Early Monthly Segments

#21 = 10/19/10 = Paul Sharits + Peter Gidal


Paul Sharits and Peter Gidal are the most iconoclastic of filmmakers, reducing the image to pure swathes of color, motion or grain. However their work still resonates with powerful statements on the possibilities and problems of the moving picture.

Sharits’ dynamic and monomaniacal S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED, made after the color field flicker films that he’s most famous for, moves from the atomistic patterns of those films to a vivid conceptualization of visual flow. In S:S:S:S:S:S, the dissolving images of a bubbling river are slowly obliterated by random horizontal tape splices (dams) and vertical emulsion scratches that run along the whole film. The film frame that we hold as a static reference point for vision gives way to the primacy of the constant motion of the filmstrip through the projector. “A conceptual lap dissolve from “water currents” to “film strip current” / Dedicated to my son, Christopher.” – Paul Sharits

Peter Gidal’s Volcano is a late period reassertion of the focus of much of his filmic concerns: the problem of representation, recognition and identification. Gidal uses a trip to Hawaii to further deconstruct what it means for a viewer to view. Using the natural tendency towards abstraction that the shifting of rock and lava create, Gidal asks us how we can construct coherence from the limited picture his camera provides of the scene. By reducing the visual context, he forces us to ask ourselves how we construct a sense of place out of cinematic cues.

Volcano, Peter Gidal, 2002, 16mm, UK, 25 min.
S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED, Paul Sharits, 1968-1970, 16mm, USA, 42 min.
@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday October 19, 2010 | 7:30pm screening, $5 suggested donation




Special thanks CFMDC and the Gladstone Hotel. Volcano images courtesy Peter Gidal and LUX.