Long Film Dream

Long Film for Ambient Light related dream, 23 march 2007, 5.30am:
This bizarre dream popped up about 5 days after we did our experiment with Long Film. Talk about mental residue. Remember, all characters are fictional and their resemblance to any person living or dead etc…xx Lucas

We’re in New York and Anthony McCall is putting on a new show, including Long Film for Ambient Light. I’m in the gallery as LFFAL is being set up, it’s completely different from our understanding of the work. This version involves a long piece of perspex set into the wall high up towards the ceiling. On the perspex are printed representations of empty film frames. Behind the perspex film panel an area of wall has been removed, and light filters in from here. I ask Anthony where the light comes from – “the outside of the museum via the air conditioning duct,” she says. Yes, Anthony is a woman. A youngish one, too (although at the start of the dream she was a man, still quite young, and with a full head of hair, far more resembling McCall’s photos from the early 70s, than what I imagine he looks like now, balder and more statesmanlike in appearance.)

I ask Anthony if this different version of the work still runs for 24 hours. “Oh yes, ” she says, and during that period I send someone out to do work for me.” What kind of work? “You know, photographing different places around the city that I haven’t been to before.”

I should mention that this female McCall has a lush brown goatee(!). She disapproves of the version of Long Film that we were working on recreating. (In the dream, we flip back and forth between being in our room at the Performance space, and her museum room in New York. It turns out that she’s very cross about the “misinformation” propagated via the book “The Solid Light Films and Related Work” – which we’ve been basing our work on. “They got it completely wrong,” she says.

Back at the P space, she’s very disapproving of the curtain in our room. “It’s too nice,” she says, ” I only ever worked with ordinary domestic curtains.” We flash back to her museum room in New York where she is having her curtains put up. They’re shabby black horrid things with patches all over them. They look like fires have burned on them, but then the frayed edges fo the burn-holes have been hemmed to stop further damage. Contrary to her idea of the domestic and ordinary, they look completely contrived.

I try to reason with her: “Look, we tried to get in touch with you before we went ahead,” I said, “but we didn’t hear back, and we followed the book as best we could, and Mike Leggett thought -” “Mike Leggett,” she said, cutting in, “is very contemptuous of what you’ve done.” I am shocked. “He thinks what you did is too correct.”

All of this is bewildering. I want to let her know that, whether it was “wrong” or not, the version of the work we tried to re-create was actually marvellous. I want her to be interested in the productive mistakes we’ve made. But she just wants to tell us about the time she came to Sydney in 1988 and stayed with her wife at the Rocks. “It was beautiful,” she says. Apparently, this visit is what has kept her looking so youthful.

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