Cinema Visitors Series
At Binghamton UniversityLECTURE HALL 6 AT 7:30 (Unless otherwise noted)
All Shows are free and open to The Public
Series Sponsored by Cinema Department and Harpur College Dean's Speakers Series.
Renowned media artist Scott Stark will present a program of 16mm films and video work including such diverse topics as 1994's I'll Walk With God, which charts a flight attendant's "stoic transcendence through and beyond worldly adversity"; and More Than Meets the Eye: Remaking Jane Fonda (2006), a remake of one of Fonda's mega-‐selling exercise videos from the 1980s, featuring Stark himself as her stand-‐in.
Stark has always been interested in aggressively pushing his work beyond the threshold of traditional viewing expectations, challenging the audience to question its relationship to the cinematic process; yet he also tries to build into the work elements of humor and incongruity that allow the viewer an entryway into the work while maintaining a critical distance. Both a passionate purist and a cynical skeptic, he likes to emphasize the physicality of film while cross-‐referencing it to the world outside the theater, attempting to lay bare the paradoxes of modern culture and the magical nature of the perceptual experience.
Scott Stark has made over 65 films and videos since the early 1980s, and has created numerous installations, performances and photo-‐collages as well. Originally from the Midwest, his work has shown at festivals and galleries nationally and internationally in venues as diverse as New York's Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Cinematheque, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Tokyo Image Forum, and many others. He has earned numerous awards and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He is the webmaster for Flicker (www.hi-‐beam.net), the web resource for experimental film and video.
To Love or To Die 2003 DV color sound 5
Corporate Accounting 1982 16mm b&w sound 7
Hotel Cartograph 1982 16mm color sound 11
I'll Walk with God 1994 16mm color sound 8
NOEMA 1998 16mm color sound 10
Shape Shift (excerpt) 2004 DV color sound 2
More than Meets the Eye: Remaking Jane Fonda 2006 DV color sound 20
Speechless 2008 16mm color sound 13 BLOOM 2012 DV color sound 11
An art museum,.. is designated as a place apart from the zones of ordinary existence. We enter to gaze upon beautiful artifacts at a safe distance, standing at the boundary between tedium and rapture. But really, and fortunately, a museum is no different from anywhere else, since beauty and meaning are everywhere, provided we know how to look. "Museum Hours," Jem Cohen's quietly amazing, sneakily sublime new film, is partly a reflection on such aesthetic puzzles. Shot on high-‐definition digital video and super-‐16-‐millimeter film in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the film lingers over great paintings by Rembrandt, Bruegel and other European masters, inviting us to contemplate the complex, half-‐obscured tales they might tell. In one scene, an art historian (Ela Piplits) tries to initiate a crowd of skeptical tourists into the mysteries of Bruegel's "Conversion of St. Paul" (1567), and Mr. Cohen's camera supports her arguments by finding details in the picture that might be easy to overlook.
The museum is also the setting for a contemporary story of cross-‐cultural friendship. Johann (Bobby Sommer), an Austrian man in his 60s who once worked as a road manager for hard-‐rock bands, now makes his living as a security guard at the museum. A tolerant, philosophical fellow, he muses (in voice-‐ over narration) on both the artworks and the tourists and schoolchildren who shuffle past them, finding the spectacle of spectatorship endlessly interesting.
In the course of his duties, Johann meets Anne (Mary Margaret O'Hara), a Canadian woman who has come to Vienna to sit at the bedside of a cousin who is in a coma at a local hospital. Johann serves as Anne's interpreter and advocate in her dealings with the medical authorities, and also becomes her impromptu tour guide. Together they visit some of Vienna's famous sites and also some of its workaday cafes and bars. They drink beer, talk about their lives and develop a connection that, while apparently not sexual (Johann is gay), is nonetheless deeply romantic.
Mr. Cohen, a New York filmmaker and video artist with an eye for rough urban landscapes and eccentric artistic characters, is a patient observer and a cunning, subtle storyteller. "Museum Hours" seems to wander and ruminate, collecting stray moments and fleeting impressions that gradually — and perhaps only in retrospect — snap together to reveal an intriguing pattern of emotion and significance. Watching the film is not really like looking at a painting, but the way the art historian looks at Bruegel has something in common with the way Mr. Cohen instructs us to pay attention to the world..." -‐-‐ A. O. SCOTT New York Times, NYT Critics Pick
Speaking of Onion Film Festival Program: "Among the highlights are Madison Brookshire's delicate and stunning 74-minute color field film COLOR SERIES, which was made entirely without a camera and transfixes the viewer with its slowly changing range of hues on-screen." Linda Matlow, Chicago 724, June 19, 2011
"A series of 6 films that form one work. Each film fades between colors. They are made without a camera, using only the lights of the printing process at the lab. The fades are slow enough that they engage the viewer in a dialogue about the border between the work and his or her own perception of it. The subject of the work is duration and color is the medium through which we experience it. The converse is also true: the subject is color and duration is the medium. The effect is a direct experience of time and vision." (Migrating Forms festival)
Madison Brookshire is a Los Angeles-‐based artist and filmmaker. He frequently collaborates with musicians and composers, such as Tashi Wada and Mark So. He has screened his work at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Migrating Forms, Los Angeles Filmforum, REDCAT, and the Hammer Museum. He has also had solo exhibitions at Parker Jones in Culver City and Presents Gallery in Brooklyn as well as performances at the wulf., The Lab, Betalevel and Artists' Television Access. A high honor graduate and later faculty of the Binghamton University Cinema Department, Madison earned his MFA from the film Program at Cal Arts.
Market Street (2005, 5 min., 16mm, silent, US), Clear Blue Sky (2006, 4 min., Mini DV Sound), Tokyo – Ebisu (2010, 5 min., 16mm, sound, Japan), 45 7 Broadway (2013, 5 min., 16mm, sound, US), Building 945 (2007, 3 min. documentation, mixed media, sound, US), Shake 'n Bake - work in progress (2006, 3 min. 16mm, sound, US) among others.
The films of Japanese filmmaker, curator, (and Binghamton cinema faculty) Tomonari Nishikawa are dazzling symphonies of the everyday. Working in formats ranging from Super 8mm to 35mm still photographic film, Nishikawa constructs his films through precise single-frame shooting, elaborate masking, superimposition, and in-camera editing. He transforms the elements of urban life--skyscrapers, traffic, as well as the organic flora of city boulevards and parks--into ecstatic multi-layered abstractions of light, movement, and space. -- Amy Beste , Conversations At the Edge, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Tomonari Nishikawa works in both single-channel and installation formats, using 35mm, 16mm, and Super-8mm film to search for the organic patterns and apparent shapes and movements in everyday life. His films have screened at major film festivals worldwide, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, and Berlinale. His film, MARKET STREET, which was commissioned by Exploratorium and screened in the Portland International Film Festival, won the Film Award as the EXiS: Experimental Film & Video Festival in Seoul. As a curator, he works for Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions in Tokyo. He holds an MFA in Film from San Francisco Art Institute. (NW Film Center)
In five silent "sketch" films, introduced by San Francisco morning's newspaper and its d ate, Japanese filmmaker Tomonari Nishikawa assembles single-frame constructions of cityscapes, of walks down streets, which take on their own quietly spastic frenzy even while evoking other things, such as the many-eyed camera of a Google Street View street car gone into a drunken, propulsive swoon. Lines, circles, numbers, windows, doorways, oval windows and buildings that persist only as angled precipice. Fragmentary glimpses are patterned to create an illusion of persistence of vision, but they are shards upon shards. Weirdly, the effect is both limpid and soothing... In the mini-DV "Clear Blue Sky," ordinary traffic sounds of a warm day rise up against images slightly out-of-focus, or reflected across metal, like a funhouse mirror fashioned from macular degeneration. (Ray Pride)
Smith, whose background in sculpture permeates her work in time-based mediums, will premiere Toyota Carova Equus Ocracoke, a spoken word film adapted from a pivotal text she wrote in 2010. The piece chronicles a young sculptor's attempt to wrestle inspiration from the primordial and mysterious terrain of North Carolina's storm-wracked Outer Banks. As the narrator reflects on the inner and outer landscapes she experiences, she comes closer to a conclusion that presence, rather than images, is what is necessary for an artwork to have the vitality she seeks.
The program will also include non-narrative works developed in the artist's native Florida and a demonstration of the ways in which Smith, who has been hard of hearing throughout her life, likens sound to sculptural forms through her work in film and performance.
Jennifer Lauren Smith is a sculptor and filmmaker whose work is often inspired by the landscape. She was born in Portland, ME in 1979 and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. She attended Reed College in Portland, OR, completing her BA thesis in 2002 on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology and the early work of Robert Morris. She has been the recipient of the Vikki Katen Memorial Scholarship, Toby Devan Lewis Award, a Wynn Newhouse Grant, and most recently, a John Ringling Towers Award. She has shown her work in galleries in Richmond, Miami, Portland, New York, and Berlin and her films in festivals in both the US and abroad. She recently participated in residencies at Seven Below Arts Initiative, ArtFarm Nebraska, and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and will soon participate in a retreat at the Hermitage in Englewood, FL.
In my recent work, I have focused on ruminations, literary research, and physical experiences within landscapes chosen for their histories or idiosyncrasies. While my projects each differ in conception, most begin with the simple desire to visualize and dramatically stage sound in otherwise empty, language-less terrain. The sensibilities I've developed through partial audition (I've been nearly deaf, but not quite, since childhood) allow me to pair landscapes and sound in unconventional ways: imagined sound supplies the impetus to orchestrate unexpected elements, actions and dramas within the visual work. I work primarily outdoors and in natural light with minimal gear. This documentary-like portability allows me to seize unexpected moments and elements of chance that occur within carefully staged shooting periods.
These artists’ screenings are co-sponsored by Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series.
Last Updated: 10/22/13