Early Monthly Segments

#52 = 6/24/13 = Material Action! W + B Hein + Brakhage + Solomon

Roh Film


get me out of practice / habitual foaming / As fast as the eye can bear /
to see grain flips its / trigger melt down tender / under eyelids’ trance
– Lee Ann Brown, from Dark Writing Through Elementary Phrases
for Stan Brakhage, Phil Solomon, and Tom who drove
Chicago Review 47:4, 2001

Köln based filmmakers Wilhelm and Birgit Hein were the flashpoint of German underground film in the 1970s. They founded and ran X SCREEN in 1968, where they showed porno films three nights a week to fund their underground screenings on the weekends. With a very outward gaze, they brought filmmakers like Jack Smith, Malcom LeGrice and Kurt Kren through their local cinema and their two programming stints at Dokumenta. As the centre-point between the Viennese and English avant-gardes, their own collaborative work showcased an admixture of both—an aggressive transgressiveness and a structural materialist focus on film as object. We’re very excited to show a rare, imported copy of Rohfilm (Raw Film), their 1968 masterpiece. Collaged from fragments of autoportraiture and foraged footage and propelled by Christian Michelis’ aggressive proto-noise soundtrack, Rohfilm is a visceral and relentless manifesto on film’s pure physicality.

Elementary Phrases, the first of three collaborations between Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon, celebrates the physical in a strikingly different way. Composed of Brakhage’s unique hand-painted film frames step-printed on Solomon’s optical printer, Elementary Phrases expands on Brakhage’s cascading handmade imagery by building extended patterns and rhythms out of loops of frames. Solomon’s own photographic imagery mixes in with Brakhage’s paint strokes, creating figurative counterpoints that build on the very musical structure the two artists develop through the collaborative printing process.

Rohfilm, W + B Hein, 1968, Germany, 16mm, 22 min
Elementary Phrases, Stan Brakhage + Phil Solomon, USA, 1994, 16mm, 38 min silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday June 24, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Arsenal Berlin, CFMDC and The Gladstone Hotel.

Next up: EMS #53 = July 29 = Perceptual Intensities = Guest Programmed by Michael Zryd