Tag Archive for 'expanded cinema'

After meeting Malcolm – top of mind

Notes in response to specific questions have been started by Lucas and we will continue them but it seems important to capture what’s stayed at the top of the mind after visiting Malcolm:
– we covered a lot of ground!
– Malcolm says that when he made these performance film works (eg Horror Film, Gross Fog, Matrix, 4 Wall Duration), his orientation was cinema rather than live art as we now think of it (eg performance art, happenings), the dialogue/position was with/against screen and film culture. This is true for his film works of this era too.
– in a conversation about the context for making his work around the time of Horror Film, Malcolm made the point that at the time and in the whole era, experimentation in media other than film drew upon long lineages. He used the example of music where things have seemed strange and new to makers and audiences many times before. As a young form, cinema didn’t have this lineage and so things really could be new in this form, energising and exhilarating in its newness, difficult in the lack of context and language for audiences.
– Malcolm advises that the first performance of Horror Film 1 (1971) was at Arts Lab – an interesting question because we found nothing about it in the files we have consulted to date at BAFVSC about Malcolm, Filmaktion and London Filmmakers Coop 1966-74.
– White Field Duration is effectively a scratch film where transparent leader is slowly marked with vertical scratches until it is evident they are intentional. Then horizontal scratches emerge. In the end the two fields of scratches seem to be rain over a body of water. The image is then reprinted in neg/pos. The sound is created by the image which runs into the optical sound track space. We understand from Lux that as Malcolm told us, there is just one print of this and no neg.

Tues 10 Feb (Wo)man With Mirror, notes from Louise

The discussion had two starters. One was the Val conversation re-cap which appears below. Secondly, Lucas discovered the curious picture plane fracture that the mirror introduces in the photos taken in the garden in our last meeting. The mirror appears in each photo of the measuring-up images. It is striking only in one where the mirror is completely surrounded by the rest of the garden. It seems that the mirror reveals a fragment that you know is there but can’t pre-visualise hence its dynamism.

General discussion of mirrors and works using mirrors followed. Discussion covered Learning from Seedbed, a work that gave the audience a physical experience of actually being under a version of the platform.

Ideas that came up:
– Give the audience the experience of actually re-enacting the work. Film the source footage with a group of people. Present the footage on long looped S8s in the gallery or present the footage on video. have mirrors there for the audience to use to enact the work for themselves and their companions in the gallery. Give them the ability to have visual ‘foldback’ of what they do when they re-enact.
– Invite participants to work with a parent or a child to make enactments. Explore if this adds the generational reveal we observed in Guy’s Brisbane performance.
– As my mother was here getting ready to take the plane back to New Zealand, we worked with her to actually make a source footage version that I hope to try a performance with.
– After working with Val, we realise that we need to work with one pair at a time so that we can teach the work in the same way that Guy so generously passed it on.

Conversation with Valerie
Louise took the train up from Canberra with her mother Valerie this morning. On the train, discussion about re-enacting Man With a Mirror took place.

Notes from the train conversation with Valerie:
She described our project as translating a watching experience into a doing experience. She drew in the Degas exhibition she saw in Canberra on Monday. She described Degas’ process of moving from copying the reality of others to depicting his own reality but keeping a mimetic approach. She commented that our process was in a sense the reverse – we start with the evidence of the original work and we try to build up a picture of the work but we’re also looking particularities that crop up because of where, when and who we are and we’re looking to accentuate these. I’m not quite sure how this is the reverse of Degas now, but at the time, it seemed obvious.

Val and I also had a discussion about the working method Lucas and I have used with these re-enactments, particularly preparation – that in the past we’ve looked at limitations as a resource, taking the approach of working with what we have in terms of (scarce) time, money and information.  With Man With a Mirror, we have a great deal of information from Guy. The exhibition means we have some financial resources and therefore time. While we haven’t set out with the intention of doing things differently, it’s my observation that these resources mean we’re increasing our attentiveness to each step in the process which seems to have the effect of making it freer.

(Wo)man With Mirror – notes from Sat, by Louise

Yesterday we started to prep ourselves to actually shoot the work. We looked very closely at the preview material – Lux preview tape, Lyn’s documentation on YouTube, the rough ‘telecine’ we made up in Brisbane from Guy’s actual film strip literally minutes before he used it for his performance. We also found part of the Brisbane tape of him demonstrating with baby table how to actually do the mirror movements.

One of these pages documents our notes on the timings of the mirror movements, the other is us working out how to stage it in the garden at Petersham and how we should re-size one of the mirrors so it’s relative to my arm span.

We discussed how we imagine presenting the work – clear at this point that the position of the projectors in presentation needs to be a mapping/index of the position of the cameras in the shoot.

This one documents timings from the documentation.

Timings taken from Lux preview, Loo YouTube, TLC Sherwin conversations in Brisbane

This one documents where to position the shoot in the garden and the correct distances for the cameras and the sizes for the mirrors.

mirror size, garden position, camera distances

Guy Sherwin and Lynn Loo in Brisbane

guy sherwin performing paper landscape
above: Guy Sherwin performs “Paper Landscape” in Brisbane during his recent screenings.

The TLC’s Louise and Lucas, joined by Sydney film maven Mike Leggett, recently made the trip to Brisbane to see Guy Sherwin and Lynn Loo do their thing at the IMA. Guy and Lynn’s trip was courtesy of the Brisbane Film Festival and our friends at Otherfilm.

It was totally worth the journey! Some more pictures from our adventure here.

In the meantime, listen to this radio piece with Guy on ABC Radio National, interviewed by Amanda Smith [15 min, 14mb mp3 file]