Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

belated description of Gehr's latest

Expand Messages
  • Andy Rector
    On March 15th several recent works by Gehr were shown at the RedCat theater in Los Angeles. I apologize up front for the scrapiness of my notes. The Collector:
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 13, 2004
      On March 15th several recent works by Gehr were shown at the RedCat
      theater in Los Angeles. I apologize up front for the scrapiness of my
      notes.

      The Collector:
      old photographs, shot with a digital camera, edited with differing,
      but not shocking, rhythms. The time period and location of the
      photographs is not clear, one guesses they're early 20th century. The
      compositions and situations of the photographs vary: sometimes street
      scenes, sometimes decentered tourist-like shots, sometimes portraits,
      sometimes blurred accidental close ups, sometimes mundane corners,
      mostly outdoor shots. A clear theme or narrative is avoided. Silent,
      then about a quarter of the way through, only the sound of a train is
      heard for the remainder, making, it seems, one stop and then
      continuing. There is a poiniance to it, though it lacks nostalgia. It
      is half remembered as sentimental, however. The other half, a study of
      space detached from theme, order. The period and the train sounds do
      bring longing into the picture, that is, if one indulges in the
      cliches of the period. It is not a work meant to dispell anything. It
      is honest work. The collector is Gehr, photographs collected from
      photo fairs. I'm not sure of the date of the video, possibly 2003.

      Passage:
      I'm not sure of the date on this 16mm film either, though I scrawled
      2003. Gehr explained however that the footage was shot at a friends
      urging in 1999, I believe, in Berlin, the former East Berlin, upon his
      overwhelming personal reaction to the place . Intercut left to right,
      right to left tracking shots from an elevated train looking down onto
      a small street, over buildings, back and forth, again with only train
      sounds. There is a brief static shot of the rainy street amongst all
      the velocity of the opposing directions of the tracking shots. Another
      static shot, somewhat like a reverse shot, of the train quickly
      passing from a stop, staccato squares with the light behind the
      windows. A certain dynamism of old all about the film. There is
      memory, shots are repeated. A cornering, not quite a wash.

      Glider:
      A glide over distorted, refracted images of the sea, the shore, and
      the hills and establishments around it, soaring above in a birds eye
      view.

      A Lucretian film. It begins with the water which looks at the same
      time like a puddle and an ocean. Then a wider shot soaring over the
      beach, and a costal highway with tiny cars seen. It all looks like a
      model set-- an effect partly due to the stringy, uneven glide. In
      movement it's like Mephisto and Faust's cloak-ride over the model of a
      European landscape in Murnau's Faust, only it's real! Because of the
      warped refraction of the image, the ocean seems to lap over onto
      itself like never before seen, an omnidirectional flow. At one point
      in the glide the camera seems to clasp to the top/side of a building
      and track perfectly parallel with it, looking down towards the ground.
      An edge of the world type of image later when it unclasps moving out
      over the shore, upside down, to the side, out in the middle of the
      ocean... a giant wave... the horizon... a mixed up whirlpool, all at
      the same time. I don't want to reveal how Ernie achieved this
      refraction, so that anyone reading this can be as fascinated as I was,
      Ernie explaining his achievment AFTER the screening.

      Throughout one knows this is truely taped, a true phenomena, i.e. not
      electronically manipulated (aside from the device for capturing the
      light), not programmed...in fact IMPOSSIBLE TO PROGRAM. Were it not
      true, it would be reprehensible. Why? Truely videotaped, even the
      refracted bent light of a landscape is still light, infinately more
      various, beyond anything someone could possibly program or modulate. A
      phenomenal video, perhaps the first phenomenal digital video. To
      paraphrase Berenice Reynaud: if the ocean is there and Ernie Gehr is
      not there to film it, does a wave crash?


      Yours,
      andy
    • programming
      Andy, Did he show The Morse Code Operator (or The Monkey Wrench), which was listed on the Redcat website, or was Glider substituted for that? Patrick Friel
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 13, 2004
        Andy,

        Did he show "The Morse Code Operator (or The Monkey Wrench)," which was
        listed on the Redcat website, or was "Glider" substituted for that?

        Patrick Friel


        On 4/13/04 5:32 PM, "Andy Rector" <kinoslang@...> wrote:

        > On March 15th several recent works by Gehr were shown at the RedCat
        > theater in Los Angeles. I apologize up front for the scrapiness of my
        > notes.
        >
        > The Collector:
        > old photographs, shot with a digital camera, edited with differing,
        > but not shocking, rhythms. The time period and location of the
        > photographs is not clear, one guesses they're early 20th century. The
        > compositions and situations of the photographs vary: sometimes street
        > scenes, sometimes decentered tourist-like shots, sometimes portraits,
        > sometimes blurred accidental close ups, sometimes mundane corners,
        > mostly outdoor shots. A clear theme or narrative is avoided. Silent,
        > then about a quarter of the way through, only the sound of a train is
        > heard for the remainder, making, it seems, one stop and then
        > continuing. There is a poiniance to it, though it lacks nostalgia. It
        > is half remembered as sentimental, however. The other half, a study of
        > space detached from theme, order. The period and the train sounds do
        > bring longing into the picture, that is, if one indulges in the
        > cliches of the period. It is not a work meant to dispell anything. It
        > is honest work. The collector is Gehr, photographs collected from
        > photo fairs. I'm not sure of the date of the video, possibly 2003.
        >
        > Passage:
        > I'm not sure of the date on this 16mm film either, though I scrawled
        > 2003. Gehr explained however that the footage was shot at a friends
        > urging in 1999, I believe, in Berlin, the former East Berlin, upon his
        > overwhelming personal reaction to the place . Intercut left to right,
        > right to left tracking shots from an elevated train looking down onto
        > a small street, over buildings, back and forth, again with only train
        > sounds. There is a brief static shot of the rainy street amongst all
        > the velocity of the opposing directions of the tracking shots. Another
        > static shot, somewhat like a reverse shot, of the train quickly
        > passing from a stop, staccato squares with the light behind the
        > windows. A certain dynamism of old all about the film. There is
        > memory, shots are repeated. A cornering, not quite a wash.
        >
        > Glider:
        > A glide over distorted, refracted images of the sea, the shore, and
        > the hills and establishments around it, soaring above in a birds eye
        > view.
        >
        > A Lucretian film. It begins with the water which looks at the same
        > time like a puddle and an ocean. Then a wider shot soaring over the
        > beach, and a costal highway with tiny cars seen. It all looks like a
        > model set-- an effect partly due to the stringy, uneven glide. In
        > movement it's like Mephisto and Faust's cloak-ride over the model of a
        > European landscape in Murnau's Faust, only it's real! Because of the
        > warped refraction of the image, the ocean seems to lap over onto
        > itself like never before seen, an omnidirectional flow. At one point
        > in the glide the camera seems to clasp to the top/side of a building
        > and track perfectly parallel with it, looking down towards the ground.
        > An edge of the world type of image later when it unclasps moving out
        > over the shore, upside down, to the side, out in the middle of the
        > ocean... a giant wave... the horizon... a mixed up whirlpool, all at
        > the same time. I don't want to reveal how Ernie achieved this
        > refraction, so that anyone reading this can be as fascinated as I was,
        > Ernie explaining his achievment AFTER the screening.
        >
        > Throughout one knows this is truely taped, a true phenomena, i.e. not
        > electronically manipulated (aside from the device for capturing the
        > light), not programmed...in fact IMPOSSIBLE TO PROGRAM. Were it not
        > true, it would be reprehensible. Why? Truely videotaped, even the
        > refracted bent light of a landscape is still light, infinately more
        > various, beyond anything someone could possibly program or modulate. A
        > phenomenal video, perhaps the first phenomenal digital video. To
        > paraphrase Berenice Reynaud: if the ocean is there and Ernie Gehr is
        > not there to film it, does a wave crash?
        >
        >
        > Yours,
        > andy
        >
      • Andy Rector
        Unfortunately MORSE CODE OPERATOR wasn t shown, and I m not sure why. I think Ernie said there was something wrong with the tape. I forgot to mention, Ernie s
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 13, 2004
          Unfortunately MORSE CODE OPERATOR wasn't shown, and I'm not sure why.
          I think Ernie said there was something wrong with the tape.

          I forgot to mention, Ernie's Rear Window was shown. A beautiful
          continuation of the the "ghost image" that Farber spoke of over 30
          years ago. It is a moulding of light, sometimes like maskings,
          diagnols, bursts of color, warm and cold light, prism-like blurs (Gehr
          filmed with and without the lens on), sudden blueish clarity of
          clothes on clotheslines, wind. Silent. 16mm.

          Best,
          andy
        Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.