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Report of an exhibition framed within Hollis Frampton's notion of a meta-history of all visual arts, a place where painting, cinema, and photography would all be seen as branches on the same tree. Adam Art Gallery, Victoria University of
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  CINEMA & PAINTING Curated by Michelle Menzies and Daniel MorganAdam Art Gallery, ellington, Ne! "ealand## $ebruary % ## May, '#(In her essay  Indelible Video 1  !riter and )ilmma*er Chris +raus states that since around the beginning o) the ne! millennia museums and art galleries hae become enues )or !or*s !hich a decade earlier !ould hae been screened as e-.erimental )ilms/ 0ome art galleries no! sell artist ideos in limited editions as the moing image begins to dis.lace .aintings on gallery !alls and installation !or* occu.ies the s.ace once resered )or scul.ture/ 0ome may een assert that moing images are the .aintings o) our time and installation our contem.orary ision o) scul.ture/This seemed to be the case )or the Cinema and Painting   e-hibition !hich ran at the Adam Art Gallery in ellington, Ne! "ealand )rom $ebruary to May, '#(/ The curators, Michelle Menzies and Daniel Morgan, )ramed their choices !ithin 1ollis $ram.ton2s 3#4567#48(9 notions o) a metahistory o) all isual arts, a .lace !here .ainting, cinema and  .hotogra.hy could all be seen as branches o) the same tree/ :All images, high or lo! in intent, een insubstantial in srcin, had alidity and!ere ine-tricable elements in the historyo) our images % and thus the history o) art/;   In this .redominantly historical e-hibition, !hich included some contem.orary !or*, )orms o) artists2 cinema !ere dis.layed amidst  .aintings, dra!ings, and art installations/ The moing image !or*s  being sourced )rom the canons o) American and Euro.ean aant7gardes and counter.ointed !ith .aintings and dra!ings )rom Ne! "ealand art history/ <erall, Cinema and Painting eo*ed =uestions o) .ossible limits in the relationshi. bet!een cinema and .ainting as, say, ho! the durational e-.erience o) cinema may be reconciled !ith the stillness o)  .ainting/ 1o!, )urthermore, !ould contem.orary artists2 cinema relate to the historical concerns o) Modernist art> a concern, )or e-am.le !ith the de.th o) the .icture .lan and, ho! .ainting may in)luence .hotogra.hy and cinema and, maybe more im.ortantly, ice ersa? It !as a sho! about relationshi.s #  Chris +raus/ Indelible @ideo in Where Art Belongs. os Angeles, 0eniote-t3e9, '##/ ../##4/   0usan +rane, Introduction, in Bruce en*ins,  Hollis Frampton Recollections Recreations, Bu))alo, Albright7+no- Art Gallery, #48(, .## #  /The e-hibition   !as organized around three s.eci)ic themes#9 Trans)ormationsProectie !or* by udy Millar, Diana Thater and im Dais, all o) !hich included a scul.tural com.onent/9 Plastic Images0ourcing the history and .re7history o) cinema in !or* by +en acobs, Phil 0olomon, illiam $o- and the umiere Com.any/5 Painted AirAnimations, .aintings, .hotogra.hs and dra!ings by Anthony McCall, Colin McCahon, <s*ar $ischinger, en ye and Matt 0aunders/These sections !ere arranged throughout the gallery, com.rised o) long, s*inny s.aces, li*e hall!ays o) serene elocities, one stac*ed ato. o) the other, and a dedicated cinematic s.ace )or Phil 0olomon2s se.ia toned lament )or America, the three7screen installation  American Falls 3digital ideo, altered archial )ootage, color, stereo sound, FF minutes, ''' % '#9/ This re)lectie !or* chronicled the descent o) America )rom the arrial o) the May)lo!er in #6' to the +ennedy, Malcolm , and Martin uther +ing  .olitical assassinations o) the #46's/ But it is an imaginatie descent, because the nostalgia eo*ed in this !or* is )or something that neer e-isted, e-ce.t as in the ho.e )or a )uture America/ <r maybe, at its best, in a )orm that came to be *no!n as Canada/ Heally,  American Falls traces the loss o) ho.e o) the baby boomer generation, brought u. on media re.resentations, sometimes dra!n on the ho.e o) esca.ing .oerty, a)ter they hae .assed into adulthood and con)ronted a less than ideal reality/ It is not as i) American history and society !as not corru.ted  be)ore the #46's/ Maybe 0olomon2s )ilm mar*s the beginning o) a stee.ening descent/The labyrinthine e-hibition s.ace echoed that o) the surrounding city !here .edestrian !al*!ays !ra..ed around hillsides, one moment urban, the ne-t rural, then, around the )ollo!ing ridge, a harbor, then bush, high rises and houses/ This is !here en ye s.ent seeral years o) his childhood and )irst deelo.ed his ideas o) introducing moement into art/ The literary structures o) Argentinean !riter orge uis Borges 3#8447#4869, a *ey in)luence on $ram.ton, came to mind !hen negotiating narro! stair!ells crammed bet!een houses .recariously balanced along stee. hillsides/ Ma*ing one2s !ay through t!isting alleys, climbing and descending narro! stair!ays set at eccentric angles to a city that is in one .lace metro and another almost rural/ As i) a !al* conceied by $ram.ton or Borges in their ha..ier moments/  $ram.ton, also an admirer o) Marcel Ducham. 3#887#4689, thought o) artistic actiity as the selection, )ocusing and conce.tualizing e-.erience/ The result o) creatie actiity is, in all three media, )ramed, hung, or thro!n u. on !alls blac* or !hite, in dedicated or im.roised s.aces/ Painting, .hotogra.hyand cinema may share the )rame, but not !hat un)olds !ithin its enclosure/ Each has its o!n connotation and mode o) .resentation/ Maybe to!ards something along the order o) Borges2 .resenting and obliterating seles/ <n entering the gallery at eel Three, the ie!er !as dra!n to udy Millar2s bright and !elcoming Space Wor !, 3'#(9, a large 3##/#  (/5 meters9 un)urling banner or endless )ilm made o) !ood, .aint and digital .rint, a..earing li*e an uns.roc*eted )ilm stri. or beam o)  .roected light, )rozen in time, s.illing out into the gallery s.ace/ ust around the corner, in a long hall7li*e s.ace Diana Thater2s  Pin "aisies, Amber Room  3''59 ideo !as .roected at obli=ue, intersecting angles along the !all, creating a !ashed out, distorted image some!hat at odds !ith the lushness o) the natural enironment outside the gallery/In an alcoe ust bac* )rom the lobby !ere digital ersions o) three short )ilms by im Dais,  #et $here Be #ight 3##/F' minutes, #4F69,  %nergies 34 minutes, #4F9, and Sea Rh&thms, 34/F' minutes, #4#9/ Dais2 )ilms, studies in moement o) muted colors, re)racted as abstract and di))use .atterns o) light/ Dais !as in)luential on the young 0tan Bra*hage2s deelo.ing aesthetic early in his career// Chronologically, the e-hibition stretched bac* be)ore cinema to t!o mid7nineteenth century landsca.es by the e-.lorer, sureyor, ournalist and  .olitician illiam $o-/ These !atercolors,  #ae Ho'ic 3$ebruary, #8(69and The Mangles Grass @alley, on the J/ Teraumei Hier 3$ebruary, #8(69 are o) bac* country Ne! "ealand !ashed oer by delicate trans)ormations o) light/ or* by the t!entieth century Ne! "ealand .ainter Colin McCahon 3#4#47#489, re.resenting the ethereality o) !ind, light, and duration !as also included in the e-hibition/ here $o-2s .aintings de.ict the  .re7cinematic !orld, McCahon2s !or* is .ost7cinematic, at times re)lecting the in)luence o) cinema, comic boo*s and adertising someho! enelo.ing them !ithin a s.iritual sublime/ An o..ortunity !as lost here to e-tend the e-hibition2s brie) o) creating a metahistory o) )ilm, .hotogra.hy and .ainting/ It !ould hae been interesting to hae seen a triangulated counter.oint created bet!een $o-2s atmos.heric to.ogra.hies, ye2s dynamic internationalist cinema and the  .resentation o) abstract locality in the seminal Ne! "ealand artist Theo 0choon2s 3#4#F7#48F9 .hotogra.hy and mi-ed media art!or*s/ A .otential corres.ondence also e-isted bet!een 0choon2s !or* !ith glass and in* and im Dais2 !ith glass and .lastic as !ell as <s*ar $ishinger2s .aintings on glass and )abric/ 0choon alsoshared an interest in the !or* o) the German anthro.ologist eo $roebenius 5  3#857#4589 !hose !or* Ezra Pound had recommended to 1ollis $ram.ton/ Kn)ortunately the ineterate e-.erimentalist 0choon, !ho )ound a !ay o) reconciling modernisn !ith tradition, !as not included in this e-hibition/An ins.iring )igure, Theo 0choon has been consistently oerloo*ed since the #46's, designated no more than outsider status in Ne! "ealand art/ These oersights resulted in 0choon not being accorded his due as a *ey .layer in seeral areas o) anti.odean creatie li)e/ Though I doubt that his .resent e-clusion !as deliberate, rather a sym.tomatic continuance o) the earlier neglect o) his achieement/ $eeling slighted by his neglect and maltreatment in Ne! "ealand, 0choon migrated to Australia in #4 and his isual genius !as lost to Ne! "ealand/ It needs recu.eration/It !ould hae also been hel.)ul to hae seen some local contem.orary )ilm artists included in this e-hibition/ There are, a)ter all, oer one hundred o) us and !e need all the hel. !e can get/ Daniel on 0turmer2s Colo(r Bars 3''89 comes to mind as a !or* that isually .uns on relationshi.s bet!een  .ainting and ideo, describing the creatie moment in moement/ Coincidentally, Colo(r Bars  .lays li*e a ariation on a techni=ue, o) s.illing .aint, glue and other li=uids on cardboard, that 0choon .ioneered in his mi-ed media art!or*s o) the #46's/The .ossibility o) another im.ortant relationshi. !as lost there/$or me, the most notable omission )rom Cinema and Painting !as that o) 0tan Bra*hage/ $rom the in)luence o) <s*ar $ischinger and im Dais on the young Bra*hage to his )ormatie in)luence on and sometimes collaboration !ith Phil 0olomon, Bra*hage2s .resence stal*ed the e-hibition/ A !or* such as $he    "ante )(artet 3#489 could hae e-tended the dialogue around the durational nature o) cinema/ Bra*hage2s $he "ante )(artet, is an eight minute long silent )ilm made by the artist .ainting directly onto the sur)ace o) the )ilm/ A !or* in )our .arts it de.icts a descent into hell and .urgation/ hen .roected through a moing image machine this cinematic .ainting un)olds oer time, reealing the moement o) consciousness and isionary e-.erience !ith )ar greater ibrancy than still .hotogra.hic or .aintings are able to do/ This ty.e o) !or*, )urthermore, re.resents the most .er)ect realization o) the Abstract E-.ressionist ethos in any art )orm/ At best an Abstract E-.ressionist  .ainting records a .rolonged and engaged creatiity as a still image/ It documents a com.leted act/ In direct )ilmma*ing, ho!eer, an act or thought, un)olds oer time, subectiely as .er)ormatie act in !hich the heightened  .erce.tion and energy o) creatiity and ision is realized in time/ It is li*e  being there, inside the head o) the creator/ A similar claim could be made )or en ye2s  Free Radicals 3#4F89 in !hich an elemental line .er)orms thedance o) creatiity/ An echo o) Bra*hage also came to light in Matt Dais2 (  digital .roection Cent(r& Rolls 3'#9/ The )rame o) re)erence could hae been )urther e-tended by the inclusion o) Canadian .ainter, .hotogra.her and )ilm artist ac* Chambers and the hy.er7real .o. sensibility o) Australian intermedia artist Phili. Bro.hy/ A nod in the direction o) ames Turrell may also hae hel.ed e-tend our )rames o) cinema and .ainting/ith the e-ce.tion o) 0olomon2s  American Falls the   installed moing images did not o))er the durational and indiidualized ie!ing e-.erience o) cinema/ Conentions o) moing image installation !or* sere to re)igure the ie!ing e-.erience as a s.atial and social eent/ 1ere, a ne! relationshi. is .osited bet!een the ie!er and the cinematic e-.erience in !or* that is o)ten more .hotogra.hic than cinematic/ oo.ed se=uences, o)ten based around a single idea and image, re.lace the montage or relationshi.s bet!een images o) cinema/ The ie!er .auses ust long enough be)ore the installation to get an idea o) it/ This is =uite di))erent )rom the concentrated ie!ing e-.erience o) cinema/ Knli*e a cinema, an art gallery is a .lace one can easily !al* in or out o), een !al* around in/ Nor is it necessary to arrie at the beginning or leae at the end/ As +raus noted o) installed moing images,:$ilm becomes less an autonomous act 7 a thing hurled into the culture % and more li*e an arti)act, a branded .roduct, to be ie!ed through the career o) the artist/ 5 ;  <n eel <ne o) the gallery !ere series o) dra!ings by Anthony McCall/ 1is  #ight Ho(se A Proposal For Silo ! 3'#59 to turn a disused grain silo on Auc*land2s !ater)ront into a camera obscura by day and a lighthouse by night/ The lighthouse !ould .roduce a beam o) light to s!ee. across the harbor eery hour on the hour, eery night/ In the course o) ( hours or 56F days the installation !ould, by day and night,  .roduce in)inite luminous .ossibilities in arieties o) light intensity and colour tem.erature/$urther along and around the corner in an adacent gallery the sun also crossed the s*y in <s*ar $ischinger2s Waling From *(nich to Berlin  30ilent, B&, 5 minutes, #49/ 0truggling to adust to the rhythms o) $ischinger2s St(d& +o. ! 3B&, sound, /5 minutes, #45'75#9 I subtly shi)ted my body .osition to allo! the shar. strobosco.ic )lashes o) Matt 0aunders2 Cent(r& Rolls 3.roected digital ideo, B& and color, silent, #'/(F minutes9 to .lay into the .eri.heral ision o) my le)t eye/ This 5  Chris +raus/ Indelible @ideo/ <./cit/, .## F
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