Re: Carolee Schneeman introduces The Hart of London at Light Industry, Tomorrow!

From: Charles Chadwick (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Mar 31 2010 - 01:23:10 PDT

Why students would be scratching down
the door and closing their eyes to The
Hart of London I could never
understand. That film is perhaps the
most indelible experience of any
experimental feature film I've ever seen.
There's a scene of a goat being
slaughtered at one point. The reds of
the blood, and the visual, kinetic
drama of that shot is probably
something I will remember for the rest
of my life. It's too bad that the art
institute's experimental film program
is dead, with the firing of Janis Lipzin
and Charles Boone, the last two
professors who gave a damn about
keeping celluloid and experimentation
alive at the school. As a student there,
and one of the few still shooting film,
I lament the loss of a program that
fostered my growth so much as an
undergraduate, and has in many ways
now discouraged it during my time
as a graduate student. Often, as I have
primarily been working with hand
processing black and white super8,
I have been criticized, accused even,
by both students and some faculty, of
being a film fetishist, and faulted for
working in a supposedly dead medium.
Sorry for the rant, but the idea of
Schneeman or any other potential
faculty like her teaching at my school
as being unlikely or simply impossible
makes my blood boil. Kudos to her for
presenting that film however. Once
again, sorry for subjecting all of you to


Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 30, 2010, at 7:45 AM, Ed Halter <email suppressed> wrote:

> Tomorrow, Wednesday night, at Light Industry!
> Just perfect for all those folks who can't do Tuesdays.
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Thomas Beard <email suppressed>
> Date: Sat, Mar 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM
> Subject: The Hart of London
> To: email suppressed
> The Hart of London
> Jack Chambers, 16mm, 1970, 79 mins
> Introduced by Carolee Schneemann
> Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 7:30pm
> 177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn - PLEASE NOTE NEW ADDRESS
> Perhaps it was ten years ago that the artists Arakawa and Madeleine
> Gins told me of a scientist researching optical physiology. He had
> determined that cats would be his living subjects. To this end he
> had constructed a three-story-high narrow cylinder. Along its
> interior vivid images were pasted, illuminated. Photographs within
> these cylinder walls depicted elements interesting to cats: brightly
> colored birds, bowls of food, shimmering fishes, wild animals, human
> faces. The experiment was contrived to photograph the last retinal
> image mirrored on the pupils of the cats immediately after their
> death--killed from the impact of being thrown down the narrow
> cylinder.
> If there could be a retinal analysis of imprinted filmic imagery,
> expanded in time by description, compressed as memory, as an
> intensity of linked recognitions--this optical imprint on my inner
> vision would be inscribed with fragments from the films of Jack
> Chambers.
> Perhaps, my first viewing of Jack Chambers' films occurred shortly
> after being told of the sadistic cat experiment. A few years later,
> I was able to teach his indelible works during a year as film
> faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute. Associations with the
> brutal cat experiment recurred, when I realized I would have to lock
> my students in the film viewing room if they were to see the
> complete projection of The Hart of London. Unlike the cats, whose
> volition was stolen from them, my students stood scratching at the
> locked door insisting. "We're not watching this!"
> They could close their eyes, but could I shift their resistance to
> the gestural flinch and muscular reciprocity of Chambers' images:
> moist animal eyes, spurt of blood, birthing of a human infant, fire,
> shadow--this threshold of spectral literalizations that the mad
> scientist had intended to capture on the retina of the just-dead
> cats? Could I brand the students' vision with Chambers' fleeting
> forms, their flash and tumble, an energy which tosses us into an
> unconscious ecstatic terror? Because Chambers' images emerge as if
> structure in time is propelled, an eddying, oceanic force; edited so
> that we viewers are engulfed by the rhythms of an inspiration as
> challenging and unstable as the invisible sources of imagination
> itself.
> So that suddenly we inhabit a ghost city constructed before our very
> eyes, a hundred years ago. Blacked swirl of smoke. Muscular
> gestures, men laboring. Darkening clouds. Rail tracks' horizontal
> spin into receding horizon, parried dissolve of vertical smokestacks
> ascending. Ascending. Incandescent shapes emerge, dissolved into
> grains, celluloid falling snow. Dissolve. Intercut to black.
> Dissolve to whitened/greyed curly fur. Close-up sheep's eyes
> glistening terror: sacrificial ballerinas balanced on planks, facing
> the camera eye. Slaughterhouse blades gash. Lens eye splattered.
> Exploding blood. Indelible chaos. (Domestic food chain.) Intercut to
> black. - Carolee Schneemann
> Jack Chambers is one of Canada's most famous and greatest living
> painters. Why then have his films been as neglected as they have
> been? I feel that it is because his films do not arise as an adjunct
> to his painting (as is true in the case of most other painter film-
> makers) but that, rather, Jack Chambers has realized the almost
> opposed aesthetics of paint and film and has created a body of
> moving pictures so crucially unique as to fright paint buffery: thus
> his films have inherited a social position kin to that of the films
> of Joseph Cornell in this country. The fact is that four films of
> Jack Chambers have changed the whole history of film, despite their
> neglect, in a way that isn't possible within the field of painting.
> There are no "masters" of film in any significant sense whatsoever.
> There are only "makers" of film in the original, or at least
> medieval, sense of the word. Jack Chambers is a true "maker" of
> films. He needs no stance, or standing, for he dances attendance
> upon the coming-into-being of something recognizably new: (and as
> all is new, always, one must question the veracity of all works,
> whatever medium, which beseem everything but that truth). - Stan
> Brakhage
> Tickets - $7, available at door.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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