Split screens! Double exposure! Repetition! Superimposition! Witness the diplopia-inducing splendor of these forays into cinematic double vision! From fused landscapes to fractured relations, repeat projections to closed-eye vision, and diptychular juxtapositions to avant-garde revisions, this show is really two shows running side-by-side, back-to-back, one atop the other. Join us for a night of reflections, revelations, disjunctions, and duplications! Twins admitted for the price of one!
“Georgetown Loop,” Ken Jacobs, 1997, 35mm, b&w, silent, 11 min.
According to J. Hoberman, this “masterpiece… [by] the dean of experimental filmmaking” “Elegantly rework[s] some 1905 footage of a train trip through the Colorado Rockies [by] plac[ing] the original image and its mirror side by side to produce a stunning widescreen kaleidoscope effect.” As Jacobs says: “This landscape film deserves an X rating!”
“Mirror,” Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet, 2003, 35mm, color, sound, 8.16 min.
“Girardet and Müller have made a movie out of the hiatus, the pause… the caesura. A woman, a man, both in evening dress; at some sort of gathering, or the ruins of a party. Isolated, unspeaking, rarely in the same shot, the froideur between them is palpable… This sense of disassociation is increased, moreover, by a mysterious division [in] the film. You hardly notice it at first, but there is a vertical fissure running down the centre of the image. It turns out there are not one but two images, separate halves… that unite to create one motif.” – Laura Cummings, The Observer
“Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine,” Peter Tscherkassky, 2005, 35mm, b&w, sound, 17 min.
Tscherkassky’s self-described “attempt to transform a Roman Western into a Greek tragedy,” Instructions depicts a movie hero’s encounter with the conditions of his own possibility: a host of film printing instructions. Like some of Tscherkassky’s earlier works, Instructions was made through a laborious process of contact printing where the artist hand copies select details from single frames of found footage onto unexposed film stock, before reassembling the altered frames into a new narrative structure. According to Tscherkassky, this process allows him to realize Freud’s conception of the “dream work,” or the primary mechanism through which dreams produce meaning: “The new interp[re]tation of the text of the original source material takes place through its ‘displacement’ from its original context and its concurrent ‘condensation’ by means of multiple exposure.”
“Sshtoorrty,” Michael Snow, 2005, 35mm, color, sound, 30 min.
“I realized that I have never wanted to make a purely narrative film, never had and therefore perhaps I should… I wrote the script, designed the set, directed the shoot and supervised the sound-mix and edit. The staged action was shot [and then] The film of [that action] was cut exactly in half and the two halves of sound and picture [were] super-imposed. This makes a simultaneity of actions that occurred ‘linearly’. Before and After become a Transparent Now. Arrival and Departure are united. It’s truly ‘filmic’, one transparent film over another… a painting of a painting… The title is of course the word SHORT printed right on top of the word STORY.” – MS
Excerpts from the “Binocular” Series, Leslie Thornton, 2011, video, color, silent, 10 min.
“[In] Binocular… two circular fields appear: on the left, images of animals… beautifully captured, filmed in the wild; on the right, the image is folded back on itself in a centripetal pattern, reminiscent of a kaleidoscope. The two circular fields are intimately connected: the movements of the animals on the left are remapped into the elegant mathematical abstraction on the right. The effect is unexpected and profound: the viewer notices minute tremors and shifts (a small heart beating, for example) in the left sphere, by catching the very same resonant motion, multiplied, recast, and folded into itself in the pattern on the right. There is no anthropomorphism here, no Disneyfied cuteness, no identification or domestication. Thornton gives us a glimpse of a world prior to language and exterior to consumption, mute, opaque, and absolutely other.” – Winkleman Gallery
“Fishing For Brad,” Nicole Koschmann, 1998, 35mm, color, sound, 6 min.
“16mm images of an exotic dancer and a man fishing are optically printed side by side onto 35mm film, in an attempt to juxtapose two completely different visions of desire.” – Film-Makers’ Coop
“Schwechater,” Peter Kubelka, 1958, 35mm, b&w, sound, 2 min.
One of Kubelka’s “metric films,” Schwechater poignantly illustrates the filmmaker’s conception of cinema as “the quick projection of light impulses,” or of rhythmically structured frames of light designed to “hit the screen” with a highly concentrated intensity capable of producing “very strong, strong, very strong optical event[s].” In keeping with Kubelka’s request that this work be projected at least twice at each screening, two prints of Schwchater will be shown back-to-back. “My films give the greatest pleasure to those who know them by heart.” – PK
“Arnulf Rainer,” Peter Kubelka, 1960, 35mm, b&w, sound, 7 min.
Another of Kubelka’s “metric films,” Arnulf Rainer was hailed by Jonas Mekas as “the only film ever made that can be seen with your eyes closed.” According to Stan Brakhage, the film’s calculated ordering of its audio-visual matter creates – alongside the film occurring on-screen – a second, purely physiological movie that takes place entirely “in the head”: “[I]f one looks at it openly, one can see one’s own eye cells as if projected onto the screen and can watch one’s optic physiology activated by the sound track in what is, surely, the most basic Dance of Life of all (for the sounds of the film do resemble and, thus, prompt the inner-ear’s hearing of its own pulse output at intake of sound).”