P. Adams Sitney at Light Industry TOMORROW

From: Thomas Beard (email suppressed)
Date: Mon May 26 2008 - 07:38:11 PDT

Light Industry

Eyes Upside Down
An illustrated lecture by P. Adams Sitney

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 8pm
55 33rd Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY

P. Adams Sitney will talk about movement and perspective in three short
films, by Marie Menken, Ernie Gehr, and Stan Brakhage. He will illustrate
the ways in which these films fulfill the promise of an American aesthetic
first proclaimed by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1836 and promoted in different
ways by Gertrude Stein, John Cage, and Charles Olson, among others. This
program reflects the argument of his new book: Eyes Upside Down: Visionary
Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson.

Films to be shown:

Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, Marie Menken, 16mm, 1961, 4 mins
"A new sound version of this classic film. It is a beautiful experience to
see her fabulous shooting. The cutting is just as fabulous and is something
for all to study; the new score by Teiji ito is 'out of this world' with its
many leveled instrumentation. Marie says 'These animated observations of
tiles and Moorish architecture were made as a thank-you to Kenneth for
helping me to shoot on another film in Spain.' Shot in the Alhambra in one
day." - Gryphon Film Group

Shift, Ernie Gehr, 16mm, 1972-74, 9 mins
"For Gehr, Shift broke new ground, hence perhaps a pun in its title. The
film is his first to employ extensive montage. The actors are all mechanical
- a series of cars and trucks filmed from a height of several stories as
they perform on a three-lane city street. Gehr isolates one or two vehicles
at a time, inverting some shots, so that a car hangs from the asphalt like a
bat from a rafter, using angles so severe the traffic often seems to be
sliding off the earth, and employing a reverse motion so abrupt that the
players frequently exit the scene as though yanked from a stage by the
proverbial hook. A sparse score of traffic noises accompanies the spastic
ballet mecanique. Not only the action but Gehr's deliberate camera movements
are synced to the music of honking horns, screeching brakes, and grinding
gears. The eight-minute film is structured as a series of obliquely comic
blackout sketches: trucks run over their shadows; cars unexpectedly reverse
direction or start up and go nowhere." - J. Hoberman

Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde, Stan Brakhage, 16mm, 1989, 17 mins
"This meditation takes its visual imperatives from the occasion of Mesa
Verde, which I came to see finally as a Time rather than any such solidity
as Place. 'There is a terror here,' were the first words which came to mind
on seeing these ruins; and for two days after, during all my photography, I
was haunted by some unknown occurrence which reverberated still in these
rocks and rock-structures and environs. I can no longer believe that the
Indians abandoned this solid habitation because of drought, lack-of-water,
somesuch. (These explanations do not, anyway, account for the fact that all
memory of The Place, i.e., where it is, was eradicated from tribal memory,
leaving only legend of a Time when such a place existed.) Midst the rhythms,
then, of editing, I was compelled to introduce images which corroborate what
the rocks said, and what the film strips seemed to say: The abandonment of
Mesa Verde was an eventuality (rather than an event), was for All Time thus,
and had been intrinsic from the first such human building." - SB

Tickets - $6, available at door.

About P. Adams Sitney

P. Adams Sitney is a historian of film art, a co-founding member of
Anthology Film Archives, and Professor of Visual Arts at Princeton
University. He is the author of the book Visionary Film, originally
published in 1974, which was the first major study on the post-war American
avant garde cinema, and is today considered a classic. Among his other
publications are Modernist Montage: The Obscurity of Vision in Cinema and
Literature from 1992 and most recently Eyes Upside Down: Visionary
Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson. His articles regularly appear in
Artforum and other journals.

About Light Industry

Light Industry is a new venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New
York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project will
begin as a series of weekly events at Industry City in Sunset Park,
each organized by a different artist, critic, or curator. Conceptually,
Light Industry draws equal inspiration from the long history of alternative
art spaces in New York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and
other intrepid film exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings,
performances, and lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the
presentation of time-based media and foster a complex dialogue amongst a
wide range of artists and audiences within the city.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.