuring: Antony Balch, William S. Burroughs, David Jacobs, Bachoo Sen, Alexander Trocchi
An accessible montage of Burroughs’ routines, recorded on a Grundig tape recorder, cut-up to Balch’s filmed and found images of a “crumbling society. The first of the “cut-up” films shot between 1961 and 1962 in Paris and Gibralta. The work features Gysin’s dream machine.
1966, UK, b&w, sound, 18:45 min
cinematography by Antony Balch
screenplay: William S. Burroughs
audio by Burroughs & Ian Somerville
with William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin
Filmed between 1961 and 1965 in Tangiers and Paris. Some of the footage was originally intended as a documentary called Guerilla Conditions. Involves the “cut-up”technique applied literally to film.
Commissioner of Sewers
1991, GER, b/w, sound, 30 min
by Klaus Maeck
“As I was a Burroughs addict since the late 70s I always wanted to meet my idol in person, and one day I achieved this by pretending to be a journalist doing an interview for a German ‘Zeitgeist’ magazine…” – Klaus Maeck
Ahead of the Migrating Forms film festival, which opens May 11 at Anthology Film Archives, James Fotopoulos joins us to present his 16mm break-through film from which the event derived its name. Fotopoulos’ second feature – made when he was just 23 years old – presents a bleak view of the infectious nature of sexual relationships. The work won Best Feature at the New York Underground Film Festival where it premiered in 2000. It was also among Amy Taubin’ top 20 films of the year at the Village Voice, and prompted film critic Ed Halter to declare Fotopoulos “the most important new director I have seen in many years…”. The film will be preceded by the related 6-minute short Growth.
16mm, color & b/w, 6 min, 1999
Growth is made with footage from a scene originally intended to be included in the feature Migrating Forms. Fotopoulos instead chose to make it a stand-alone short film.
16mm, b/w, 80 min, sound mono, 1999 (filmed 1997)
A Best Feature award winner at the New York Underground Film Festival, Migrating Forms is a masterful, minimalist exploration of empty sexuality and its psychic and physical consequences. In a stark, nearly empty room, a man and a woman meet for passionless sex. A growth on the woman’s back infects the man, but the implications of the infection, like the characters themselves, remain elusive.
“Migrating Forms has a formal purity and obsessive power that’s all too rare these days.”
- Amy Taubin, The Village Voice
“Fotopoulos’s exquisitely minimalist black-and-white experiment is a surprising treat that leaves us holding a messy array of enigmas in our laps. It’s a weird, disturbing work of elemental cinema made by a particularly obsessive “independent filmmaker”, a breed that has become increasingly rare and less pure in America.”
- Cis Bierinckx, City Pages
“Migrating Forms is as complete a vision as any film has the right to be, and generates more intrigue and mystery than most ever do.”
- Walker Art Center
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James Fotopoulos was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. His films and videos have been screened internationally including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Underground Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center and the Andy Warhol Museum, among others. His works have also been featured in a retrospective at Anthology Film Archives, 2004 Whitney Biennial, and at Museum of Modern Art (NY). Fotopoulos has collaborated with Raymond Pettibon, Barney Rosset, Cory Arcangel, Torsten Zenas Burns, Ben Coonley, and many others.His works have exhibited at: Momenta Art; Museo de Arte Contemportaneo del Zulia, Venezuela; Parsons Hall Project Space, Holyoke, MA; Triskel Art Center, Cork, Ireland; Bienniale for Videoart, Mechelen, Belgium; Vertex List NYC; Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Microscope Gallery, NYC among others.
Images are courtesy of the artist © James Fotopoulos
Cinco de Mayo with Raul Vincent Enriquez
SATURDAY MAY 5, 6-9PM
Featuring outtakes from “I in the Sky” public art project
& a quesadillas and tequila shot performance
In connection with his current exhibition PRIMP, media artist Raul Vincent Enriquez presents a rare night of projection and performance. Throughout the evening he will project never-before-screened selection of outtakes from his I in the Sky public art project that took place in Times Square for 2 months in 2008. In addition, Enriquez will be making his special quesadillas with salsa verde and serving tequila shots as part of his Cinco de Mayo performance.
The I in the Sky project consisted of a street-level photo-booth paired with the Condé Nast Lumacom screen at 4 Times Square in New York City. The Lumacom screen broadcast animated versions of rapid-fire digital self-portraits by visitors to the artist’s photo-booth. The entire process took about 20 minutes per person, was free of charge, and the portraits were visible throughout the city and from the New Jersey side of the Hudson River.
About the I in the Sky Enriquez says, “I find portraits to be a timeless and accessible art form. The flip-book-style images I’ve been creating for years are moving image portraits derived from series of digital photographs. In each portrait, several photos are sequenced and animated, framed to create the impression of extreme eye contact. Eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication which has a pervasive influence on social behavior, a fact long exploited by advertisers. My goal is to restore a sense of real interaction, of individuality, connection, and community in Times Square.” I in the Sky was presented by Chashama and the Durst Organization and the photo booth was designed by Michael Casselli.
More info about I IN THE SKY
The performance is in conjunction with the exhibition PRIMP: New Works by Raul Vincent Enriquez, running from April 22 through May 20.
More info under EXHIBITIONS
Image courtesy of the artist © Raul Vincent Enriquez
Works by Lee Arnold
MONDAY APRIL 16, 7PM
Admission $6 – Artist in person
Still from Mixed Signals (2011) © Lee Arnold
Microscope is very pleased to present a solo screening of works by Brooklyn-based artist Lee Arnold.
Arnold’s work spans numerous media from drawings to photography and moving image works. His films and videos – often conceived for installation – constitute an elemental part of his work, but rarely have been been presented together. The program consists of 14 short videos made from 2006 through 2011 and displays side-by-side such varied range of works as time-lapse films of nature, digital animations and other formal, software-based experiments. Arnold’s video work is currently featured in Videorover: Season 3, a group exhibition at NurtureArt, in Bushwick, on view through May 17.
Die Farben, 2007
Feat. Die Farben (stadium), Die Farben (escalator) and Die Farben (pool) (1 min each)
A series of black and white photographs shot in Berlin to which have been added simple abstract animations inspired by Goethe’s “Theory of Colors”.
Stereo, 2007 (music composed by Jaques Tati; performed by Chris Dingman) Video, 3:12 min
A film about memory and nostalgia shot with Super 8 on a journey traveling south through Germany, France and Italy. Shown as a stereo image, the world is presented as both dream and reality.
S-Bahn, 2006 (music by David Bowie & Brian Eno; recorded Berlin, 1977) Video, 5 min
A document of a train loop through Berlin. A formerly divided city that also serves as the border between eastern and western Europe, 21st century architecture has left the layers of Berlin’s history exposed to plain view.
Alpinia, 2006 (Video, 1:37 min)
The virtual camera travels through a 3D world comprised of simple 2D geometric shapes, suggesting a perfect Swiss landscape.
Twenty-Four Colors, 2005 (Video, 4:12 min)
A series of gradients that represent the changing light of a cloudless sky over the course of a full twenty-four hour day.
Clouds, 2008 (Video, 1:15 min)
Time-lapse photography of the changing sky over Brooklyn shot during a single fall day.
In-Transit, 2005 (Video, 7 min)
In-Transit represents the experience of traveling but never arriving. The work isolates the original video footage into two separate forms: line and color. The color is divided into a grid in which each section represents the average light of the scene, while the drawing is isolated as a single-bit image. The two forms are then combined to create a series of images that are both literal and abstract.
Ice, 2009 (music by Hans Otte from “The Book of Sounds”) Video, 8:36 min
Time-lapse photography of ice melting on a window on a winter morning in Vermont.
Utopia, 2009 (Video, 1:30 min)
From Fritz Lang to Buckminster Fuller, utopian and dystopian visions of the future had a major aesthetic influence on the 20th century. With audio recorded on the same MOOG used by Wendy Carlos to perform Switched on Bach, Utopia takes a nostalgic look at imagining a perfect world.
Circles, 2009 (Video, 24 sec)
Animated drawings in a circle.
View from Governors Island, 2010 (Video, 3 min)
Time-Lapse pinhole photography of Lower Manhattan from dawn to dusk (Sept. 9, 2010).
Walpurgis Night, 2011 (Video, 1 min)
Time-lapse photography of the view from the Hotel Schatzalp in Davos, Switzerland where Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain is set. I imagine this to be what Hans Castorp, the protagonist, saw from his balcony during the final chapter of the novel. Walpurgis Night is also most famously referenced in Goethe’s Faust, and is traditionally the night when witches and sorcerers come out to celebrate.
The Magic Mountain, 2011 (8mm transfer to video, 7 min)
A film shot on Single 8 in Lucerne and Davos, Switzerland. The accompanying music is “Stille vor dem Sturm” and “Gewitter und Sturm, Abstieg” from “Eine Alpinesymphonie Op. 64″, written and conducted by Richard Strauss and performed by the Munich Radio Orchestra in 1936.
Mixed Signals, 2011 (Video, 1:10 min)
Inspired by the neurological condition of synethesia, this work translates a single note played on a glockenspiel into microtones which are then represented as a series of colors.
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Lee Arnold was born in London in 1972 and lives in Brooklyn. In his work he explores the nature of time and perception using a variety of media, including film, video, photography, drawing and sound. He has exhibited in the U.S. and abroad at venues including NURTUREart in New York, Fleisher-Ollman in Philadelphia, and SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the DAAD, Berlin.
Still from The Magic Mountain (2011) © Lee Arnold
Audio & Vision Machines
APRIL 15, 6PM – Admission $6
Introduced by Rebecca Cleman of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
We are very pleased to announce a screening of rare films, videos, and audio recordings by media artist Peggy Ahwesh in connection with INSIDE CIRCLE, her current solo exhibition at Microscope Gallery. The program of new and old works, which include Bethlehem, Philosophy in the Bedroom Parts 1 & 2, The Vision Machine and several others (full program is below), span almost 20 years and illuminate the thinking behind the exhibition. The issues of women and identity, friendship, and the ethnography of everyday life are brought together in works based in play-acting and improvisation, embracing a marginal and radical subjectivity in the Warholian tradition. Pittsburgh poet and filmmaker, luminary and social butterfly, Natalka Voslakov, appears in several of the works contributing “much of the irony, social critique, and visual pleasure” of the films.” A series of answering messages left by Voslakov over a 10 year period are the inspiration for the exhibition, which is on view through April 16.
“I didn’t call you to just ask you about what I should do and my problems. I’ll shut up for a change. . . but, the suicide pack exists, baby. If we don’t have our features done by the millennium … ’cause we got to be there. And I’m in the minus, minus 97 bucks in the bank account. I know I owe you 140 bucks but I bounced my phone bill and the proofs from the lab, can’t pay for them. Now the 14th is this Saturday… get on the bus or whatever. You got to be here for the big opening of the Warhol Museum…”
Excerpts from an answering machine message from Natalka Voslakov during the summer of 1994: From “Film, baby” by Peggy Ahwesh (Catalogue essay for Big As Life: An American History of 8mm Film presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York
Introduced by Rebecca Cleman of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
Bethlehem by Peggy Ahwesh (8 min, 2008)
Working through my archive of accumulated video footage, I pretended it was found footage from anonymous sources. What began as a tribute to Bruce Conner of the period of Valse Triste and Take the 5:10 to Dreamland, with their deliberate pace and bittersweet memory of home, ended as a dedication to my father as I wound my way through miscellany with distance and another aim. –Peggy Ahwesh
Current Autobiography According to Bargain Basement Sinatra by Natalka Voslakov (18 min, 1979)
This film of the director’s real and reel life is more of a parody on the popular cultural conditioning of the nature of courting rituals and the techniques of women to manipulate men. The use of music by Frank Sinatra is one of her personal favorites in ironic reference to Natalka’s background and her failure at achieving romantic love.
Audio Listening session: ‘The Geisha Life’ & ‘Totally Alone’ mash up of soundtracks featuring Natalka Voslavka, by Peggy Ahwesh (10 min, 2012)
Philosophy in the Bedroom, Pts 1 and 2 by Peggy Ahwesh (16 min, 1993)
“A S8 home-movie paean to the Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom plumbs the depths of boudoir small talk. In the first part, a newly-acquainted odd couple discuss desire—and lack thereof—over a bag of potato chips. In the second part, a recumbent woman describes her partner and herself as “the John and Yoko of the ’90s.” (“We’re in bed most of the time,” she explains.) The two read aloud, nap and argue beneath the blankets. Ahwesh manipulates the image through chemical and mechanical means, gradually shifting the color scheme from blue to yellow”. (from EAI catalogue)
The Vision Machine by Peggy Ahwesh (20 min, 1996)
Marcel Duchamp is one of our most inventive humorists — his roto-reliefs for example are sexualized, off-color, and defiant. THE VISION MACHINE attempts to combine my interests in the roto-reliefs, joke telling, song lyrics and how all these texts relate to women. – Peggy Ahwesh
Above: Natalka Voslakov in her film Current Autobiography According to Bargain Basement Sinatra (1976)
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Peggy Ahwesh is a media artist who got her start in the 1970′s with feminism, punk and amateur Super 8 filmmaking. Ahwesh says “These formats, points of view, political positions and life styles inspired by those areas of investigation remain relevant today and linger with a trace on everything I do.” Ahwesh has exhibited worldwide including most recently at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Goethe House, NYC; The Tate Modern, London; The Virginia Museum of Art; Microscope Gallery, NYC; James Gallery, NYC; and Guggeheim Museum, Bilboa. She has been featured at the Whitney Biennial (1991, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2008), The American Century at the Whitney 2000, and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution 2008, P.S.1, Queens, NY. Her works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Library of Congress. And she has received many grants and awards including from Jerome Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, NYSC and the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts. Peggy Ahwesh is Professor of Film & Electronic Arts at Bard College where she has taught for many years. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
INSIDE CIRCLE, new works by Peggy Ahwesh runs through Monday April 16. Featuring anamorphic photographic prints, audia recordings and record players, and new video. Gallery Hours: Thurs to Monday 1-6PM and by appointment.
More info about INSIDE CIRCLE
Below: Still from Bethlehem (video, 2008) / Blue Flight (video, digital frame, silver tube, 2012)
All images are courtesy of and copyright © Peggy Ahwesh
Of Death: a night of performance and films
SATURDAY APRIL 7
6PM Our Dresses: Final Action dance/performance by Camila Cañeque
7PM screening of The Dead Man by Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn
& The End by Christopher Maclaine
Admission to performance is free, screening $6
Our Dresses – a performance by Camila Cañeque - © Camila Cañeque
For this Easter Holiday weekend, we confront our mortality with a unique evening of performance and film works in which death is the unabashed subject. At 6PM, we are pleased to present the final act of Spanish dancer/performer Camila Cañeque’s 27-day durational project “Our Dresses”, which included shows at the The Armory and the Itinerant Performance Festival this past month. The performance is followed by two groundbreaking films: Peggy Ahwesh and Keith Sanborn’s George Bataille influenced “The Deadman” (1990) and Christopher Maclaine’s rare 16mm Beat film “The End” (1953), which will be introduced by Pip Chodorov of RE:VOIR films. This is the first time these two works have screened together.
OUR DRESSES: FINAL ACTION
60 minute durational performance
Audience may enter and exit as they please
For 27 days, the number of letters in the Spanish alphabet because of the letter Ñ, the challenge has been to cross the legendary American space and experience the clash between the Spanish folkloric dress and the Yankee Empire. Our Dresses explores the progressive homogenization of society and the cultural insecurity caused by the threat to local identity.
The “Final Action” segment is a short piece revealing the essence and the conclusion of the experimental main Performance made for 27 days, 24/7. The action consists in the personification of the vanquished or defeated. Camila Cañeque is lying down still, wearing the Dress and 27 red Spanish carnations around the exhausted body, generating the expectation of movement, of life. The idea of tension of non-activity, exploration of passion by his antagonism: death.
Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn
1989, b&w, sound, 16 mm film on video, 36 min
Based on Le Mort by Georges Bataille, the story of Marie and her last night of extremes. The Deadman has screened in numerous film festivals in the US and abroad and was a selection for the Whitney Biennial in 1991.
“The Deadman is based on a story by Bataille, charting “the adventures of a near-naked heroine who sets in motion a scabrous free-from orgy before returning to the house to die — a combination of elegance, raunchy defilement and barbaric splendor.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader.
“The most unique film of the 1990s American avant-garde” — Jonas Mekas
1953, 16mm film, 35 minutes
Presented by Pip Chodorov of RE:VOIR films
The End presents a series of people on the last day of each of their lives, none of whom are aware as they depart that that “the end” for all is about to take place. The film is considered a pivotal work of the American avant garde and Maclaine’s masterpiece. We are screening the work in it’s original format. The End is available for rental at the Film-maker’s Cooperative. Last year, RE:VOIR released the film on DVD and it is available for purchase.
“With Maclaine, we are going back to the source of the Beats; he was the filmmaker who chronicled the movement as it happened and created a center of one of the aspects of the Beat myth seven or eight years before the grand epic of Beat became nationally known with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac…. I have seen THE END more than fifty times, and there are moments when I still begin to tremble at the psychological blockages and outright terror of it.” – Stan Brakhage
Stills from The Deadman - © 1989 Peggy Ahwesh & Keith Sanborn
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Camila Cañeque (Barcelona, b. 1984) is a conceptual and performance artist whose work explores the construction of contemporary identity and self-representation. Cañeque transforms into a role or persona over extended periods of time -from 27 days to a year- and documents her new life through photography, film and video. Deriving from autobiographical experiences and anthropological concerns, her fictional characters are always condemned to live displaced. She has performed and screened her work in New York during the last month at The Armory Show, Intinerant Performance Art Festival, and The Kitchen.
Peggy Ahwesh is a media artist who got her start in the 1970′s with feminism, punk and amateur Super 8 filmmaking. Ahwesh has exhibited worldwide including most recently at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Goethe House, NYC; The Tate Modern, London; The Virginia Museum of Art; Microscope Gallery, NYC; James Gallery, NYC; and Guggeheim Museum, Bilboa. Her solo exhibition “Inside Circle” is currently on view at Microscope Gallery through April 16.
Keith Sanborn’s work has been included in major survey exhibitions such as the Whitney Biennial, the American Century, and Monter/Sampler and festivals such as OVNI (Barcelona), The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Hong Kong Videotage, and Ostranenie (Dessau). His theoretical work has appeared in a range of publications from journals such as Artforum and books, such as Kunst nach Ground Zero to exhibition catalogues published by MOMA (New York), Exit Art, and the San Francisco Cinematheque. He has translated into English the work of Guy Debord, René Viénet, Gil Wolman, Georges Bataille, Napoleon, Paolo Gioli, Berthold Brecht, Lev Kuleshov and Esther Shub among others. He has also acted as anindependent curator, working with such institutions as the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Exit Art, Artists Space, the Pacific Film Archive, and CinemaTexas. He teaches at Princeton University and Bard College.
Christopher Maclaine was born in 1923 in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a Beat poet in the 40s and 50s and founder of Contour magazine. He also made four short avant garde films, all in the 50s. The End is his first and longest work. He died on April 6, 1975.
Below: Still from Christopher Maclaine’s The End © 1953 Christopher Maclaine
PILLARS OF FIRE
Film and curation by Julien Langendorff
MONDAY APRIL 2, 7PM
We have invited French artist/musician Julien Langendorff to present a night of rare works including his “Pillars of Fire” made in collaboration with US artist Jason Glasser. For the evening, Langendorff has also chosen a selection of short works by NY based artists Rose Kallal, Marie Losier, and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (of Psychic TV). The night concludes with legendary actor/filmmaker Pierre Clémenti’s most accomplished work Visa de censure n. X from 1967. Langendorff is in New York for his current solo exhibition “Goddess Fuzz Fantasy” at agnès b. Galerie Boutique in Soho which runs through April 1st.
Pillars of Fire
Originally 8mm, col, sound, 17min, 2009
by Julien Langendorff / Jason Glasser
music by Langendorff / Glasser w/ Matteah
An Introduction to Temple of Psychick Youth + Scared to Live
courtesy of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Invisible Exports Gallery
by Rose Kallal, 16mm film transfer, 2011
by Rose Kallal, 16mm film transfer, 2012
Sound by Rose Kallal and Mark Pilkington
Never before screened outtakes from The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye
by Marie Losier, 16mm transfer, col, sound, 14min, 2011
with improved violin rehearsal between Tony Conrad and Genesis P-Orridge at Issue Project Room
Commission trailer for the 40th Anniversary of Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema
(and an homage to George Kuchar and the NY he loved so much)
by Marie Losier, 16mm film transfer, 20 frames, 20 pauses, 60 characters, 1:35min, 2011
With Joel Schlemowitz, Tom Jarmusch, Jonathan Cahouette, Bradley Eros, April March and others
Visa de Cénsure n. X
by Pierre Clémenti
16mm transfer to digital, col, sound, 55min, 1967
ABOUT PILLARS OF FIRE
Jason Glasser and Julien Langendorff met through a friend in common some time in Paris during the summer of 2007. Helping each other out on different personal art projects, they’ve been working together on a large hair sculpture project of Julien Langendorff for one of his personal art shows in Paris, “Rise Of The Golden Dawn”. The installation, a mysterious, ghostly ritual-like vision, featured a 7 feet tall hairy figure along paper and wool sculptures. They were working in the studio one day when the song “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath was playing loud on the stereo. They discussed the artwork of Black Sabbath’s first album, which features a woman dressed like a witch in some haunted psychedelic landscape. Both into its cool promise of evil rock and roll – and gnarly roots and blood red leaves, blackened windows, and horror movie thrills- they decided then that they needed to make Pillars of Fire, a movie which they shot and made the music for, focusing on the sculpture project they were then working on, and which owes much to Black Sabbath’s inspiration. The film, shot in 8mm, follows then this hairy figure on its mysterious journey to its final death, along a score that gathers echo-tapes, indian instruments, electric cello, guitar and hair bows.
Throughout all the screenings of the film, featuring Langendorff and Glasser performing the score live, Pillars Of Fire finally became also a music project of its own, with various members and collaborators, including Brooklyn-based Matteah Baim and Robert A. Lowe (aka Lichens) and multi-instrumentalist Lori Sean Berg. Pillars Of Fire played on several occasions with Psychic TV and Jonas Mekas.
ABOUT JULIEN LANGENDORFF
Julien Langendorff is a visual artist and musician, working and living between Paris and New York. He recently had a new solo exhibition in NY, ‘Goddess Fuzz Fantasy’, at agnès b. ‘s new gallery space in Soho. His work combines collages and paper cut-outs of 1970′s erotic and occult imagery, drawings and films, and often conjures up dark, dream-like visions influenced by gothic and hippie cultures, rock music, spiritism and diary-art. Langendorff’s work is both minimal and psychedelic with a free stream of conscious sensibility. His new book, ‘Black Mirrors’, published by Shelter Press, has just been released in New York City.
More info at: julienlangendorff.com
All images are courtesy of Julien Langendorff © 2009
THE SYNDICATE OF HUMAN IMAGE TRAFFICKERS
SATURDAY MARCH 24, 7PM
Director Jeffrey Wengrofsky in person & other special guests
Admission $6 – Please RSVP to email@example.com
Syndicate of Human Image Traffickers joins us to present 3 recent short videos: “Getting Out of Bed With Richard Foreman”, “Jo Boobs Teaches the Va-VaVoom,” and “The Party in Taylor Mead’s Kitchen.” The Syndicate makes documentary films that focus on “aporias of the creative life”. Syndicate soundtracks have been commissioned to members of: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Hold Steady, TheWorld/Inferno Friendship Society, The Mars Volta, Thompson Automatic, Sonny Vincent, The Fungus Fire Tabernacle Choir, The Nixon-Mao Handshake, and J.G. Thirlwell aka Foetus.
We met Syndicate Director Jeffrey Wengrofsky last October when he wandered into our gallery during Bushwick Beat Nite just before the latest video “The Party in Taylor Mead’s Kitchen” premiered. We have been looking forward to this night. Wengrofsky and other special guests will be in attendance.
The Party in Taylor Mead’s Kitchen (11 minutes, 2011)
Official Selection of DOC NYC 2011 and Stranger Than Fiction film series
Biography of Film Subject: After reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Taylor Mead, the scion of Michigan’s Democratic Party political boss Harry Mead, left his Grosse Point home and Merrill Lynch sinecure for a life hitchhiking around the U.S. Upon arriving in San Francisco, his ability to write and perform clever, bawdy, homoerotic poems made Taylor an instant hit with the Beatnik scene. He soon came to personify the “Beatnik” ethic in Ron Rice’s classic film, The Flower Thief, in 1960. After meeting Allen Ginsberg at a poetry function, Taylor moved to the Lower East Side of New York, then the Beatnik capital of the world. Taylor was soon a Warhol superstar and came to be featured, most famously, in Tarzan and Jane Revisited…Sort of, and most notoriously, as the star of Taylor Mead’s Ass in 1964. He has since acted in scores of films, has acted for the stage, and has published books of poetry.
Film Synopsis: Fifty-one years after trading in upper-crust luxury for bohemian art stardom, The Party in Taylor Mead’s Kitchen finds Taylor still living a life of poetry, painting, partying, acting, homo-eroticism, gossip, modest living, and indifference to bourgeois notions of hygiene. We visit the octogenarian in his Lower East Side grotto to find him still brilliant, boyishly cute, and ready to party at noon. The film depicts the romantic beauty and squalid dereliction of the bohemian life while dishing the dirt on Andy Warhol, Jack Kerouac, Ron Rice, Woody Allen, and Tallulah Bankhead. At 86, Taylor Mead is an ambassador of bohemianism from a world without the internet, cable television, surveillance cameras, cell phones, global positioning systems, credit cards or roach spray.
Crew: Jeffrey Wengrofsky (direction), Brian Wengrofsky (cinematography and lighting), David Kavanaugh (camera and lighting), Daniel Schanler (editing), and Eric Hausmann (soundtrack).
Getting Out of Bed With Richard Foreman (12 minutes, 2010)
Biography of Film Subject: Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater made its debut in 1968. Since then, he has written, directed, and designed more than fifty plays, received five “OBIE” (Off-Broadway) Awards for Best Play of the Year, the Literature Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN Club Master American Dramatist Award, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, was elected officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, and his direction of the 50th anniversary production of Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera”at Lincoln Center was nominated for both T.O.N.Y. and Grammy Awards.
Film Synopsis: Storytelling is, among other things, the art of regulating the flow of information shared with an audience. Playwright Richard Foreman is a foremost master of this art, withholding much that makes our world familiar and meaningful. In his plays, characters inhabit situations and events transpire, but usually without the problem resolution endemic to most fiction. Ultimately, we never know whether what we have witnessed is satirical, psychological, resolutely absurdist, or somehow all three concurrently. Enduring such a bewildering circumstance, the audience is challenged to find or impose order and meaning. In this film, Foreman discusses why an existentialist-absurdist would bother making art, the exploration of romance in theater, and the meaning of the avant garde in contemporary society.
Crew: Jeffrey Wengrofsky (direction), Brian Wengrofsky (cinematography and lighting), David Kavanaugh (editing), and Andrew K. Thomson (soundtrack).
Jo Boobs Teaches the Va-VaVoom (8 minutes, 2010)
Biography of Film Subject: Bio of film subject: “Jo Boobs” Weldon is Headmistress of The New York School of Burlesque. In June 2010, Jo published The Pocket Book of Burlesque (with a forward by Margaret Cho), a volume whose slender design can slip under the inspector’s prying gaze. The New York School of Burlesque is in sympathetic affiliation with Miss Indigo Blue’s Academy of Burlesque in Seattle and Michelle L’Amour’s Burlesque Finishing School in Chicago as well as programs in Washington, D.C and elsewhere.
Film Synopsis: Is burlesque – a word which refers to turning things upside down – still able to subvert morals and mores? In a popular culture where the use of sexuality to sell consumer goods is banal, pornography of nearly every stripe is freely and instantly available, and sympathetic gay and lesbian characters are commonplace, is the self-conscious performance of gender merely campy fun or does it still have a liberating capacity? Can sex work, titillation, gender play and masturbation undermine heterosexual monogamy? Whose moralities and identities might they challenge?
Crew: Jeffrey Wengrofsky (direction), Brian Wengrofsky (cinematography and lighting), David Kavanaugh (editing), and Franz Nicolay (soundtrack).
Syndicate of Human Image Traffickers Coming Contraptions Reel (2010, 1 minute)
Crew: Jeffrey Wengrofsky (direction), Brian Wengrofsky (cinematography and lighting), David Kavanaugh (editing), and Jim Thirlwell (soundtrack).
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Biography of Director:
Jeffrey Wengrofsky is the Director and Producer of the Syndicate. He presently teaches at New York University and writes for Coilhouse magazine. Previously, Wengrofsky was the host of Profiles of the Downtown Music Scene at The New School, TerrorSex Cabaret, Voo Doo A Go-Go, and was on the editorial staff of Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory and Aperture magazine. His words have appeared in the pages of the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Maximumrocknroll, New Political Science, PS: Politics and Policy, Vehement Renaissance, and elsewhere in the world of letters. As a DJ, he has purveyed bad taste at Club Luxx, Club New York, Webster Hall, The Limelight (N.Y.), C.B.G.B. Gallery, Elbow Room (Ypsilanti, MI), The Raven (N.Y.), The Knitting Factory, The Coral Room, Cake Shop, and, most recently, at the Red Lotus Room. His voice can be heard on a podcast by National Magazine Award-winning Tablet magazine’s Long Story Short series regarding punk and Jewish history: http://www.tabletmag.com
In the pictures: Taylor Mead and Richard Foreman
All images are courtesy of The Syndicate of Human Image Traffickers © 2011
Bodily Heavens I & II / Electric Salomé
MONDAY MARCH 19, 7PM
We have invited Stephanie Wuertz to present a program of new and recent works video and film works, including her haunting Bodily Heavens I, Bodily Heavens II made from microscopic slides, and Electric Salomé, a 16mm film inspired by the American modern dancer, Loie Fuller. We were first introduced to Wuerz’s work through our open call for submissions to the BOS Film Festival last spring. We also included her work on installation at “Bushwick in the Box”, a group show we presented at White Box last summer, and she participated in our anniversary screening “Microscopic” curated by Bradley Eros in September.
Bodily Heavens I (digital, color, sound, 5 min, 2011)
Bodily Heavens II (digital, color, sound, 18 min, 2012)
In Bodily Heavens, close proximity and deep space collide. Stop-motion techniques animate microscopic slides, transforming the inner functions of the body into a site where cells breathe, pulse, and disperse, evoking an underground abyss, a sublime spacescape, a deep-sea world. The shifting, crowding forms succumb to the sounds of Luigi Nono, which conjure a church choir lost in reverb.
Electric Salomé (16mm film, BW, sound, 22 min, 2012)
Electric Salomé again takes the body in motion as subject, this time in a high-contrast whirl of electrified silk. Inspired by the American modern dancer, Loie Fuller, known for her unique multi-media performances at the turn of the century, the film captures a solitary dancer’s movement from coherent practice to otherworldly disorientation.
*part of the film will be projected with a hand cranked 16mm projector
(TRT: Approx. 45 minutes)
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Stephanie Wuertz is a moving-image artist based in New York. She has a BFA from Memphis College of Art and an MA in Media Studies from The New School. Drawing inspiration from early cinema, proto-cinema and medical photography, her work often incorporates stop-motion, superimposition and music to explore absence, transformation, and kinesthesia.
She has exhibited, screened, and performed live projections of her work at such venues as White Box Gallery, Microscope, The New Museum, CoExist Gallery, Issue Project Room, Live with Animals, Millennium Film Workshop and Cherry Kino Lab. She works in Digital Media at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
© All images are courtesy of Stephanie Wuertz
Deep Leap Microcinema – Kill Your Idols
Group film/video program
followed by live performance by Jesse Malmed
WEDNESDAY MARCH 14, 7PM
Jesse Malmed of Deep Leap Microcinema returns to New York and Microscope to present a group program of films and videos. KILLS YOUR IDOLS takes its title Sonic Youth album and features works by: Rick Silva, Roger Beebe, Laurel Degutis, Eric Fleischauer, Theo Darst, Evan Meaney, Clint Enns, Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa, Michael Hubbard, Pete McPartlan, Jeff Guay and others. A live performance by Jesse Malmed will follow.
“Borrowing its title from a Sonic Youth record, this program investigates, substantiates and considers the use—material or conceptual—of canonical avant-garde film/video works in contemporary moving image practitioners. More a series of questions, provocations and approaches than a clean dictum, Kill Your Idols runs the risk of inside baseball while engaging the pedagogy of critical cinema. When we use words like avant-garde and experimental, we engage in art-making as something martial, progressive and, potentially, as a research-based field of knowledge. These works take literally the notion that a past is something that can be built upon, built again.
How does the use of one’s favorite Brakhage film as ‘found’ footage change and charge the politics and poetics of appropriation? What are the limits of re-enaction? How does the acknowledgement of a canon within an avant-garde practice impact new makers? What can be gleaned from a practice that combs the canon? What can new technologies tell us about old ones? What is lost and what is gained? What of those artists appropriating and updating their own works?
Through re-enaction, re-mixing and re-considering, the weight of influence is all over these works. There are great triumphs and minor failures, snark attacks and exegeses on the space between veneration and enervation.” –Jesse Malmed
A performance by Jesse Malmed follows the program.
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Deep Leap Microcinema is a peripatetic screening and exhibition series living, for now, in Chicago, IL. Past programs have included Zaum/Beyonsense, The Internet Is a Terrible Place to Live, Sacred Geometies, dis/play and have screened/been installed at Micrscope Gallery, Artists’ Television Access, Grand Detour, Place Gallery, Echo Park Film Center, the Helsing Junction Sleepover and in universities. Future programs include: The Way People Talk, “New” “Landscapes” and Repeat Our Names Until They Rhyme. www.deepleap.net
Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator operating out of Chicago. He has performed and screened his dense, humorous and innovative works in museums, microcinemas, galleries, bars and barns. www.jessemalmed.net
© All images are courtesy of the artists
SAT March 10, 6-10PM
Brooklyn Armory Night/Bushwick Beat NiteOn view:
We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-maker’s Cooperative
Exhibit featuring works by: Katherine Bauer, Bill Brand, Robert Breer, Rudy Burckhardt, Donna Cameron, Abigail Child, Martha Colburn, Peter Cramer, Bradley Eros, Su Friedrich, Ken Jacobs, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Anne Hanavan, Takahiko Iimura, Jeanne Liotta, Jonas Mekas, Julie Murray, Jennifer Reeves, Barbara Rubin, Lynne Sachs, Carolee Schneemann, Joel Schlemowitz, MM Serra, Jack Smith, Smith and Lowles, Mark Street, and Jack Waters.
More info under Exhibitions
Special Performances 8-10PM
Cassette release party for new Brooklyn Band LOUISE
Additional performances by Victoria Keddie, Lea Bertucci and Bradley Eros
Performances will start on time
Admission is free
As part of Brooklyn Armory Night/Bushwick Beat Nite we are pleased to present the first release of the new Brooklyn band Louise. The 35 minute 9 track debut will be released on cassette with packaging designed and assembled by Myranda Gillies.
Louise (David Mason and Sarah Halpern) is collage music, drawing most heavily from American Folk by way of drums, electric guitar and voice.
Listen to a song from the album: AIR (5:00)
Victoria Keddie believes she has found a way to communicate with aliens, with an electrified koto and a few handy ring modulators.
Lea Bertucci will perform a new composition for tapes titled ‘Rods and Cones’.
Bradley Eros m.o.t.o.r. = magnetic oscillation to optic rotation. cassettes, vinyl, film: all spin, all spirals.
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Victoria Keddie is an artist, curator, and archivist based in New York City. Her work explores space-sound relationships and visual rhetoric. She works in varying media involving sculpture, film, audio, and performance. She has programmed events throughout the city involving collaboration of film and video, performance and sound in dialogue. As an archivist, she focuses on preserving analog time-based media. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US in addition to public speaking. She holds a MA in Museum Studies from NYU, with a concentration on Ephemeral and Time -Based Media collections. She is a member of the film-based collective, Optipus. She is on the programming committee of The Archivist Roundtable of NYC, and a member of Association of Moving Image Archivists and the Association of Recorded Sound. She is co- founder of INDEX Festival -planned for August 2011 (www.indexfestival.com)
Lea Bertucci is an interdisciplinary artist who works with Photography, Sound, Video and Installation. She received her BA in Photography from Bard College in 2007, the same year she was awarded a fellowship from the Tierney Foundation. The emphasis of her work lies in exciting the liminal areas of perception. She uses tactics such as slide projection, stop motion video and lo-fi filtering of sound to engage with these ideas. In 2009 she was awarded a residency from Smack Mellon and a Young Composer’s Commission from Roulette. She has performed solo and collaborative works at venues such as Roulette, Issue Project Room, The Kitchen, Anthology Film Archives, St. Marks Ontological-Hysteric Theater, free103point9, Galapagos Artspace, The Queens Museum of Art and the High Zero Festival.
Bradley Eros is an artist working in myriad media: experimental film & video, collage, photography, performance, sound, text, contracted and expanded cinema & installation. Also a maverick curator, designer, researcher & investigator. Concepts include: ephemeral cinema, mediamystics, subterranean science, erotic psyche, cinema povera, poetic accidents and musique plastique. Exhibited at 2004 Whitney Biennial & The American Century, MoMA, PS1, The New York, London & Rotterdam Film Festivals, Performa09, Exit Art, The Kitchen, Millennium, Ocularis, Light Industry, Issue Project Room, Microscope Gallery, Participant Inc, Cabinet, ABC No Rio, White Box, The New York Underground Film Festival, Migrating Forms, Warhol Museum, Pacific Film Archives, SF Cinematheque, No.w.here in London, Lightcone in Paris, Arsenal in Berlin, Image Forum in Tokyo; Collaborated with the Alchemical Theater, the band Circle X, Voom HD Lab, expanded cinema groups kinoSonik & Arcane Project, and currently Optipus (film group); Worked for many years with the New York Filmmakers’ Cooperative, Anthology Film Archives, & co-directed the Roberta Beck Mercurial Cinema.
Louise was born in the early summer of 2011 to David Mason and Sarah Halpern. She weighs absolutely nothing so it was an easy, instantaneous birth. Her first word has just been recorded to tape as a full length album.
HERE & NOW
WE ARE CINEMA: SCREENING #4
Sunday March 4, 7pm
Admission $6 – Free to Coop Members with a NEW work to screen
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Here and Now” is the final of the 4 part screening series in connection with the “We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-makers’ Cooperative” exhibit. For the evening, we invite current members of the Film-Maker’s Cooperative to bring a NEW short film or video to screen. We will show all works whether or not they have already been entered into distribution at the Co-op.
If you plan to bring a film or video, we prefer that you let us know in advance!
We will screen the following formats:
Video: DVD or a Quicktime file on a flash drive
Film: 16 mm or Super 8.
Nicole Brenez presents
FILMS & VIDEOS BY MARC HURTADO (Etant Donnés)
FRIDAY MARCH 2, 7.30PM
Admission $6 – Please RSVP to email@example.com
We are honored to welcome Nicole Brenez from Cinémathèque Francaise (Paris) to introduce a screening night of selected works by French film-maker, poet, musician Marc Hurtado (from group Etant Donnés)
Son regard perdu dans le noir
Son cou qui s’étire dans l’espace
Son ventre qui s’ouvre dans les ténèbres
Son sourire qui brille dans la danse
Son ombre qui s’envole entre les doigts
Son cœur qui résonne dans le chant
Son corps qui flotte sur la terre
C’est le son du souffle sur ta nuque
C’est le son d’une porte qui s’ouvre
C’est le son d’une porte qui se ferme
C’est le son du sang dans tes yeux
C’est le son d’un miroir qui se brise
C’est le son d’un cri dans le feu
C’est le son du silence sur la Terre
His gaze lost in the black
His neck stretching in the space
His belly opening into the darkness
His smile shining in the dance
His shadow disappearing among the fingers
His heart resounding in the singing
His body floating on the ground
It is the sound of the breath on your nape
It is the sound of an opening door
It s the sound of a shutting door
It is the sound of the blood in your eyes
It is the sound of a crashing mirror
It is the sound of a cry in the fire
It is the sound of the silence on Earth
The group Etant Donnés, namely the poets, musicians, performers and film-makers Marc and Eric Hurtado, are characterized by their complete autonomy. No matter in which field, be it formal invention, cultural references, production or logistics, Etant Donnés creates their own world, nourished with ancient and courtly poetry. In cinema, it physically translates into the choice of specific tools that Marc Hurtado uses to make his films, as for instance 8mm film and surveillance camera, as well as into researching ways to open corporal feelings to reality – where each grain of visual and sonic texture becomes a detector of overflowing fluxes.
For Microscope Gallery, Marc Hurtado has made available 5 of his most historical works. The first three – originally from silver film and later digitized – are intense visual poems devoted to ecstasy. As Marc Hurtado states: “I am not interested in the idea of expression, but rather in the one of impression, through a disintegration of my self into light, nature, breath, wind…” The fourth is an unexpected portrait of the great Alan Vega as a sculptor, where the visual dialogue between the artists reaches the top. “The fifth work is a clip for a song from the album “Sniper” that I made with Alan Vega, brought back from the vertigo of the whirl he dragged me into since our last taped meeting.” (Marc Hurtado)
By Marc Hurtado for Etant Donnés, 8mm film transfer to digital, France, 1991, 23:30 minutes
Light is essential to my films. All you have to do is capture a certain light intensity, or accentuate it, and by extracting it from its container, the content is now free to evaporate in the film and lighten it from the inside. The image of the exterior reality must be elevated to be the archetype of the interior one. These films operate as icons: to find in the image the order of creation, and show that the being is the product of the World, and the World the projection of the being. — M H
By Marc Hurtado for Etant Donnés, 8mm film transferred to digital, France, 1994, 36:45 minutes
Intensify the perception of reality in order to elevate it to the density of magic. — Etant Donnés
Ciel Terre Ciel (Sky Earth Sky)
By Marc Hurtado, digital video, France, 2009, 4:44 minutes
Through light I developed a poetic axis of embodiment that gives density and splendor to the fusion, the dazzle, the dark path and then to the rebirth of hope. I made this film in three phases: Sky, Earth, Sky. It is the history of humanity. We fall from the sky, go through the Earth, and leave again to the sky. It could be symbolized by a big V, V for Vie (life) an for Victory, the victory over the darkness, over the self. — M H
The Infinite Mercy Film
By Marc Hurtado, digital video, France, 2009, 16 minutes
A flaming portrait of Alan Vega (of the New York band Suicide), painter and sculptor, by a film-maker who is also poet and musician.
Saturn Drive Duplex
By Marc Hurtado, digital video, NYC, 2011, 6 minutes
I am trying to establish a connection between the constant wavering of the song and the sunlight that pierces the city of New York. We are the point of convergence of the ray of light, and this reversed perspective turns into an escape and cast us into a blue, dissipated space. — M H
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Marc Hurtado founded with his brother Eric the group Etant Donnés in 1977. The group finds expression in a variety of mediums, in particular film, music, and performance, generally inspired to Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty and researching a form of art that overtakes the dualism spirit-matter. Except for the films “Des autres Terres souples” and “Le paradis blanc” realized with his brother, Marc Hurtado is the one who has made all the moving-image works by Etant Donnés. Along the years they have collaborated with such artists as Alan Vega (Suicide), Lydia Lunch, Genesis P. Orridge, Michael Gira (Swans), Mark Cunningham (Mars) among others. In 2009 Marc Hurtado makes the film “The Infinite Mercy Film” dedicated to his old-time collaborator Alan Vega, and one year later he releases with him the album “Sniper” (Marc Hurtado /Alan Vega). He also composes scores for several films by French director Philippe Grandrieux, most notably for his 2002 “La Vie Nouvelle”. Hurtado’s paintings have been recently featured in the exhibition “Musique Plastique” at the Galerie du Jour (agnes b., Paris).
Etant Donnés’ and Marc Hurtado’s works have been exhibited among others at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fondation Cartier, Cinemathèque Française, Le “Cinéma du Réel” festival, Biennale de Lyon (FR), Sonar Festival (Barcelona), Festival di Locarno (IT), Documenta (Kassel), Atonal Festival (Berlin), The Kitchen (NY), Mattress Factory (Pittsburgh).
For more info, visit: www.etantdonnes.com
© All images are courtesy of Marc Hurtado
WE ARE CINEMA: Birth of a Nation
A film by Jonas Mekas – Artist in Person
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 25, 7PM
Admission $6 – Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Still from Birth of a Nation, by Jonas Mekas (1997) – © Jonas Mekas
We are honored to welcome Jonas Mekas to present his rarely screened “Birth of a Nation” in connection with the “We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative” exhibition. The 16mm film features over 160 independent filmmakers, recorded by the groundbreaking diarist filmmaker over a period of 40 years beginning in 1955. As a leading figure of the American avant-garde, film critic, founder of Film-Maker’s Coop, Film-Makers’ Cinematheque and Anthology Film Archives Mekas was able to capture these men and women of the international avant-garde film movement – those usually behind the camera – involved in everyday life. As the filmmakers parade across the screen, their energy and artistic passions are contagious. “Birth of a Nation” has screened only once previously in New York.
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Jonas Mekas is a filmmaker and poet who has been working with film and more recently video for over 50 years. Mekas is a pioneer of the hand-held diarist film form and his approach has influenced not only countless avant-garde filmmakers, but Hollywood and the YouTube generation. His films and videos are screened at festivals, cinemas, and galleries worldwide including recent shows at Ludwig Museum, Cologne; La Biennale di Venezia; Bienal de São Paolo, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Berlin Film Festival, London Film Festival, The New Musuem, MoMA and many others.
Birth of a Nation (1997), 16mm, color, sound, 85 min
One hundred and sixty portraits or rather appearances, sketches and glimpses of avant-garde, independent filmmakers and film activists between 1955 and 1996.
Why BIRTH OF A NATION? Because the film independents IS a nation in itself. We are surrounded by commercial cinema Nation same way as the indigenous people of the United States or of any other country are surrounded by Ruling Powers.
We are the invisible, but essential nation of cinema. We are Cinema.
We Are Cinema: Ken Jacobs
Saturday February 18, 7PM
Admission $6 – Artist in Person
Seating is limited. Please RSVP at email@example.com
Still from The Whirled, by Ken Jacobs (1963) – © Ken Jacobs
In connection with the “We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative” exhibit at Microscope Gallery, legendary filmmaker Ken Jacobs presents an evening of his works including his early film “Blonde Cobra” (1963) starring Jack Smith; “The Whirled” (1956-1963) also with Smith; and his recent anaglyph 3D video “America at War, The Home Front: Film Opening” (2011).
Jacobs is one of the major forces in American avant-garde cinema and has been working with the moving image in a variety of forms for over 50 years. “Blonde Cobra” is an “erratic narrative” as Jacobs has described it made with footage from two of Jack Smith’s early abandoned films. The 16mm film is a pivotal work in the history of independent film and Jonas Mekas declared it “the masterpiece of Baudelairean cinema.” Jacobs recent work with digital anaglyph 3D relates to his more than 40 years exploration with the possibility of three dimensional cinema both through his Nervous Lantern System – involving 2 projectors each projecting the same film, a single frame apart – and his more recent Nervous Magic Lantern, a device that uses no film or video.
“Eisenstein said the power of film was to be found between shots. Peter Kubelka seeks it between film frames. I want to get between the eyes, contest the separate halves of the brain. A whole new play of appearances is possible here.” – K.J.
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Ken Jacobs was born in Williamsburg Brooklyn. He studied painting with the abstract expressionist Hans Hoffman in the mid-1950s before he began making films. Jacobs was an early member of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative; Co-Founder of Millenium Film Workshop and Professor of the Department of Cinema which he started at SUNY Binghamton in 1969. Jacob’s film, video and live performances are presented at film festivals, cinemas, and museums worldwide including retrospectives at MoMA, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the American Museum of the Moving Image. His groundbreaking Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-71) was added to the Library of Congress’ National Registry in 2007.
The Whirled (1956-63), 18 min, color & b/w
The following four films include early images of Jack Smith. 1. Saturday Afternoon Blood Sacrifice (1956) 2. Little Cobra Dance (1956) 3. Hunch Your Back (1963) 4. Death of P’Town (1961) The first two sections were shot around Jack’s loft on Reade Street on two 100′ 16 mm. rolls. Sunday morning, following Saturday’s sacrifice, I saw there was another 50 feet left. In an impromptu way very different from my initial fastidious art-film approach, I quickly filmed Jack on the roof alongside his loft. The results had us falling onto the floor and I would never be an art-film true-believer again. After years of shooting my raging epic STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH starring Jack as The Spirit Not of Life But of Living, and after a few months of being on the outs with each other, we got together -summer of ’61 in Provincetown- for one last stab at friendship and the making of a film. In 1963, a snatch of Saturday Afternoon Blood Sacrifice was shown on TV. I had somehow been invited to participate in a TV quiz program called Back Your Hunch. (Or was it Hunch Your Back?)
Blonde Cobra (1963), 33 min, color and b&w, sound
Jack says I made the film too heavy. It was his and Bob’s intention to create light monster-movie comedy. Two comedies, actually, two separate stories that were being shot simultaneously until they had a falling-out over who should pay for the raw stock destroyed in a fire started when Jack’s cat knocked over a candle (Jack was behind in his electricity bill). Jack claimed it was an act of God and wouldn’t (couldn’t) pay for the burnt film. In the winter of `59, Bob showed me the footage. Having no idea of the original story plans I was able to view the material not as the fragments of a failure, of two failures, but as the makings of a new entity. Bob gave over the footage to me with the freedom to develop it as I saw fit. I think it was in late 1960 that Jack and I ignored our personal animosities long enough to record his words and songs for the sound track. The phrases he repeated for me into the tape recorder were mostly ones I’d at some time heard him say; most were pet phrases he loved to recite, over and over, his lessons, and a very few I made up in his style. This was the procedure for recording his monologues and songs: I played him selections from my 78 collection, music from the `20′s and `30′s, often only the beginning of a record and if he liked it we would restart the record and immediately record. I don’t think there was a second take of anything, the Cult Of Spontaneity was in the air. Any lack of clarity is due to the very second-rate equipment, third-rate, fourth-rate, we were using. I play a piano harp for the Madame Nescience monologue, Jack supplied the Arabic music from his small but choice collection. There’s also some SAFARI IN HIFI; a Villa-Lobos string quartet speeded up; a haunting section of a children’s 45… Baby Wants To Sleep. A small amount of my own previous shooting was cut into the film, the “drowning in nescience” color sequence near the beginning.
BLONDE COBRA is an erratic narrative -no, not really a narrative, it’s only stretched out in time for convenience of delivery. It’s a look in on an exploding life, on a man of imagination suffering pre-fashionable Lower East Side deprivation and consumed with American 1950′s, 40′s, 30′s disgust. Silly, self-pitying, guilt-strictured and yet triumphing -on one level- over the situation with style, because he’s unapologetically gifted, has a genius for courage, knows that a state of indignity can serve to show his character in sharpest relief. He carries on, states his presence for what it is. Does all he can to draw out our condemnation, testing our love for limits, enticing us into an absurd moral posture the better to dismiss us with a regal “screw-off”.
Camera: Bob Fleischner.
America at War, The Home Front: Film Opening (2011), 32 min, color, sound. Anaglyph 3D.
Video technical assistance, Antoine Catala
Innocent movie-goers never given a chance, captured… in 3D while other Americans invade, bomb and burn to protect our freedoms (to invade, bomb and burn). They are civilians, with bodies and thoughts far from war. Distance protects our serenity, our amiable enjoyments. Innocent monsters? Perhaps.
WE ARE CINEMA: RARE SHORT FILMS BY JACK SMITH
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11, 5PM
Admission $10 – Introduced by MM Serra and Jonas Mekas
Still from Normal Loveby Jack Smith (1963) – Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery
To kick-off the month-long exhibition “We Are Cinema: 50 Years of the Film-Makers Cooperative”, Microscope presents a screening of fresh-from-the-lab 16mm prints of rarely seen shorts by the legendary underground filmmaker/artist Jack Smith.
Jack Smith is most widely known for his controversial film “Flaming Creatures”, which was censored worldwide and the resulting obscenity trial in the US (after police raided a New York screening organized by Jonas Mekas) ultimately brought the film to the Supreme Court.
Smith was a unique and visionary artist influencing and inspiring artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Foreman and John Waters, queer cinema and performance art, yet his work remained mostly unrecognized outside of the New York underground through his death in 1989. In recent years, his work has gained wider attention including a major retrospective at MoMA in 2011.
The 54-minute program presented with the Film-Makers’ Cooperative includes 6 rarely screened works: Scotch Tape (1962); Overstimulated (1960); Respectable Creatures (1967); Hot Air Specialists (1970’s); Song for Rent (1970’s) and Yellow Sequence (1963–65). The works are new additions to the Film-Makers’ Cooperative’s distribution. The films will be introduced by Jonas Mekas, the organization’s first Director and MM Serra who has been the current director since 1991.
We have expanded seating capacity for this show thanks to our next door neighbors at Running Rebel Studios (www.runningrebelstudios.com). Special Thanks also to Gladstone Gallery and Jerry Tartaglia.
JACK SMITH PROGRAM
Scotch Tape (1962) 16mm, color, 3 min
With Jerry Sims, Ken Jacobs and Reese Haire. 16mm Kodachrome shot on the rubble strewn site of the future Lincoln Center. The title arises from the piece of scotch tape which had become wedged in the camera gate.
Overstimulated (1960) 16mm, black and white, 3 min
“This short film, restored in 1995, stars Jerry Sims and the late filmmaker, Bob Fleischner. It is an early filmic exploration of the ‘aesthetic of delirium’ which Smith developed in his later films. At one time, in the 1970s this film was treated by Smith as a fragment, and included in various film/performances with No President. The audio cassette has 12 minutes of material and can be played at any point for the duration of the film.” — J. T. Plaster Foundation
Respectable Creatures (1967) 16mm, color, sound, 25 min
This film, titled by Jack Smith is an unusual blending of his first known film, “Buzzards Over Baghdad” with stray images from “Normal Love” concluding with material which he shot at Carnaval in Rio circa 1967.
Hot Air Specialists (1970’s) 16mm, color, 4 min
A short film in which a man courts a drag queen.
Song for Rent (1970’s) 16mm, color, 4 min
Featuring Jack Smith as a weepily nostalgic reflection of Rose Kennedy.
Yellow Sequence (1963–65), 16mm, 15 min
This is a gold toned coda to Normal Love.
Below: Press shots of Jack Smith (from the Jack Smith Archive)
Courtesy of Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels
THE SKY SONG
Video by James Fotopoulus
MONDAY FEBRUARY 6, 7PM
Admission $6 – Artist in Person
On the final night of the current exhibition Dreamful Slumbers: drawings and videos, James Fotopoulos will present his 2007 video “The Sky Song”, a Western-style feature about revenge. In this work, Fotopoulos incorporates special effects, costumes, charcoal and primitive computer drawings with actors’ performances. The “Sky Song” lays the foundation for further incorporation of hand drawn images in his later films.
“The Sky Song, like other Fotopoulos films and videos, is something I won’t soon forget. In short, it makes Inland Empire look like Apollo 13…notable largely for image-manipulated actors performing wooden script readings of a disturbed Western punctuated by psychosexual bloodlettings, primitive 3-D computer graphics of naked bodies and childlike drawings, and a series of flashed icons ranging from barnyard animals to an array of fruit. The word ‘nightmare’ could describe The Sky Song, but not easily: it’s an indescribable experience…” — Indiewire
The Sky Song
2007, Video, color, sound stereo, 127 min
In the old West, a man’s family is slain by his doppelganger: Mr. Lamb. The man’s quest for revenge takes him on a journey to reconcile the horrors of his past – illness, murder, lost love and war. The story’s action is told through stilted theatrical black box performances, crude CGI special effects, Halloween costumes and primitive drawings of animals, plants, sex, baseball, and sea life.
All images are courtesy of James Fotopoulos © 2007
Sound and Video improvisation by Lou Rossi and Jeremy Slater
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 4, 7PM
Still courtesy of Jeremy Slater © All rights reserved
Microscope is very pleased to welcome musician/artists Lou Rossi and Jeremy Slater for “Frequency Allocation” an evening of improvisation within sound and video environments. The performance will be noise based, using extended techniques on guitar along with laptop and hardware processing, shortwave radio signals through guitar, and layered images from Jeremy Slater. Lou Rossi and Jeremy Slater are longtime friends, and this is their first performance together since Jeremy’s return from his artist residency in Korea last year.
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LOU ROSSI creates ambient & textural sounds via baritone guitar, stick, shortwave radio, pedals & loops. He credits his love of expressionism in the development of this style. Currently, Rossi is the ambient guitarist for the multi-cultural outfit, MuthaWit. He has also recently collaborated on KRISTEENYOUNG’s V record produced by Tony Visconti. This coming month Rossi will release ‘Liturgia’, a recording of solo improvisation. Performance highlights include: Urb Alt Festival at BAM (2007-2012); Elliott Sharp’s SyndaKit at the White Box Gallery (2009); Rhys Chatham’s Crimson Grail at Lincoln Center (2008-9); Poetry Project’s New Year’s Day Marathon at Saint Mark’s Church (2007); and AMDaT at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2006).
JEREMY D. SLATER’s sound work consists of field recordings as a base to create processed drones with tabletop guitar, objects, ambient noise, and environmental sound. Performances include live performed video that is ambient and reactive. Video work also includes single and multiple channel videos for screening and installations with sound and ephemeral sculpture. Slater has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally including at Watermill Center NY; White Box Gallery; Here Art Center; Cabinet Gallery;
”Transnatura Videolab: Imagem Corpo – Corpo Formal” Portugal, “Electrochoc Festival” France; “Digital Art Weeks SoundScape Programme”
Zürich; “Neighborhood Public Radio (NPR)” at The Whitney Biennial; “Flatland Limo Project” (Melbourne, Australia and Armory Art Fair, New York); among others. Slater has received a NYFA Fellowship, was resident and at the Experimental Television Center, and was artist-in-residence at Seoul Art Space in Geumcheon in Seoul, South Korea.
OPEN SCREEN #1
An open invitation to film and video-makers
MONDAY JANUARY 30, 7PM
Suggested Donation $6 – Free with your film or video!
We invite moving image artists working with film and video formats to join us for our 1st open screening. Whether you are an established artist who screens regularly or a young artist who has never before had a piece projected, you are welcome to show up with your short films or videos for this event. We will continue until the last person screens.
Video projection for the evening will be from DVD or a QuickTime file from your USB. We will have a 16mm and Super8 on hand for filmmakers to project. If you have other formats, please contact us in advance. If you want to let us know that you will be participating please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise just arrive ready to screen. Spread the word!
SHAPES IN CLOUDS
Videos and live Audio-visual performance by Blake Carrington
SATURDAY JANUARY 28, 7PM
Still from “High and Low (Relational Wavespace)” by Blake Carrington © 2010
Image appropriated from “High and Low”, directed by Akira Kurosawa, 1951
Microscope welcomes Blake Carrington, a Brooklyn-based artist working largely in video, sound and performance to present a selection of new and recent video works including custom software generated image to sound, and sound to image works. He will also premiere his new live audiovisual performance “Shapes in Clouds”, in which temporary formations of cloud movements are used as a starting point to examine atmospheric, geologic and architectural textures of sound and image. His work in all forms displays a minimal aesthetic and finds resonance with the graphic sign systems of geography and architecture.
Still from “ATS02: Solve” by Blake Carrington © 2008
(real-time video converted to single-channel, stereo sound, custom software, 6:00, 2008)
ATS01: Wisp is the first in a series of experimental works exploring methods of directly transcoding audio signals into video signals. A taped sound piece provides source data for a video synthesizer created in Max/MSP/Jitter. By increasing and decreasing the amount of light received by a single photocell sensor, which inputs data into the software via an Arduino microcontroller, a number of variables are manipulated. The resulting real-time video signal invokes geographic and architectural imagery, moulded by scanning movements of the sound waveform. The synthesized topography becomes a residue of the waveform, decaying into wisps.
(real-time video converted to single-channel, stereo sound, custom software, 10:00, 2008)
The second in the series of synthetic topologies created from sound. Like in ATS01, a recorded sound composition is used as raw material to synthesize visual sequences in real-time. The audio waveform is manipulated via laptop into abstract imagery, yet suggests representations of constantly shifting architecture and topology. Sound by Cory Allen. Created while in residency at Atlantic Center for the Arts in August 2008.
Catherdral Scan CD Release Concert, Excerpt
(audiovisual performance excerpt, single-channel video, stereo sound, 5:40, 2011)
Cathedral Scan translates the architectural plans of Gothic cathedrals into open-ended musical scores. Through a custom Max/MSP/Jitter patch, laptop and MIDI controllers, the plans are sonified in a real-time performance of image and sound. Rich organ-like harmonics and unique rhythmic signatures emerge from each graphic icon in a live scanning process.
Groups of scanners filling the sonic spectrum may act in synch, forming a single harmonically-dense rhythm, or they may scan the plans at different speeds, resulting in complex polyrhythms. Each plan is treated as a modular score, with a distinct rhythm and timbre of its own. Also, by varying the speed and intensity of each scanning group, drone-like sounds may emerge based on the “resonant frequency” of the black and white plan.
Visually, the scanning reveals the graphic structure.. An empty white field surrounds each plan, placing them in a minimal landscape that is both flat and expansive.
High and Low (Relational Wavespace)
(single-channel video, stereo sound, 14:00, 2010)
Scenes from Kurosawa’s “High and Low” are appropriated and slowed down drastically, emphasizing the dramatic spatial tension between the characters, their focused audition and lost gazes. In each shot the characters are listening intently to some entity that is not present, their heads craned to hear better, their eyes either staring off into the middle distance or locked with each other as if to confirm the perception coming from their ears. The audience is put in the position of watching them listen. Pure sine tones of various harmonic and dissonant frequencies are applied and spatialized binaurally, one tone to each figure. The result is a sonic field of phasing and interfering patterns. Does this sound correspond to what the characters are listening to, or is it emanating somehow from themselves? The modernist domestic space, insulated acoustically and socially, is finally invaded by the outside environment.
(audiovisual performance excerpt, single channel video, stereo sound, 5:00, 2011)
“Haeinsa_Palimpsest” is an audiovisual performance created while artist-in-residence at Haeinsa Temple, a 1200-year-old Zen Buddhist temple located in the mountains of South Korea. Field recordings taken in and around the temple were processed and tuned to a specific scale, then performed live using custom software. The video image also emerges in real-time from the custom software, blending together the oscillating visual waveform of each sound sample with topographic and architectural renderings of the temple grounds.
LIVE PERFORMANCE: (20 minutes)
Shapes in Clouds
(audiovisual performance, real-time video and sound generated from custom software, 2012)
Shapes In Clouds is a brand new live performance that follows works treating the architectural plans of Gothic cathedrals as open-ended music scores. In this case, the temporary formations of cloud movements are used as a starting point to examine atmospheric, geologic and architectural textures of sound and image.
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Blake Carrington operates within the spheres of the visual, sound, and performing arts. He has recently been artist-in-residence at LMCC’s Swing Space on Governors Island and at Haeinsa Temple in South Korea, and received a NYSCA grant in support of his debut CD release concert at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in New York. He has also completed residencies at HIAP in Helsinki, Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, and Rustines Lab in Montreal. In 2009 he received his MFA from Syracuse University. In Syracuse he co-founded the platform for outdoor projections called Urban Video Project. His print series Loci_, exploring the questionable translation of field recordings to abstract landscape imagery, is in The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program in New York. Blake was born in Indiana in 1980 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Still from “Cathedral Scan” CD release concert at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, © 2010
SUBLIMATED VIOLENCE & VISUAL EXCESS
James Fotopoulos and Laura Parnes in person
screening together for the first time
MONDAY JANUARY 23, 7PM
Still from Blood and Guts in High School – Pictured Stephanie Vella – © Laura Parnes
In connection with the current exhibition Dreamful Slumbers drawings and videos by James Fotopoulos, we present a unique screening and visual dialogue between Fotopoulos’ 16mm film “The Nest” (2003) and the video “Blood and Guts in High School” (2006) by Laura Parnes. The two acclaimed filmmakers have never before screened together, but have over the years recognized their shared interest in themes and approaches including formal film, narrative structures and genre. In these earlier works “The Nest” and “Blood and Guts in High School” both employ stylized dialog and acting to create highly charged worlds of psychosexual drama, sublimated violence and visual excess. The two are now collaborating on a feature, Ten Ways of Doing Time, which resurrects these concepts in a prison drama with science fiction motifs that explores codes of repression and domination through the framework of the experimental narrative.
Blood & Guts in High School
By Laura Parnes
video, color, sound, 40 minutes 2006
“Blood and Guts in High School” features actress Stephanie Vella in a series of video installations that re-imagine punk-feminist icon Kathy Acker’s book of the same title. The book received notoriety from 1978-1982 during the rise of Reagan republicanism and the emergence of punk rock. In Parnes’ interpretation, each video-chapter presents a typical scene in the life of Janie bracketed by US news events from the time period in which the book was written. These events saturate the character’s daily experience, informing her adolescent, nihilistic worldview and her desire for rebellion. As the viewer looks back at pivotal historical events (Jonestown Massacre, Moral Majority, Three Mile Island etc.) connections are drawn in relation to our current political situation.
“Filmed on bare-bones sets put together in gallery spaces, the video is a model of how to bring off an ambitions project with scant resources, and also of how to respect source material while transforming it. And where Acker’s novels have a quick-hit crash-and-burn intensity, Ms. Parnes’s video floats like a shark, forever hovering, but always watching and moving.”-Holland Cotter, New York Times
“The sets are elegantly austere, the framing remarkably succinct. (Parnes’s favorite shot is a claustrophobic high-angle close-up that places Janie’s antagonist in the frame over her shoulder.) Each line of dialogue is cushioned by an arch pause. There are no interruptions; everything is given due space.” David Velasco, Artforum
by James Fotopoulos
2003, 16mm, 78min, color, sound mono
Filmed in saturated colors on out-of-date film stocks with an aggressive soundtrack, the story of The Nest is told – the marriage of two young professionals unravels after an unnamed accident physically and emotional traumatizes the wife. Government agents, shadowy investigators and transgender beings appear, trying to solve the nervous-breakdown-mystery of secret alien forces that chose the couple as their target. In-camera tricks, drawings, derelict optical printing, miniatures, puppets and prosthetic makeup effects convey the dual collapse of the protagonists’ lives and the film structure as one unified entity.
“The Nest’s physiological and psychological are one and the same, perhaps making it his most nakedly emotional feature yet, and firmly positioning his narrative work in that slender alternate stream inhabited by filmmakers like Bresson, Warhol, and (in the right mood) Sokhurov. In the coolness of its surface construction, its sly wit, and the surprising heat of its emotions, The Nest suggests that other great suburban tract of the ‘80s, Don DeLillo’s White Noise, but rather than being about a toxic airborne event, The Nest simply is one.” (Spencer Parsons, Cinematexas)
“Chicago-based underground cinema whizkid James Fotopoulos (who, at age 27, has created more than 90 films and videos of varying lengths) offers up a bleak and cryptically funny assault on suburban anomie in his latest, The Nest. … Fotopoulos creeps around the edges of character and drama, conjuring moods of paranoia and dread that suggest the carefully ordered routines of daily life are a kind of opiate administered by sinister forces. Shooting in harsh 16mm color, Fotopoulos renders The Nest in a typically Spartan, forbidding style that makes it seem as though he is some extraterrestrial visitor photographing humans for the first time, interrupted only by pockets of crude, stick-figure animation and intricately layered superimpositions. Fittingly, soundtrack eschews a conventional musical score in favor of industrial sounds that form their own kind of whirring, grating symphony.” – Scott Foundas, Variety
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Laura Parnes’ videos and installations are informed by traditions and genres in both narrative film and video art, and seek to blur the lines between conventions of story telling and experimentation. She has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally including: MoMA; Pacific Film Archives; Berkeley Art Museum; Overgaden- Institute for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; iMOCA, Indianapolis; Cinematexas,; Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Whitney Biennial (1997), PS1; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art; Brooklyn Museum; Light Industry and Gene Siskel Film Center. Solo exhibitis include; LA><Art (upcoming); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, LA; Participant Inc; and Deitch Projects. Parnes has lectured/been visiting artist at institutions including: Harvard, Columbia, UCLA, The Guggenheim, PSI, and the Whitney. She has taught a NYU, The New School, Bennington College and visiting faculty at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) in the graduate department of Photographic and Electronic Media. She was appointed a critic in painting/printmaking at Yale in 2011.
James Fotopoulos was born in Chicago and currently lives and works in Philadelphia. His films and videos have been screened internationally including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Underground Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center and the Andy Warhol Museum, among others. His works have also been featured in a retrospective at Anthology Film Archives, 2004 Whitney Biennial, and at Museum of Modern Art (NY). His works have exhibited at: Momenta Art; Museo de Arte Contemportaneo del Zulia, Venezuela; Parsons Hall Project Space, Holyoke, MA; Triskel Art Center, Cork, Ireland; Bienniale for Videoart, Mechelen, Belgium; Vertex List NYC; Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and Microscope Gallery, NYC among others. He has received a Creative Capital Grant for his in-progress interdisciplinary epic on the life of Richard Nixon. He has collaborated with Raymond Pettibon, Barney Rosset, Cory Arcangel, Torsten Zenas Burns, Ben Coonley, and many others.
Still from The Nest by James Fotopoulos © 2003
All images are courtesy of Laura Parnes & James Fotopoulos | © All rights reserved
THE PROXIMITY OF STANDING STONES
Film projection & live music performance
By Mónica Baptista and Robert Lowe (aka Lichens)
SATURDAY JANUARY 21, 7PM
Still from film & sound performance The Proximity of Standing Stones - (© Monica Baptista)
Microscope Gallery welcomes Portuguese visual artist and filmmaker Mónica Baptista and Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist and Brooklyn artist Robert Lowe, aka Lichens, for their first collaborative performance of The Proximity of Standing Stones. The images of ancient and contemporary constructions interact with the visceral experience of Lichens’ vocals and electronic music, connecting in a spontaneous way the different expressions of power throughout time.
Following the performance there will be a screening of Baptista’s video Diary, a simply edited work of more than 4000 photographs taken over 4 years which moves us through a diverse collection of situations, trips, places, and people.
THE PROXIMITY OF STANDING STONES
Super8 and 16mm projection/live electronic music performance
Mónica Baptista/Robert Lowe (aka Lichens)
Approx. 20 minutes
Super8 and 16mm projection by Mónica Baptista and live electronic music performance and vocals by Robert Lowe, aka Lichens. In their first collaboration, Baptista juxtaposes images of building and other constructions in central Portugal, reflecting the desire to manifest power throughout the ages. From the testimony of ancient rituals to modern power generators, these manifestations appear on film in an obsessive, repetitive dialogue. The sonic intent of this program is to draw connection through the physicality of sound, to relate in a spontaneous way, the Neolithic and contemporary—and the expression of power within both.
By Mónica Baptista, 35mm transferred to digital, Color/B&W, 2011, 22 min
This film was made with series of images, all of which integrate into a photographic recording that filmmaker Baptista carried out over nearly four years. This photo diary drifts between and witnesses many diverse circumstances, trips, places and people. The editing of the film is simple: there was no cutting of images—the photos are all here, in chronological sequence— and frame speed was manipulated on a 35mm editing table where mechanical, physical gestures can create a suspension of a frame in time, interspersed with other moments in which the progression of the film takes on a syncopated rhythm.
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Mónica Baptista is a Portuguese visual artist and filmmaker. She studied painting and has in the last five years delved into experimental cinema and documentary, using mainly analog formats such as Super8, 16mm and 35mm while also employing video and photography. With her works, she presents to us diverse contexts: from rural and isolated places to travelogues and urban societies, she explores the phenomenology of perception and the relationship between representation and reality. She co-directed the short fiction BOCA (MOUTH, 2007) and directed the documentary TERRITÓRIOS (TERRITORIES, 2009), which premiered at Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival (France) and earned Baptista the Best Director award at Visions du Réel (Switzerland). DIÁRIO (DIARY, 2011) received the Best Revelation award in Portugal and was shown in the Serralves Museum.
Mónica Baptista is currently is participating in an artist residency at Location One, New York.
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe is an artist and multi instrumentalist who works with voice in the realm of spontaneous music often under the moniker of Lichens. Most recently, creating patch pieces with modular synthesizer and singing to them has been a focus of live performance and recordings. Performances including “Certain Distinctions” PS1; All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, UK; Doug Aiken’s Frontier happening in Rome; “Get Weird” New Museum; “Visiting Tarab” commission for Performa 11; among many others. Lowe has worked with Ben Russell, Ben Rivers, Rose Lazar, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Tarek Atoui, Ben Vida, Mark Borthwick, Lucky Dragons, Alan Licht, Michael Zerang, Doug Aitken, Patrick Smith, Monica Baptista, Lee Ranaldo, White/Light, Kevin Martin, Chris Johanson, Tyondai Braxton, David Scott Stone, Genesis P-Orridge and Rose Kallal, as well as many others. Lowe lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Still from Diary, by Monica Baptista (2011) – © All rights reserved
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS
By Sergei Paradjanov
MONDAY JANUARY 16, 7PM
Suggested Donation $6
To help us through this cold (or maybe not so cold) and grey winter, we present the stunning and seldom screened “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” the first major work by acclaimed Armenian filmmaker Sergei Pardjanov. Set in a Ukrainian village in the Carpathian mountains, the undertones of religion, folklore and local traditions led to Paradjanov’s blacklisting by the Soviet cinema after the film’s release in 1964. This tragic love story is acclaimed for its sensually arousing and revolutionary cinematography. While this work should ultimately be seen in its full 35mm glory, we are not patient enough to wait for that day!
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
35 mm transfer to video, color, sound, USSR 1964, 92 minutes
“Set in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine, Sergei Paradjanov’s 1964 film flew in the face of the social realism demanded by the Soviet leadership in Moscow, offering a highly stylized, dreamlike vision of a tragic love story between lovers from feuding families, suffused with the supernatural elements that the Soviet censors despised. This lyrical, unruly film experiments with a nonrealistic use of color and some of the most free-spirited camerawork seen in a Ukrainian film since the pioneering work of Aleksandr Dovzhenko. Mr. Paradjanov was blacklisted by the Soviet authorities, even as his film was on a tour of the world’s festivals, and later jailed; miraculously, he managed to make a few more movies, including the brilliant “Sayat Nova,” (The Color of Pomegranates) before his death in 1990.” – - NYTimes, 2007
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Sergei Paradjanov was born in Tblisi Georgia in 1924 to Armenian parents. He studied film and music in Moscow before settling in Kiev, Ukraine. Shorty, after releasing “Sayat Nova” in 1968 he was sentenced to 5 years in forced hard labor camps on false charges. There he began making drawings and other artworks which are exhibited internationally today. Only in the mid-80s was he able to return to filmmaking. He died in 1990.
LES FILLES FOLLEN
Videos & Live Performance
SUNDAY JANUARY 15, 7PM
Microscope welcomes Barcelona-based artists Les filles Föllen for an evening of performance and video in their New York debut. The young Catalan duoLes filles Föllen introduce themselves to US with the projection of three performance-based video works: Unter der schönen Haut (Beneath the Beautiful Skin) (2011), Three monster tales (2010), Interview Les Filles Föllen (2010), and a final live interaction with the audience.
(Approximately 60 minutes)
The event has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Institut Ramon Llull.
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Les filles Föllen are Tuixén Benet and Margherita Bergamo. They met at the Institut del Teatre de Barcelona. Although they come from two different life situations, over time they have found shared interests that lead them to venture into a joint project involving performance and dance. Both had the desire and the need to transform themselves, to exhibit themselves, to have fun and amuse others. They share similar skills in their arsenal and have others that are very different: they both play to their strengths.
“The motivations for starting up this project are personal: Les filles Föllen is firstly a need of two creators, who founded it and maintain it. Also, the scenic need of Les filles Föllen is stimulated by the search triggered by the state of the society they live in: a society which is the fertile ground where the seeds of creation are sown and an exuberant forest where a path can be made. In other words, it is the state of the question and the audiences of the works. Both dance and performance students, we work with our bodies in movement in the belief and hope that dance becomes normalised as an artistic discipline on the artistic scene, and that it becomes understood as such by the general public. Dance is an accessible practice and it is entertainment. We are two women, and as such we constantly claim femininity as a social, physical, sexual choice… but from our point of view.”
- – Les Filles Föllen
Les Filles Föllen has performed at Institut del Teatre de la Diputación de Barcelona; Teatre Municipal de l’Escorxador, Lleida, Spain; NEU / NOW LIVE FESTIVAL; L’Atelier (Montpellier, FR); and many other venues.
More info at: www.lesfillesfollen.com
All images are copyright & courtesy of Ana Cuba and Les filles Föllen | All rights reserved
STORY OF MY HAIR
A film by Boris Lehman
THURSDAY DECEMBER 29, 7PM
Admission $6 – Artist in person!
In collaboration with Re:Voir Video (Paris)
Microscope is thrilled to welcome independent Belgian film-maker Boris Lehman to New York – for the 1st time in many years – for the American premiere of his latest 16mm feature “Story of My Hair”. The Belgian artist has been relentlessly making films for 45 years, resulting in about 400 works. His celluloid fine art pieces have been rarely screened in the United States.
This screening wouldn’t have been possible without the precious help of Pip Chodorov (Re:Voir Video, Paris).
Dvd editions of films by Boris Lehman will be available at the gallery.
And special thanks to Jeffrey Perkins.
STORY OF MY HAIR / On the Shortness of Life
16mm print, col, sound, 2010, 90 minutes
(Shot with Arriflex camera on Fuji 16mm film)
The story of my hair can be told in two lines: My hair was long and black. It has turned white. It hasn’t been cut since 1982, nearly 30 years ago. Story of my Hair is a journey, both in space and in time. Anyone looking for truths, whether geographical, scientific or historical, will be disappointed. After looking at real events and real places the film very soon distances itself from them, preferring poetry and fiction. The author has combined in his way the story of Samson and Delilah, the journey of those condemned to the death camps, the science of hair and a few thoughts about the meaning and fragility of life. – - B L
“Boris Lehman’s Story of my Hair shows that at 66 he is close to producing a masterpiece, for this is his finest film, the most accomplished, most concentrated and most moving of all his works. So central is his part in the film, we could almost call it his legacy.
He has labelled this mature work Part 5 of Babel, his great autobiographical work begun in 1983 and still growing some 25 years later, the previous episodes being: Trying to Describe Myself, Story of my Life as Told by my Photographs and My Seven Places.
On the pretext of a film about his hair -– though as you’ll see, the hair plays a big part – Boris Lehman tackles some very serious issues. Deviating and digressing again and again, the film keeps returning to hair in various shapes and aspects. After traveling to what he believes to be his parents’ birthplace (he finds nothing at all), he ventures into some inhospitable regions and ends up in a Soviet era concentration camp, where he finally settles down because, as he tells us, he at last feels at home.
Thus hair can take us a long way: to life’s end. Appropriately enough, the film’s subtitle is On the Shortness of Life, inspired by Seneca’s famous essay dating back to the 1st century a.d. ” — Leopold Blum
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Boris Lehman is both renowned and unknown. Unlike his fellow filmmakers Jaco Van Dormael or the Dardenne brothers, he has not won fame or even recognition in Belgium. Yet he has made several hundred films, some of which have been shown at prestigious film festivals, including Berlin, Rotterdam, Locarno, Montreal, Mannheim, Florence, Pesaro, Moscow, Riga, New York and Jerusalem. Retrospectives have been held in art-house cinemas all over the world (80 of his films were screened by the Pompidou Centre, Paris, in 2003). But Boris Lehman has always preferred to be a ‘traveling performer,’ carrying his own reels and then screening them himself, often in private or semi-private spaces rather than in commercial cinemas. Selling and marketing are not his cup of tea. Nor is he keen on the new technologies of industrial consumerism (DVDs, VODs and the like).
He is a craftsman, one of the last filmmakers to be still using 16mm film, the economical format inaugurated by all the New Waves of the 1960s and which has fallen into disuse. But paradoxically, the movie benefits from 16mm, and is magnificent in its austerity and composition, down to the last detail, worthy of the great names of movie history (Bresson, Marker, Eisenstein) who he admires and sometimes even quotes and cites, paying tribute. (Leopold Blum)
© All images are courtesy & copyright of Boris Lehman
For the final weekend of “the optimal value for y”, DataSpaceTime (a collaboration between Ray Sweeten & Lisa Gwilliam) will be presenting new audio/video compositions using data retrieved from interactive works on exhibit, which contain QR coded surfaces that can be scanned with personal handheld devices to extract data contained within.
The audio pieces are based on the two works in the show that involve language and sound including the interactive wallpaper, Walls CAN Talk, which retrieves the least used 5 word combinations in English literature and the installation REMIX: Handel’s Triumph of Time and Truth (both works use Google’s Ngram Book Project as their source). The first will also be accompanied by video. In addition, Ray Sweeten will present a set of his video feedback works. “the optimal value for y” closes Monday December 19th. This is a rare one-of-a-kind event. CDs of the sound works will be also available for purchase the night of the show.
A closing party immediately follows the performance.
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Ray Sweeten is a data artist and programmer, working in the intersection of image, sound and information systems, using a hybrid of digital and analog sound and visual media. Sweeten has performed and screened at The Kitchen, PS1, the New Museum, San Fransisco Electronic Music Festival, Issue Project Room, CinemaTexas, The Stone, Liverpool Biennial, Participant Inc Gallery, Pacific Film Archive, and others. As a musician, he has performed with the international collaborative group FabricaMusica, with the multi-media synth-pop duo the Plantains, and released his own work on Suction Records, Kinetic Media, Btbmo, and Ghostly International. Sweeten studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Lisa Gwilliam is a production designer and painter based in New York City. Her design work can be seen in Italian Vogue, Allure, American Vogue, Interview, Glamour, Rolling Stone, GQ and the New York Times Magazine. She has also worked on special projects for New York Fashion Week including runway presentations for Monique lhuillier, Milly NY and Tadashi Shoji and created installation events for Victor and Rolf and Puma. She is inspired by the affects of light and movement on traditional photographic processes and how that can be approximated through painting.
All images are copyright and courtesy of DataSpaceTime
ANIMALS OF ART
A film by Peter Sempel
Special NY Preview
SATURDAY DECEMBER 17, 6PM
Admission $6 – Artist in person!
We warmly welcome from Hamburg film-maker and photographer Peter Sempel, for a special preview of his latest work Animals of Art. The feature recently screened at the Kunstverein (Hamburg), Volksbuhne (Berlin), and Kunsthalle Emdem. This film is a visionary collage of sound and images featuring among others Jonathan Meese, Daniel Richter, Jonas Mekas, Georg Baselitz, Yoshito Ohno, Peter Broetzmann, Antony & the Johnsons, Shumann, Razorheads.
“Peter Sempel is my good film friend. We did two movies together, JONAS IN THE DESERT and JONAS AT THE OCEAN. He has also done movies on Kazuo Ohno, Nina Hagen, Lemme, and Flamenco. He has developed a very unique, his own Sempelian form of a real life movie musical and he is continuing filming non-stop.” — Jonas Mekas
ANIMALS OF ART
Digital video, col, sound, 2011, 94 min
“The experimental film Animals of Art starts in media res between the jungle and the artists’ atelier. Around the protagonist Jonathan Meese, comes a decadent family of painters. The work on editing and the choice of the film’s music gives a hypnotic feeling that leads the viewer all along this visual trip. It tastes like a beer mixed with turpentine that is going to be thrown on the big screen. As an extension of the performance The Painter acted by Paul McCarthy in 1995, Animals of Art shows the obsessions and the limits in the painting gesture confined in the heterotopic space of the atelier. Operating a confusion between both identities of artists and animals, the film puts an emphasis on the abstract and fictive feeling of freedom. The hairy preacher of total art, Jonathan Meese gives the absurd narration in Animals of Art and seduces the camera until the end as well as Scarlett Johansson does. With the approach of an antropomusicologiste, Peter Sempel gives us, with all his natural generosity and spontaneity, an intimate initiation into the magnetic field of painting.” — Nelly Haliti, artiste, Geneva-Swiss
“Over 2 years I followed and explored different worlds of art, starting and focusing more or less on German artists, from old masters, moderns to young generation, f.e. Jonathan Meese, Daniel Richter, Neo Rauch, Georg Baselitz, Volkmann, Bazon Brock, Jonas Burgert, Kirchner, Runge, Degas, Goya. It also features a little sequence with Raha Raissnia, painting in black, and Jonas Mekas telling us about 1.000m-runnings…And, many animals, alligators, giraffes, horses, donkeys, snakes, cats+dogs, andante….It’s a big collage, like a painting.” – - P S
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Peter Sempel is a German filmmaker photographer who spent his youth in the outback of Australia before returning to Germany. He began making films in 1981 through his interest in music. His filmography of short and documentary works includes: Dandy w/Blixa Bargel, Nick Cave, Lene Lovich and others; Nina Hagen = Punk + Glory (1999); Lemmy (2002) featuring Lemmy Kilmiser of Motorhead; 2 works on avant garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas; Jonas Mekas Jonas in the Desert (1994) and Jonas at the Ocean (2002); and the dance related films Kazuo Ohno: Dance Into the Light (2004); and Flamenco mi vida (2007). Sempel carries his films around the world and presents at festivals, special events, in off-cinemas, discos and all kinds of places. In Germany his films are distributed by Silver Cine, a small company in Hamburg.
Works by Peter Buntaine and Lorenzo Gattorna
MONDAY DECEMBER 12, 7PM
Stills from 108 (Peter Buntaine) and Land of Lost Content (Lorenzo Gattorna)
We welcome New York filmmakers, collaborators, & curators for Maysles Cinema, Peter Buntaine and Lorenzo Gattorna, to Microscope for a rare two-person show featuring film-to-video works made by each between 2007-2010. The program includes 4 works by each filmmaker, all shot using a 1:1 ratio of footage shot to footage used in each work.
“We are focusing this screening on a selection of experimental documentaries, all shot in 16mm, that engage the shared appliances and aesthetics that have defined the first 5 years of our filmmaking practice. We want to highlight within this common methodology the collaborative elements of cinematography, sound design, theoretical and technical discussion, budgetary restraint, etc. We are trying to evoke the significant impact that a collaboration of artists can muster in its expansion and manipulation of common threads and unique departures.The title 1:1 defines the shooting ratio of all the films in our collections thus far and is a testament to the challenges and chances we both confront in our filmmaking process.” — Lorenzo Gattorna and Peter Buntaine
By Peter Buntaine:
Bushwick – Heavy Woods
Peter Buntaine, 2010, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 4:30 min
Bushwick is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY east of Williamsburg and north of Bedstuy. The Dutch West India Company purchased the Bushwick area from the local Lenape people in 1638 and Peter Stuyvesant chartered it in 1661, naming it ‘Boswijck,’ meaning ‘little town in the woods’ or ‘heavy woods’ (in the 17th century Dutch). This film juxtaposes the past and present of my Brooklyn neighborhood through double double exposures and digital superimpostions of Bushwick street scenes and images captured in the woods. The forest images are captured in the filmmaker’s hometown of Sherborn, MA, and in this way the film is also an exploration of its author’s past and present living-places. This film is the first piece of a serial work titled Old/New York.
Peter Buntaine, 2008, s8mm-to-video, color and b/w, silent, 8:30 min
When traveling in a foreign land surrounded by an unfamiliar tongue, visual information becomes more important as well as decontextualized. One begins to notice colors, gestures and symbols, aestheticized and divorced from their context in the everyday. Finding myself in this mode of observation – which is by the same token very instinctual/insightful as well as extremely superficial (limited to surface-level observations) – I crafted a s8mm film about the surfaces and textures at play in the intersection of fish and man in Tokyo, Japan.
The Absent One
Peter Buntaine, 2010, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 6:30 min
A love separated by great distance, relived in the ruins of memory. An edict; to keep loving. ‘The Absent One’ is a film about loneliness and longing which borrows its title from Roland Barthes’ ‘A Lover’s Discourse.’ It is filmed in two French locations; the mountaintop ruins of Chateau Peyrepertuse (one of the final Cathar strongholds against the Catholic Inquisition) and Europe’s oldest botanical garden, ‘Le Jardin des Plantes’ (literally ‘Garden of Plants’) in Montepellier. Both locations, though beautiful, seemed full of sadness. The epitaph displayed at the end of the film is a cautionary mandate: ‘Live Joyously.’
Peter Buntaine, 2009, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 8:30
A first-person reenactment of Danzan Rabjaa’s initiation into his 19th Century Mongolian monastic order. Danzan Rabjaa is the Fifth Noyon Incarnate Lama of the Gobi, and is considered by many to be Mongolia’s greatest mystic, poet and playwright. Plato’s allegory of the cave, frequently referenced by cinema scholars, also was a major source of inspiration. This film draws from these two sources, one eastern and one western, to explore ideas of enlightenment and meditation. 108 was a collaboration with poet Joseph Voelbel who has traveled extensively in Mongolia and wrote and voiced the poem recorded on-site and heard in voice-over.
Still from The Absent One (Peter Buntaine)
By Lorenzo Gattorna:
Lorenzo Gattorna, 2007, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 7 min
‘Fathers’ is based on a poem written by Tonino Guerra. This piece of writing later influenced Andrei Tarkovsky during the creation of ‘Nostalghia’ in 1983. I found these beach houses in Far Rockaway and felt a longing for my upbringing. I thought about the fragility of the home and the choreography associated with passages through space and time. What remains is the manipulation of memory within a familiar landscape. The film is dedicated to my father, Mario Gattorna, who performs the voice-over as well.
Lorenzo Gattorna, 2008, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 8 min
As a youngster, trips to the city with my family were granted much touristy distraction. From toy store windows I discovered interest and eventually empathy for the horses cloistered around Central Park. I always felt that the life of entertainment was not meant for them. With a camera as blind as the horse’s eye, I finally decided to expose the age-old, year-round tradition of the horse carriage in its entirety. The events captured are of a tradition that often blinds bystanders to the cravings of commerce and sights of calamity. The hysteria of holiday travels through perspectives of all affected, for better or for worse. Those in control of the carriages mocked my documentation as tourists took pity on the bound and mislead horses.
Land of Lost Content, Scenes of Second Chances
Lorenzo Gattorna, 2009, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 8 min
Captured during a short stay in San Francisco. Sways in settling down inspired the fluctuations in exposure. High grounds and coastal shores were confronted and met with fight or flight responses. I visited these locales several times hoping to resolve my own problems with permanence and pressure. I could only record further misunderstanding and bewilderment with my original intent. The film is broken down into episodes influenced by the incessant viewing of serial television programs during the time of production. The musical interludes are performed by The Microphones and served well as a crutch to many ailments during this process.
We Only Have Weekends
Lorenzo Gattorna, 2010, 16mm-to-video, b/w, silent, 9 min
The film chronicles a holiday getaway to Montauk on Long Island. The traveller surveys enclosing seashores and forested inlands as a fixation upon particular sites slowly develops. Defunct military stations, stairways of private homes, shifting facades of hoodoos, shallow waters at sunset, and tangled trees in forests are revisited throughout the duration of this daytrip. The traveller cautiously sways and comfortably sits among these landscapes, void of local residents or travel companions. It is uncertain if these passages are representative of a newfound expedition or reminiscent of past encounters. The contrast between distancing and dwelling acts only to confuse consequences of this voyage. The traveller is indeed searching for someone, through remembrance or embrace, yet unrequited in those hopes for companionship or closure.
TRT: Approx. 60 minutes
Special thanks to David Baker.
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Originally from Boston, Peter Eliot Buntaine graduated with honors from NYU with a degree in Documentary Film and Photography, and has remained in Brooklyn ever since. He works as a cinematographer while devoting his spare time and resources to the creation of personal, experimental cinema. His works have screened at various galleries and microcinemas in New York and in Boston. Since 2009 he has been a regular curator at Maysles Cinema in Harlem where he shows experimental work which explores the borderland between the ‘avant-garde’ and ‘documentary’ genres of cinema; a filmmaking mode in which he considers his own body of work to reside. In January he will begin production on his first feature-length project titled Church Forest. This film will be an observational piece exploring the church forests of Ethiopia – sacred, 2000 year-old spaces preserved by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as recreations of the Garden of Eden (which are also the last remaining havens of Ethiopia’s once contiguous forest). Church Forest will continue to explore subject matter central to Peter’s short-form work: nature, spirituality, and modern man’s dis/association with these concepts.
Lorenzo Gattorna is an experimental documentary filmmaker and curator residing in Baltimore. He received a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts in 2007. For the past three years, he has programmed screenings for Maysles Cinema of Harlem and UnionDocs of Brooklyn. Past program credits include Missing Allen/The Grandfather Trilogy, New York(er) Shorts, The Playing Field, Near and Dear, and The Experiment. His 16mm films, produced within the last five years, portray personal memories through reflective and rhythmic interpretations of natural and artificial landscapes. These works have screened in exhibitions associated with CCNY, Maysles Cinema, UnionDocs, LMAKprojects and Millennium Film Workshop. Recently he participated in the Migrating Forms’ E.P.I.C. artist dialogue series and presented his work at NYU’s Experimental Film Workshop as a visiting artist. Lorenzo Gattorna continues the promotion of alternative approaches to cinema through personal productions and public exhibitions.
All images are courtesy of Peter Buntaine and Lorenzo Gattorna
Still from We Only Have Weekends (Lorenzo Gattorna)
WRITING WITH LIGHT
Films and live performance by Takahiko Iimura
SATURDAY DECEMBER 10, 7PM
We are very happy to welcome back from Tokyo Japanese master of experimental cinema Takahiko Iimura. The show will feature the NY premieres of several of Iimura’s works on film, as well as a special Super 8mm performance White Calligraphy, Re-read where Iimura will write with light. Not to be missed.
Eye For Eye, Ear For Ear (NY Premiere)
Film Strips I (1967-1970/2009) 12 min, music by Haruyuki Suzuki (2009)
Film Strips II (1967-70/2009) 13 min, music by Haruyuki Suzuki (2009)
“The best work of Iimura’s middle period is characterized by increasingly formal concerns, concerns most effectively demonstrated by Film Strips I and II (1967-70). Film Strips II […] resulted in an experience which is not only interesting visually, but which is implicitly a powerful record of a painful time and a warning about the future.”
– Scott MacDonald (Afterimage, April, 1978 (The author of “Critical Cinema,” California Univ. Press)
“When I came to the USA in the mid 1960s, it was the high point of the Hippie movement and the black riots. I lived in the East Village in New York, which was a center of the former, and watched TV news of the latter often. These two films, Film Strips I and II, were taken from the scenes respectively, not as a documentary but as an inner report of mine, abstracted yet chaotic.” — Taka Iimura
16mm film leaders, 1977, 15 min
“A totally abstract film using only four elements: a scratched line on black leader in the positive and the negative, and black and white spacings (leaders). All the elements are timed in, 1,2,3 seconds individually in two kinds of sound scratched on the sound track, one, intermittent, the other, continuous.” — T I
WRITING WITH LIGHT: WHITE CALLIGRAPHY (NY Premiere)
with two documents of the performance:
PERFORMANCE 1, WHITE CALLIGRAPHY (1967/2009, Toronto, 9min)
PERFORMANCE 2, WHITE CALLIGRAPHY (1967/2005, Tokyo, 8.5 min)
Live drawing performance with Super 8mm film (NY Premiere)
WHITE CALLIGRAPHY, RE-READ (1967-present) 12 min
“In White Calligraphy, Re-Read, Takahiko Iimura returns to his early work. White Calligraphy which he originally made in 1967 by scratching characters from ‘Kojiki’, an early Japanese text, into the frames of 16mm black leader. In this re-reading of the illegible work, the film is slowed down and briefly arrested at random using digital processing while suddenly legible words are voiced by the artist in an accompanying soundtrack. Part translation (not only between Japanese and English but between media languages) part abstract interplay of picture sound and word.
This new work developed out of Iimura’s performance practice that has over the years, beginning with works associated with Fluxus and moving into his notion of Video Semiology, radically explored the signifying systems of meaning in moving image making.” — Dr. Duncan White (University of Arts, London)
“Recent years I have used this calligraphy film in super 8mm for my film performance, which is suitable for slow speed and freeze frame projection. With these devices, audience is easier to read the characters, and to understand a few fragments of the story. Even for non-Japanese audience, suddenly it reveals some “meaning” because of the iconographic character of “Kanji” (Chinese character) other than abstract lines. At my last performances of White Calligraphy in London, and Paris (2003), besides using of above devices I uttered loudly the character at freeze frame thus it gave sounds in this silent performance. It really changed a whole aspect of the performance giving another dimension with the voice. Then in 2005, in Tokyo, I tried to draw the characters on the wall while projecting transferring the text back to the writing.” — T I
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Takahiko Iimura has been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental film and video, working with film since l960 and with video since 1970 while residing in New York and Tokyo. He is a widely established international artist, having numerous solo exhibitions in major museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum, New York, Anthology Film Archives, New York, Centre George Pompidou, Paris, the National Gallery Jeu de Paume, Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo in addition to an artist residency at the German Academy of Arts, Berlin, and Bellagio Rockefeller Foundation Study Center, Bellagio, Italy.
Special thanks to Bruce McClure.
All the images are courtesy of Takahiko Iimura
Today! An Evening Filled With Us
MONDAY NOVEMBER 28, 7PM
Microscope Gallery has invited New York artist Jessie Stead to the space for an evening of her moving image works. She has chosen to show an unprecedented full program of episodes from her “sublimely intermittent epic” Today!. Titles will include the long lost Mystique Lounge episode and the trans-India/Manhattan bank caper known colloquially as Chase Scenes. Also screening will be the infamous You Are Now Running On Reserve Battery Power, a desktop noir from our late-nite spin-off Today! Nocturnes launched in the fall of 2011. Plus other surprise delights! Today! is not on the internet!
Quotes about Today!
The last film I saw had mandarin elegance and homespun fancy; a travelogue of clamdigging, Mayan seafarers hitching home on formica seahorses and making fun of effervescent containers and all matters postal. If this film pertains to you clap your hands and say yeah.
— Mark McElhatten, film curator, NY
Jessie Stead’s sublimely intermittent epic Today! plays as episodes in an open-ended and wide-eyed adventure series, accumulating meaning even as it becomes increasingly mysterious.
– Steve Polta, San Francisco Cinematheque
Program trt: approx. 60 min
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Jessie Stead lives and works in NYC. With a mercurial conceptual focus her cross-disciplinary productions adhere seemingly disconnected subject matter, formal strategies, material experiments, and the work of fellow artists. Stead’s single channel motion-pictures, installations and performances have been featured at mixed venues internationally, including the Greater New York Cinema exhibition at MoMA PS1, the New York Film Festival, Soloway Gallery and Performa 11. More info at www.jessiestead.com
All images are courtesy of Jessie Stead © 2011
By Marguerite Duras
preceded by the short Cesarée
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 27, 7PM
We are honored to present a night of films by renowned French writer Marguerite Duras. Her accomplished feature India Song – an extremely beautiful, melancholic chanson of desperate love and nostalgia of what will never happen – will be preceded by the short Cesarée.
India Song, likely the best known film by Duras, was originally a play published in 1973 and commissioned by London National Theater. Even though the plot is set in India, the film was shot entirely in France, over only 12 days.Through her unique use of 4 disembodied voices, the film presents a composite account of the tragic love story of Anne-Marie Stretter, wife of the French ambassador to India. The words recall the events of one night at a party held at the French embassy in Calcutta in 1937 and the following day. The drama details the languorous desperation of a bored consular wife in the days of colonial India. Actress Jeanne Moreau, already featured as singer in films by Louis Malle and Marcel Ophuls, here sings ‘India Song’, a score by D’Alessio, that recurrently accompanies the viewers throughout the film. Two years after India Song, Duras would use its soundtrack as the basis for a second film, Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert (1976). India Song was nominated for 3 Cesars in 1976: best actress (Delphine Seyrig), best music (Carlos D’Alessio) and best sound (Michel Vionnet).
35mm transferred to video, col, sound, 1979, 10 min
“On the soundtrack, the text spoken by Marguerite Duras evokes the town of Cae- sarea and Berenice, the ‘Queen of the Jews’, who was exiled for reasons of national interest. The sequence of images alternates between stills of statues on the Place de la Concorde or of hieroglyphs on the Obélisque, in Paris, and tracking shots taken in the Tuileries gardens, mostly of the Maillol stat- ues there. “Caesarea” was written by taking up scenes that hadn’t been used in “Le na- vire Night”, and then made with the unused shots from the previous film.” - – Dominique Noguez, catalogue Ministère des Affaires étrangères, 1984.
35mm transferred to video, col, sound, approx. 120 min, 1975
Producer: Stephane Tchalgaldjeff; screenplay: Marguerite Duras; photography: Bruno Nuytten; editor: Solange Leprince; sound: Michel Vionnet; original music: Carlos D’Alessio, recording at the ORTF: Gaston Sylvestre, Beethoven selection: Gerard Fremy, “India Song Blues” interpreted by: Raoul Verez.
Cast: Delphine Seyrig (Anne-Marie Stretter ); Michel Lonsdale (Vice-Counsel of France ); Matthieu Carriere (Young attaché to the Ambassador ); Didier Flamand (Young escort to Stretter ); Claude Mann (Michael Richardson ); Vernon Dobtcheff (Georges Crawn ); Claude Juan (A guest ); Satasinh Manila (Voice of the beggar ); Nicole Hiss, Monique Simonet, Viviane Forrester, Dionys Mascolo, and Marguerite Duras (Voices of Time ); François Lebrun, Benoit Jacquot, Nicole-Lise Bernheim, Kevork Kutudjan, Daniel Dobbels, Jean-Claude Biette, Marie-Odile Briot, and Pascal Kane (Voices from the reception ).
TRT: Approx. 130 min
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Marguerite Duras was a French novelist, playwright, film director, and screenwriter. Indochina was the setting for Duras’s first successful novel, The Sea Wall (1950). Her writing grew increasingly minimal and abstract, and she is sometimes associated with the nouveau roman (“new novel”) movement. Perhaps her best-known novel is the semiautobiographical The Lover (1984, Prix Goncourt; film, 1992), about a French teenage girl’s love affair with an older Chinese man; she revised this work as The North China Lover (1991). Her original screenplay for Hiroshima mon amour (1959) and her adaptation for film of her play India Song (1975) were highly acclaimed.
Special thanks to Tom Zummer and Keith Sanborn.
Still from Cesarée (Marguerite Duras, 1979)
JUST GUITARS: MICROTONAL MUSIC
James Ross & David Beardsley
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19, 7PM
Join us for an evening of microtonal music. David Beardsley and James Ross will play electric guitar duos that explore the pure tones of just intonation through deep, meditative drones and hypnotic rhythms.
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James Ross is a guitarist and composer living in Brooklyn, N.Y. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., he has studied guitar at the University of Pittsburgh and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. More recently, James has studied sitar with Pandit Krishna Bhatt in Jaipur, India, and New York. He is currently studying North Indian classical music and composition with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela.
A composer in a variety of genres, James has written music for orchestral and chamber ensembles, as well as solo music for the guitar and the zhongruan (a type of Chinese lute). He has also performed and recorded electronic and improvised music.
Recent performances as a composer and performer on the electric guitar, laptop and other instruments include sets at The Bell House, Issue Project Room, Pianos, the Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn, The Tank, Glasslands Gallery, and other venues in the New York City area. In 2009, James performed at Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center as part of the guitar ensemble for Rhys Chatham’s “A Crimson Grail.” A recording of the “Crimson Grail” performance was released on Nonesuch Records on Sept. 14, 2010.
As a classical guitarist, James has performed as a soloist and ensemble player throughout the Northeastern Unites States. He received a Solo Recitalist Fellowship in 1992 from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and won the 1993 Mannes College of Music Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para Gentilhombre,” at Symphony Space in New York City.
A long time resident of New Jersey, David Beardsley is one of the New York area’s foremost microtonal guitarists. Meditative and mesmerizing, his playing is steeped in Indian music and blues as much as it is the late 20th century minimalist tradition. Playing microtonal Just Intonation guitar and steel guitar, David creates droning ambient soundscapes.
His string quartet “as beautiful as a crescent of a new moon on a cloudless spring evening” was released as an audio only DVD, For Feldman (OgreOgress) July 2006 as part of a tribute to 20th century composer Morton Feldman.
He started piano at a young age, but later moved on guitar as a teenager and started composing seriously in his thirties. Along the way, he developed a strong interest in the tuning system known as just intonation – tuning by whole number ratios from the harmonic series. David has studied North Indian Classical Music with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Michael Harrison. He has also attended workshops with Dean Drummond (co-leader of Newband, director of the Harry Partch Instrumentarium) and David Hykes (Harmonic Chant aka overtone singing).
Performances include the American Festival of Microtonal Music, Chashama, Chez Bushwick, Judson Memorial Church, the Knitting Factory, Microfest (a Southern California Festival of Microtonal Music), the Music Annex at the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Pianos (NYC), Tibet House, the Trenton Avant Garde Festival and the World Out of Tune Festival.
Recent collaborations have involved dancer Claire Barratt of Cilla_Vee Movement Projects, cellist Loren Dempster, violinist Christina Fong, and dancer Jeremy Wade. He has been fortunate to participate in performances of Evolution For Electric Guitar And Orchestra by Jon Catler (2002) and The Voice of the Bowed Guitar by Rod Poole (2007).
Images are courtesy of James Ross © 2011
Future Death Toll
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18, 7PM
Microscope welcomes Future Death Toll multi-media collective from Portland for the launch of their new project Micronemez.
The website http://micronemez.com was launched on 11.11.11 to serve as a platform for the broadcasting of creative commons licensed audio and video. On Friday 11.18.11 at Microscope Gallery, FDT will be airing a selection of animations, sculptural mutations, and manipulated documentation from micronemez.
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FUTURE DEATH TOLL is a artist collective based in Portland, OR that manipulates audio/video and mutates sculptural material in a time based fashion.
Images are courtesy of Future Death Toll © 2011
By Tom Jarmusch
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13, 7PM
Admission $6 – tickets at door
“An Essay-letter (love-hate) in the form of Documentary.”
– Andrew Lampert (Archivist, Anthology Film Archives)
Filmmaker Tom Jarmusch was one of the 11 moving image artists whom we presented in our inaugural show in September 2010, and the opening night included a live film projection of one of his short films works. We are pleased to welcome him back to screen his latest work, the feature length SOMETIMES CITY, a unique and personal documentary portrait of his hometown of Cleveland Ohio. SOMETIMES CITY premiered to a packed house at Anthology Film Archives in October 2010. We will be showing a new, re-edited final version.
Directed by Tom Jarmusch
16mm/super8/video, color and B/W, 2010, 80 minutes
“…SOMETIMES CITY suggests the city’s [of Cleveland’s] people, landscape, and decline. SOMETIMES CITY was conceived to include documentary, home movie, personal, and possibly fictional elements. SOMETIMES CITY originated from two different video installations with the intention that it would evolve into a film. As filmmaking progressed it became important to let different people speak, people that we do not usually hear from. I filmed a great deal and found what I would. The movie juxtaposes many scenes of residents and some performed music becoming kind of a “spare-parts scavenging of stories”. The title comes from a poem by Da Levy and part of one of his poems is read in the movie. SOMETIMES CITY was photographed during 2008 and 2009 using various consumer video formats, 16mm and Super 8 film. …SOMETIMES CITY is a home-made movie.
From the beginning of making SOMETIMES CITY I was thinking about prose poems and collages. This guided my thinking about how I would make my portrait of Cleveland; not to make a “poetic” film, but a kind of crude concrete prose poem of a movie. This thinking guided me during the shooting and especially the editing. …
SOMETIMES CITY while touching current economic conditions history and art, never explains anything and becomes the crude concrete prose poem of a movie portrait of Cleveland, Ohio I wanted to make, while never betraying the many people who are SOMETIMES CITY.” – - Tom Jarmusch
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Tom Jarmusch is an artist and filmmaker living and working in NYC. His work includes films, videos, installations and photography. His work has been shown internationally including: Rotterdam International Film Festival (Holland), New York Underground Film Festival, BBC Short Film Festival (UK), Cinema Texas, Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland; video competition in 1995) Paris Underground Film Festival (France), Rencontre Internationales Paris/Berlin (Paris France), Media City (Canada), Chicago Underground Film Festival, and others. In 2001, he made video (with James Nares and Fabienne Gautier) for Phil Kline’s opera INTO THE FIRE.
He has also appeared as an actor in movies by Tom DiCillo (JOHNNY SUEDE 1991 and LIVING IN OBLIVION 1995), Raul Ruiz (THE GOLDEN BOAT 1990), Cinque Lee (U R FORGIVEN 2004), Jinoh Park (SHOULD HAVE KISSED 2010), Harris Smith (MODERN YOUNG MAN 1999). He has worked for movies as an Art Director, Prop Master, and in the Locations department for Directors including: Robert Frank, Claire Denis, Aki Kaurismaki, Ang Lee, Michael Almereyda, and his brother Jim Jarmusch.
All images are courtesy of Tom Jarmusch, copyright 2010
Marni Kotak: Before Baby X
Video works by Marni Kotak
& works in collaboration w/ Jason Robert Bell
SUNDAY NOVEMBER 6, 7PM
Admission $6 – Reservations recommended: email@example.com
Marni Kotak – © 2011 Marni Kotak
Over the last month, worldwide attention has been directed on artist Marni Kotak’s installation and durational performance which resulted in the live birth of her son Ajax on October 25th at Microscope. This work was not an isolated gesture, but evolved from over 10 years of practice exploring and narrowing the barrier between life and art. To provide background and context to the show, we invited Kotak to present an evening of pre-baby themed video works.
Kotak has chosen a program focusing on short performance works, made from 2005 to early 2011. These “Found Performances”, or works based on daily activities, experiences, or accomplishments, are based on staged re-enactments of real life experiences. Shown chronologically from oldest to most recent, the works show her subject matter becoming ever more intimate, until with the early 2011 piece “My Birth” (made before she knew she was pregnant) she seems to shed the past completely. Kotak is also including several collaborations with artist Jason Robert Bell, the most recent of which reflects her efforts to meld life and art in present time.
After the official program, the audience is invited to stay for a special projection of a 2 new pieces which have been added to the exhibition including Baby X birth footage and a video showing Jason making artworks from the child’s placenta.
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Marni Kotak is a Brooklyn-based performance artist who makes multimedia works in which she presents her everyday life as art. These “Found Performances”, or works based on daily activities, experiences, or accomplishments, include staged re-enactments of her own birth (My Birth, 2011, Alice Chilton Gallery), attending her grandfather’s funeral (2009, English Kills) and losing her virginity in a blue Plymouth (Fountain Art Fair Miami 2010). Although her works often contain humor and deal with the absurdity of life situations, Kotak considers her work in the cultural context of artworks now being referred to as “post-ironic” in that it expresses an authentic sincerity about her real, everyday life experience. She has performed and/or exhibited at Alice Chilton Gallery, Artists Space, NY Studio Gallery, Cave Gallery, Fountain Art Fair (Miami & NYC), Holland Tunnel, English Kills Art Gallery, Grace Exhibition Space, Open Realization Contemporary Art Center in Beijing, PERFORMA, and others. She received a BA from Bard College and an MFA from Brooklyn College.
Excerpts from original Found Performances show at Artists Space for PERFORMA ’05 (with Target, Radiator and Sandbox)
How To French Kiss
Behind the Shed with Shad
Hot Water Bags
My Grandfather’s Funeral
Sunny Blue Plymouth (with Destroying The Sunny Blue Plymouth)
Double Face Fantasy
Whore of Babylon
Plus additional collaborative works w/Jason Robert Bell
TRT: approximately 60 minute program
Images are courtesy and copyright of Marni Kotak, © 2011
curated by Rachael Morrison
SUNDAY OCTOBER 23, 7PM
Admission $6 – tickets at door
Above: Stockings – from ‘The Story of a Star’
Rachael Morrison’s works have been presented in several Microscope programs over the last year including the group shows The Internet is a Terrible Place to Live curated by Jesse Malmed, the BOS Film Festival presented as part of the Bushwick Open Studios, and Bushwick in the Box exhibition that we curated at White Box art space (NYC) in August. This time, however, she joins us as a curator, bringing a selection of “weird scientific shorts” made in the 50s.
“Weird Science is an evening of short films selected from the Prelinger Archives on science, technology, medicine, and industry. Produced in America around the middle of the 20th Century, these films offer a glimpse into the past when scientific innovation was met with great optimism and fear. The program includes educational, corporate, and institutional films, as well as commercials and animation. ” – - R M
E-Z Pop Commercial (1949)
A New Note in Music: Harry Partch at Mills College (late 1950s)
Why Study Science? (1955)
Cheerios / V8 Commerical (1960)
Century 21 Calling: Seattle World’s Fair (1964)
Band Aid Commericial (1948)
Leave It to Roll-Oh (1950)
Pick of the Pod (ca. 1939)
The Story of a Star (1956)
(Program trt: approximately 50 minutes)
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Rachael Morrison is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art. She is interested in the history of science, technology, and communications. In 2010 she curated an exhibition of work by physicist-artist Bern Porter at the museum, and is currently working on a documentary film about a blind telephone hacker named Joybubbles.
Below: Harry Partch – from ‘New Note in Music’: Harry Partch at Mills College
Short video works by 7 US artists
SATURDAY OCTOBER 15, 7PM
Curated by Elle Burchill for 2020 art exhibition in Sydney, Australia
Admission $6 – tickets at door
feat. works by:
PEGGY AHWESH | AGNES BOLT | ELLE BURCHILL | JAMES FOTOPOULOS | ANDREW LAMPERT | ALEX MCQUILKIN | ANDREW NEEL
Elle was invited to curate a video exhibition as part of the 2020 art event taking place this month in Sydney Australia, which presents 20 art exhibits in 20 days. As this show is happening quite far a way and many are NYC artists, we’ve decided to screen the program at Microscope at (almost) the same time. As it’s only a 36 minute program, we’ll be including some extra surprises.
Guilty of watching, guilty of participating, guilty of contemplating, guilty of recording and more. From the land of the puritans where work and play are encouraged to be kept separate endeavors, the seven artists turn their cameras on the world around them and on the themselves to explore the obsessions, indulgences and other activities we use to get through the days. Works include: Yankee baseball fandom, internet sex, emotional meltdown, videos made for the artist’s pure pleasure and others.
The 7 US artists in the show range from the emerging to those internationally recognized for their groundbreaking contributions to film and video.
(TRT: approximately 50 minutes)
Unbreak My Heart
by Alex McQuilkin
video, color, sound, 7 minutes 5 seconds, 2011
Music: Toni Braxton, “Unbreak My Heart”
Sound Mix: Elijah B. Torn
Latin Voice Over:
“A Woman either loves or hates; there is no third grade. And the tears of a woman are a deception, for they may spring from true grief or they may be a snare. When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil” – The Malleus Maleficarum
The allegory of the hysteric is interlaced with allusions to the witch. Lines from the Malleus Maleficarum (Hammer of the Witch) are read aloud by a little girl- as a seemingly lifeless girl comes to life and performs a striptease to Toni Braxton’s “Unbreak My Heart”, her body disappearing with each item of clothing removed.
by Andrew Lampert
Super 8mm-on-video, 3.5 minutes 2006/2011
A glance at what Stephen Parr sees everyday, with sound set to low so as not to be caught. Dedicated to Fern Silva, who understand why.
by James Fotopoulos
video, color, sound, 18 seconds, 2008
A brief laboratory of drawings, digital effects and puppetry — seeds of techniques I would subsequently used to achieve visual horror through completely synthetic “drawn” imagery.
The Internet is Porn
by Agnes Bolt
video, color, sound, 4 minutes 45 sec, 2011
The video takes you through a typical day at the office, especially exploring the humor and perversion of Internet surfing.
by Andrew Neel
video color, sound, 12 minutes, 2009
The video is a portrait of the 2009 World Series Victory Parade for the New York Yankees. The short film serves both as a gestalt of a city at a particular moment, as well as an investigation of public revelry and ‘fan culture’. It is part and of continuing series of films investigating ritual, devotion, nationalism and public fervor that Neel has been shooting since 2008.
by Elle Burchill
video, color, sound, 5 minutes 15 sec., 2010
Adrift is an accidental collaborative work, which came about when my computer took charge as I started to edit my footage. I pushed a key; it rearranged and remixed. I did it again and again and again, just playing around. I turned on the camera and recorded the new results. The work begins with footage of tourists canoeing on the East River beneath the metal skyline of the Empire State – coincidentally in the same year as the 400 anniversary of the Dutch discovering the area. It becomes a kinetic reflection on the passage of time, the temporary nature of power, and the limits of control.
Synchronized Fountain, Dubai
by Peggy Ahwesh
Video, color, sound, 3 minutes, 2010
I shot this tourist footage of the famous (world’s largest) fountain that encircles the base of the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) in Dubai (in the same mall is the world’s biggest aquarium) on April, 2010 when I was visiting for the Dubai Art Fair, certainly one of the most excessive places I have ever been to. The song is Amvaj (Waves) by Bijan Mortazavi. I first showed the video at Penny Lane and Brian Frye’s wedding in celebration of their union.
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Peggy Ahwesh’s work combines a variety of experimental narrative and documentary genres, often with improvisational performance. Utilizing found footage, noise, the arcane and a variety of obsolete, low end technologies Ahwesh’s work is primarily an investigation of cultural identity and the role of the female subject. Ahwesh’s practice insists on political and social topicality, handled with theoretical rigor, while at the same time using humor and the absurd in an open embrace of the inexplicable. Ahwesh is Chair of the Film & Electronic Arts Program at Bard College. Her film and video work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Agnes Bolt is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY and Pittsburgh, PA. Her work often explores the gaps created through changing values, evolving modes of communication and social habits. Her projects have most recently manifest themselves all over the Romanian countryside, intervened into the homes of art collectors and were projected at the Internet Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale. She is a recent recipient of the Heinz Foundation Artist Grant, the AW Mellon Grant, and a Fine Foundation Grant and has a book about 2 strange towns coming out in the Fall. Her work was recently reviewed in Harper’s Magazine and the Washington Post.
Elle Burchill is a Brooklyn-based video maker. She is inspired by the unexpected, accidental, and fleeting. Her works often explore the fragility of our bodies and circumstances. Her videos have screened at numerous cinemas, galleries and festivals including: Anthology Film Archives, NYC; Lucca Film Festival-Italy; Light Industry, NYC; Bronx Museum of Art; Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives; Echo Park Film Center, LA; Academia Di Bella Arti di Brera, Milan; Scope Art Fair NYC; White Box Gallery, NYC; Director’s Lounge Berlin; the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Cesta International Film Festival, Czech Republic among others.
James Fotopoulos is a boldly unique filmmaker who makes dark, cerebral and often impenetrable works. Ed Halter, film critic in an 2002 article “Horror, Violence, Sociopathic Loners: The Films of James Fotopoulos Play Downtown” in the New York Press described Fotopoulos as “the most important new director I’ve seen in many years.” Since then, the prolific Fotopoulos has made hundreds of films and videos, expanding from dialogue and narrative forms to more abstract works featuring drawings and other artworks. His film and video work has been shown internationally at many festivals and sites including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Underground Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, the Andy Warhol Museum, the 2005 Whitney Biennial among others. He currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Lampert isn’t as concerned with making films or videos as he is with creating moving images. He’s happy to work with whatever is on hand, whether it be Super 8, 16mm, video, an audio recorder or a pen. As influenced by writing and music as he is by movies, Lampert’s work regularly investigates various notions of play by using a wide range of humorous, and highly formal, approaches. Whether producing short single screen works, expanded cinema performance pieces incorporating films, live music, texts and performers, or installations, Lampert is fascinated by the present moment, as experienced by the viewer, and as constructed through the use of image and sound. Born in the mid-70s in the Midwest, Andrew Lampert has staged performances and exhibited his films/videos at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Getty Museum, PS1, The British Film Institute, The Kitchen, The Rotterdam International Film Festival, Kill Your Timid Notion Festival, Light Industry, The Poetry Project, The Brakhage Symposium, Mitchell Algus Gallery and many other venues here and abroad. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Alex McQuilkin lives and works in New York City. Her works have screened or exhibited internationally and in the US including: PS 1; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Marvelli Gallery, NYC; Galerie Adler, Franfurt; KW, Berlin; Schrin Kunsthalle, Frankfurt; Tufts University; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea; Rome; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid and many others.
Andrew Neel is a New York based filmmaker. He has directed four feature-length documentary films (Darkon, Alice Neel, The Feature, New World Order). He completed production on his first feature narrative film King Kelly at the end of August. Over the course of his career as a filmmaker he has generated more than 20 experimental films ranging in length and subject matter.
All images are courtesy of the artists, 2011
Made with composers
MONDAY OCTOBER 10, 7PM
Artist in person – Admission $6
Reservation recommended to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very pleased to welcome media artist Katherine Liberovskaya to Microscope for a night of videos and sound. During this evening Liberovskaya will show a selection of single-channel video works from her on-going series of collaborations with composers and sound artists, including Phill Niblock, Al Margolis (a.k.a. If, Bwana), Guy de Bievre (Belgium) and Anne Wellmer (Netherlands). Program will be approx. 90 minutes.
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Katherine Liberovskaya is a video and media artist based in Montreal, Canada, and New York City. She has been working predominantly in experimental video since the late eighties. Over the years, she has produced many single-channel videos, video installation works and video performances which have been presented at a wide variety of artistic venues and events around the world. As of recent years her work – in single-channel and installation video as well as performance – mainly revolves around collaborations with new music composers and sound artists, notably Phill Niblock, Al Margolis/If,Bwana, Zanana, Hitoshi Kojo, David Watson, David First and Keiko Uenishi (o.blaat). Since 2003 she is active in live video mixing exploring improvisation with numerous live new music/audio artists including: Shelley Hirsch, Anne Wellmer, Kristin Norderval, Monique Buzzarté, Margarida Garcia, Anthony Coleman, Micheal Delia, André Gonçalves, Matt Pass, Audrey Chen, murmer, Marina Rosenfeld, Jim Bell, Jason Kahn, Tom Hamilton, among others. She is also actively involved in the programming and organization of diverse media art events, notably with Experimental Intermedia, NY (Screen Compositions 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) and the OptoSonic Tea series, in collaboration with Ursula Scherrer, at Diapason in NYC.
More info at: www.liberovskaya.net
All images are courtesy of Katherine Liberovskaya
Round Robin Collective Presents
Food by Gordon Matta-Clark
& Charles Simonds: Dwellings by Rudy Burckhardt
SUNDAY OCTOBER 2, 7PM
Event organized by Mary Billyou, in collaboration w/ Camel Art Space
Admission $6 – tickets at door
We welcome Mary Billyou once again to Microscope for the final night of a 2 part series at Microscope in connection Round Robin Collective’s current exhibition Live/Work Space at Camel Art Space. This time, Billyou has organized the screening of Gordon Matta-Clark’s Food, about the legendary SoHo restaurant and food cooperative (shot by Robert Frank), along with Rudy Burckhardt’s Charles Simonds: Dwellings, a film which captures the sculptor and architect and his miniature works among the dilapidated structures in the Lower East Side. Both were shot in early 70s New York.
Gordon Matta-Clark, 1972, 43 min, b&w, sound, 16 mm film on video
This film documents the legendary SoHo restaurant and artists’ cooperative Food, which opened in 1971. Owned and operated by Caroline Goodden, Food was designed and built largely by Matta-Clark, who also organized art events and performances there. As a social space, meeting ground and ongoing art project for the emergent downtown artists’ community, Food was a landmark that still resonates in the history and mythology of SoHo in the 1970s.
Camera and Sound: Robert Frank, Suzanne Harris, Gordon Matta-Clark, Danny Seymour. Editing: Roger Welch
Charles Simonds: Dwellings
Rudy Burckhardt, 1974, 12 mins, rare 16mm copy
American sculptor and architect Charles Simonds is seen during the winter of 1974 when he spent his days among the devastated tenements and vacant lots of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, sculpting clusters of miniature dwellings for an imaginary civilization. These structures abandoned by an imaginary civilization of “Little People,” are nestled in crevices of deteriorating buildings and crumbling sidewalks. Evokes themes of survival, dependency, fragility and visionary idealism.
TRT: Approx. 55 mins
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Gordon Matta-Clark was an American artist, who had trained as an architect. He is best known for his “building cuts”, site-specific projects in which the structure is transformed through direct cuts into the building. He also worked with a variety of media to document or expand upon his work including performance, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and film. In 1971 he founded along with Carol Goodden the SoHo restaurant Food. His work has exhibited worldwide including major retrospectives at the Whitney Museum; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany; and IVAM Centro Julio Gonzalez, Valencia, Spain, and others. He is the son of Chilean Surrealist painter Roberto Matta and the American artist Anne Clark. He died in 1978 at the age of 35.
Rudy Burckhardt is a Swiss artist who moved to New York city in 1935 at the age of 21. He is best known as a photographer and filmmaker with his primary subject New York city streets. Burckhardt shot portraits of many artists for Art News during the 1950s and early ’60s, capturing their work methods in candid and intimate photos. He died in 1999 at the age of 85.
Round Robin Collective is a group of thirteen Brooklyn-based artists established in 2008 in response to the economic downturn of the art market. Pooling resources, the collective activates existing available spaces and works in all media, fostering a dynamic exchange across disciplines. The collective regularly hosts exhibitions and events, extending the spirit and discourse of the cooperative model to a broader public community.
The works of 13 members of the collective are currently on view at Camel Art Space as part of the current exhibition Live/Work Space.
For more info visit: http://camelartspace.com/
Below: Charles Simonds at work
Super 8 Films & more!
SATURDAY OCTOBER 1, 7PM
Artist in Person! – Admission $6
Reservation recommended to email@example.com
For the final weekend of the group exhibition INDEPENDENCE RETURNS, we have invited artist Martha Colburn to screen a program of her radical animated films. Colburn will show a selection including her ‘off beat’ early films featuring Jad Fair and Boredoms Music as well as a selection of newer films. Included in the program will be sound Super 8 films made live of her friends playing a variety of music. Artists playing include Tony Conrad, Felix Kubin and Helena Espvall. Colburn also has a collage work and a video on view in the exhibition.
TRT: Approximately 45 minutes
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Martha Colburn is a filmmaker and artsit. She is best known for her animation films, which are created through puppetry, collage, and paint on glass techniques. She has made over forty films since 1994. Colburn has also been fervently involved in playing music. One out of numerous groups she has been a part of is The Dramatics, a band she formed in Baltimore with Jason Willett. Recently in her career, Colburn has made sculptural/video installation work and experimented with integrating her films with musical performance. Yet music and film have always shared a deep connection within Colburn’s work. She has made films for System of a Down singer Serj Tankian, Jad Fair of Half Japanese, contributed animation to the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnson, and VJs for the band Deerhoof. She has performed with live projections and bands at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2009), The Rotterdam Film Festival (2010), Anthology Film Archives (NYC), and many others. In 2010 her film Triumph of the Wild was included in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Martha Colburn was featured early this year in Art in America magazine. To read the article click here.
All images are courtesy of Martha Colburn
THE THIRD PERSON
A feature by Max Juren
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 7PM
Artist in person! – Admission $6
Microscope hosts the NY premiere of Max Juren’s debut feature The Third Person. The Austin-based artist started the US tour of his new film this summer from the legendary Dobie Theatre in Austin, a venue that only a few months ago closed its doors after more than 2 decades dedicated to art and independent films. Supported by a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Third Person is co-starred and co-written by Max and his girlfriend Michelle Devereux. To his father he left the difficult task of playing God. Arriving directly from a screening in Providence RI, Max will be in attendance to introduce the film, and will be available afterwards for a Q&A.
Juren writes about the film:
“Both Zeitman learns all kinds of things from internet videos. Painting, foreign languages, feats of strength, acting, cinematography and even religion! When he discovers from a video preacher that God is watching him and creating a movie of his life, Both puts all his research into production. He directs himself in a real-time movie written by his own pathetic happenstance and clichéd fantasies. Plagued by a short-attention-span God and fighting to make a beautiful internet actress his leading lady, Both will have to force the performance of a lifetime, in a role he was born to play. Unfortunately for him, his “life movie” isn’t always a crowd pleaser.”
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Max Juren is a video artist based out of Austin, Texas. His most recent work is concerned with the effect of visual media on the structure of human thought. Many of his materials are procured from the cast-offs of larger film productions on which he works in various art department positions. His works have been exhibited with Portland based Deep Leap Microcinema, at The Joanna in Houston, Domy and Mass Gallery in Austin as well as Austin’s historic Dobie Theater. He is a contributing member of multi-media label Monofonus Press, on which his first collection of videos was released. The Third Person is his first feature length movie.
Juren’s work previously screened at Microscope in a group show “The Internet is a Terrible Place to Live” presented by Jesse Malmed last October.
Super 8mm films
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 25, 7PM
Artist in person! Admission $6 – tickets at door
We have invited filmmaker and Millennium Film Workshop Director Howard Guttenplan to screen his Super-8 films. He has selected a unique program of works that have not previously screened together including European Diary (silent, 3.5 min), New York City Diary, (silent, 15 min.) Spring Diary (NYC) (silent, 18 min.), Caracas Diary (sound, 18 min.) and another film still to be decided. These films were originally shot in the 70s and 80s, however Guttenplan continues to re-edit and rework the films even today. Program will be approx. 60 minutes.
Howard Guttenplan is the long-time program director of the Millennium Film Workshop’s Cinema Series. He is also a graphic designer, photographer and filmmaker. He has had one-person shows of his films at the Museum of Modern Art, Anthology Film Archives, San Francisco Cinematheque and at film centers and museums in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Belgrade, Zagreb, Toronto, Haifa and other cities. He has organized and toured with American avant-garde films in France, Germany and the Netherlands and has served on various international film panels and juries in Russian, Iran, Japan, Venezuela, and Croatia.
“Guttenplan is the Artist-as-Traveller, whose camera collects his consciousness. He calls this cinematic mode ‘shooting in stride’. — Alister Sanderson in MILLENNIUM FILM JOURNAL No. 1
“…the short bursts of frames also take on an internal logic of their own, one that would dictate their appearing at the same pace if the artist had all the time in the world to shoot. The juxtaposition of striking patterns and colors gives the images a force and vitality which longer shots would destroy. In fact,the viewer is not even likely to recall that the film is composed primarily of static shots.So active are the transitions from one texture to another that one’s impression is of extreme movement, however rarely something within the frame actually moves.…” — Scott Hammen in AFTERIMAGE on New York City Diary
More info at http://www.millenniumfilm.org
ADOLFO ARRIETA PRESENTS
Works by Marguerite Lantz
& his new “Trailer of the Trilogy”
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 19, 7PM
Adolfo Arrieta in person! – Admission $6
Microscope is thrilled to welcome Spanish film-maker Adolfo Arrieta for a carte blanche night where he will present videos by French artist Marguerite Lantz as well as a new 8-minute short work composed specially for this show. The theme of the evening is ‘angel wings’ – also very much present in Arrieta’s work. The event runs in conjunction with a retrospective of his films at Anthology Film Archives (www.anthologyfilmarchives.org) from Thursday September 15- Sunday Sept 18th.
The following are Arrieta’s notes on his new short, which he calls “the trailer of the trilogy’”, referring to his Angel Trilogy, which groups his first three films: El crimen de la pirindola (The Crime of the Spinning Top, 1965), La imitación del ángel (The Imitation of the Angel, 1966) and Le jouet criminel (The Criminal Toy, 1969):
- an angel can appear anywhere
- as soon as another character enters the scene, the angel disappears
- but it is still in the film, invisible
- at times it appears
- in a dream it has the wings cut
- at the end, he becomes petrified
- In Imitation of the Angel, a boy disguises as Angel. He makes paper wings and adds a drape of fabric
- his camouflage transforms him
- he becomes the main character of the film
- sometimes the boy tries to rebel
- but it’s useless
- the Angel keeps appearing in the film
- finally he takes off his disguise
- he forgets the costume in a phone booth
- In The Criminal Toy a wing is found on a sidewalk
- the drape is the subject of the film
- you no longer know whether is the character or the drape to rebel
- at the end, a real angel appears and rises up in the sky
- In Pontilly, a little girl draws angels
- In Pontilly an angel wing appears for the last time
- the color is the end of the Angel, as though the Angel were refractory to color, as though it were the result of black & white, as though it were come out of black & white
– Adolfo Arrieta, September 6, 2011
Trailer of the Trilogy
Adolfo Arrieta, 16mm to video, b/w, sound, 8 mins, 2011
La visite (The Visit)
Marguerite Lantz, filmed performance, super 8 to video, 2009, 12 mins
A winged person walks, wonders, has fun, gets bored while discovering 12 different places in Paris.
This series shot in super 8 was commissioned by Microtruc Collective, as part of the project DCODD of geolocated videos (with the support of Forum des Image, Paris).
La migration (The migration)
Marguerite Lantz, 2010, vidéo, col, sound, 15 mins
A singular trip that links the center of Paris with the Barbican Center (where is up an exhibition of the birds of Celeste Boursier-Mougenot), with wings on the back, taped by the people crossed along the way.
Vendredi, Je vole (Friday I’m going to fly)
Marguerite Lantz, col, silent, 8 mins, 2007
How to learn to fly in one lesson.
Marguerite Lantz, video, col, sound, 2008
A young disguised woman attempts to save the planet from her kitchen. Her fatal weapon: pink and golden glitter.
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Adolfo Arrieta (b. in Madrid, August 28, 1942) is a spanish filmmaker, considered as the pioneer of independent film both in Spain and France, due to the artisan quality and the unique spirit of freedom of his films. He usually uses variations of his name in the credits of his films, such as Udolfo Arrieta, Alfo Arrieta or Adolpho Arrieta.
His cinematic language is very poetic, apart from narrative conventions, which has made it to be compared with the cinema of Jean Cocteau.
Having started as a painter, Arrieta began his filmmaking with the short films El crimen de la pirindola (1965) and Imitación del ángel (1966) both shot in Madrid, a milestone for independet cinema in Spain. He moved to Paris in 1967 with Javier Grandes, an usual actor in most of his films, where he would live through the events of May 1968.
In 1969 he met Jean Marais, leading actor in La Belle et la Bête (1945), Orphée (1949) and Le testament d’Orphée (1959) by Jean Cocteau, of whom he ad been a former lover. With Marais Arrieta would shot his first feature film, Le jouet criminel (1969), that was compared to Cocteau’s cinema for his poetic nature. With Le château de Pointilly (1972), he would receive critical praise from Marguerite Duras.
He won the Great Prize at the Toulon Film Festival with Les intrigues de Sylvia Couski (1974), acclaimed by the critics and considered as the first underground parisian film. He would follow with Tam Tam (1976), the record of an uninterrupted party between New York, Paris and Spain; and Flammes (1978), a story about a sexual childhood fantasy turning into a real passion in the adulthood. In the following years he would make Grenouilles (1983), Kiki, la gata (episode of the TV series Delirios de amor, 1989), Merlín (1990) and Narciso (2004).
His next to last film Vacanza permanente (2006), was awarded at the Lucca International Film Festival, and meant for Arrieta a creative rebirth. It was premiered in Madrid at La Casa Encendida de Madrid on May 27 2007, during the polipoetry festival Yuxtaposiciones, and presented by the writer Leopoldo Alas.
In March 2008 the venue La Enana Marrón in Madrid held a partial retrospective of Arrieta’s filmography, screening his most outstanding works.
French publisher re:voir has released the first in a series of DVDs dedicated to Arrieta’s film work, beginning with “La trilogía del ángel”
Marguerite Lantz lives and works in Paris, where she did her studies at the ENSAD and Paris 8.
Her performances, videos and installations are of very varied forms and techniques. They tend towards the memory of the wonderful, as well as the observation of everyday life.
“My work is nurtured by the meeting of different universes. By universes I mean artistic disciplines (cinema, performance, fine arts, dance, kitchen etc.) as well as professional environments (audiovisuals, administration…) or everyday life (the street, nature, garden, apartment, window…). In addition to this, everything is mixed up with layers of fiction, memories of the childhood, dreams.” — M L
Her video-perfromances and miniature-films have been shown in France (Centre George Pompidou, Forum des Images…) and abroad (Corea, Japan, US, Russia, Qatar…) either at festivals or in national museums.
The event has been made possible by the Cultural Department of the Spanish Consulate in New York (Special thanks to Inigo Ramirez de Haro).
Below: still from La Migration by Marguerite Lantz
Round Robin Collective presents:
Phantom Highway, a slide-show by Katherin McInnis (premiere)
plus a short video program curated by Mary Billyou
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 18, 7PM
Admission $6 – tickets at door
Microscope welcomes members of the Round Robin Colllective for the 1st of 2 screenings as part of Live/Work Space events. For this first show, Katherin McInnis premiers her new photographic slide-show Phantom Highway on the Bushwick Expressway, a project abandoned in an incomplete state in the early 70s. Mary Billyou will also present a short curated video program of related works.
“Phantom Highway traces the path of the never-built Bushwick Expressway. Planned by Robert Moses in 1955 as part of federal Interstate 78, the expressway — connecting the Williamsburgh Bridge to routes to JFK — was scheduled for completion by 1975, but shelved by 1971. Following the freeway’s path tells a story of displacement and disinvestment, met with community resilience and reinvention.” – - K M
New York Portrait #1
1978-1979, 16mm, 15 minutes
“Hutton’s sketchbook of mid-1970s New York, edited in three parts over twelve years, is a chronicle of indelible impressions and an act of urban archeology. The artist evokes the city’s delicate rhythms, tonal contrasts, and shifts of scale—scrims of white mist and black smoke, of gauze, cloud, and fluttering pennant; the shadowy geometries of tenements and water towers; palimpsests of graffiti, skywriting, and painted signs; ecstatic sunlight glinting off the wings of homing pigeons as they traverse a pillowy sky; the slight rustle of a homeless man’s shirt; the flowery patterns of rainwater draining from a flooded street; a blimp’s lazy progress between two buildings whose balconies resemble film sprockets; and a winter fog rolling over the sandy rivulets of Coney Island, making of it a lunar park, removed from time.” – Josh Siegel, Associate Film Curator, MoMA
by Jessica Bardsley & Penny Lane
In 1890, a wealthy eccentric named Eugene Schieffelin collected every bird ever mentioned by Shakespeare and released them into Central Park. The only one to survive in the New World was the European Starling, now among the commonest – and most despised – birds in America. The Commoners is an essay film about European Starlings, poetry, the rhetorical relationship between nationalism and environmentalism, and the paths people forge through history as they attempt to improve the natural world.
A real estate film from the East Riviera.
multimedia presentation of a work in progress
Phantom Highway traces the path of the never-built Bushwick Expressway. Planned by Robert Moses in 1955 as part of federal Interstate 78, the expressway — connecting the Williamsburgh Bridge to routes to JFK — was scheduled for completion by 1975, but shelved by 1971. Following the freeway’s path tells a story of displacement and disinvestment, met with community resilience and reinvention.
SPIRIT – PATTI SMITH
Jem Cohen, 2007
USA, EXP, 00:07:30, BW
Patti Smith asked if I would do a short film to accompany the release of her version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. As neither of us are fans of the music video format or industry, we approached the project as a short film with no lip sync that would simply try to get at the heart of her version of the song. I shot in Super 8 film and pulled a few things from my archive. The film is a domestic portrait of Patti and her son, Jackson. William Blake was invited in the form of a plaster cast of his death mask. Kurt Cobain, (conflicted, fierce, gentle, and another mother’s son) was invited as an admirer of Leadbelly. Cats were invited as household saints. The film invokes New York and rural America. It is about picking up guitars and doing dirty dishes. – - Jem Cohen
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Katherin McInnis’ work in video, photography and public practice has recurrent themes of landscape, surveillance, and alternate histories. Her projects have been shown in major film festivals (New York Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Slamdance) as well as in museums and galleries (the Pompidou Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Art in General). In the 2008 Whitney Biennial, she worked with the art collective Neighborhood Public Radio on “American Life”, a public-access audio project., and currently works with Brooklyn-based Round Robin Art Collective. She teaches at CUNY Queensborough and Museum of the Moving Image.
Peter Hutton is an experimental filmmaker, known primarily for his silent cinematic portraits of cities and landscapes around the world. He has also worked as a professional cinematographer, most notably for his former student Ken Burns. Hutton studied painting, sculpture and film at the San Francisco Art Institute. He has taught filmmaking at CalArts, Hampshire College, Harvard University, SUNY Purchase, and Bard College, where he has served as the director of the Film and Electronic Arts Program since 1989. Hutton’s films are distributed by Canyon Cinema in San Francisco. In May 2008 the Museum of Modern Art in New York held a full retrospective of Hutton’s films.
Jessica Bardsley‘s work has been presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Kassel Dokfest, Antimatter Film Festival, Images Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Rooftop Films and more. Her video work has also been included in multiple media journals, including The Journal of Short Film and INCITE! Journal of Experimental Media and Radical Aesthetics Issue # 2. She was awarded a 2010-2011 Princess Grace Award in Film and is presently completing her MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Penny Lane is a filmmaker, programmer and professor of art usually found somewhere in New York State. Her videos have screened at Rotterdam, AFI FEST, Impakt, Antimatter, San Francisco Int’l Film Festival, Images, DOXA, Oberahusen, FLEX, The Media That Matters Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, MOMA’s “Documentary Fortnight” and many other venues. Penny has been awarded grants from the LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. Penny is currently hard at work on her first three feature length documentaries and teaching at Bard College.
Mary Billyou is a filmmaker living in a converted loft building, which once had been a knitting factory. Her films have exhibited at Images Festival in Toronto, The New Museum, Sundance International Film Festival, The Chicago Underground Film Festival, and the Black Maria Film Festival. In 2010, she received a Jerome Foundation Filmmaking Grant for her upcoming series of short films, GUN, HAT, GIRL… She received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she attended The Whitney Independent Study Program. She currently participates in the Brooklyn-based Round Robin Collective. Her interests include alternative spaces, collaboration, street photography, and going for long walks with the dog.
Jem Cohen is an award-winning New York City-based filmmaker known for his observational portraits of urban landscapes, blending of media formats (16mm, Super 8, video) and collaborations with music artists. He is the recipient of the Independent Spirit Award and many first place awards for feature filmmaking. “Cohen’s films have been broadcast in Europe by the BBC and ZDF/ARTE, and in the U.S. by the Sundance Channel and PBS. They are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, and Melbourne’s Screen Gallery.” He has received grants from the Guggenheim, Creative Capital, Rockefeller and Alpert Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Round Robin Collective is a group of thirteen Brooklyn-based artists established in 2008 in response to the economic downturn of the art market. Pooling resources, the collective activates existing available spaces and works in all media, fostering a dynamic exchange across disciplines. The collective regularly hosts exhibitions and events, extending the spirit and discourse of the cooperative model to a broader public community.
The works of 13 members of the collective are currently on view at Camel Art Space as part of the current exhibition Live/Work Space.
For more info: http://camelartspace.com/
Programmed by Bradley Eros
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 17, 7PM
Admission $6 – tickets at door
NOTES ON UTOPIA
by Jonas Mekas
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 7PM
World Premiere – Artist in person!
Admission $6 – Please rsvp to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very, very pleased to start the second season of Events Series with the world premiere of the complete “Notes on Utopia” by Jonas Mekas. This surprising work presents Mekas’ alone with his camera – and sometimes a record player or an accordion – discussing his evolving thoughts for and against utopia.
Notes on Utopia
by Jonas Mekas, video, 54 min 35 sec, 2003-04
“Four part video made in 2003 and 2004. The first two parts were presented at the 2003 Venice Bienalle as part of the Utopian Station project.
The Utopia Station project made me rethink and try to sum-up my thoughts on utopia, all the variations of it, including the Garden of Eden, Paradise, social, religious, political, and poetic theories, etc. As I am going through this process of rethinking, periodically I videotape my thoughts on the subject.” – Jonas Mekas
All images are courtesy and copyright of Jonas Mekas