THE WORLD THROUGH HER EYES: SHORT FILMS BY LYNNE SACHS
Saturday, February 17 at 8 PM
Doors 7:30; $5 admission.
Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together poetry, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with each and every new project. Join us for a very special screening of luminous shorts spanning two decades, including a sneak peek at Sachs’ latest, Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor, celebrating the creativity and tenacity of three of experimental film’s greatest visionaries. FILMMAKER IN ATTENDANCE!
A year’s worth of to-do lists confronts the unavoidable numbers that are part and parcel of an annual visit to the doctor. The quotidian and the corporeal mingle and mix. Family commitments, errands and artistic effusions trade places with the daunting reality of sugar, cholesterol, and bone.
“Window Work” (9 min. video, 2000) A woman drinks tea, washes a window, reads the paper– simple tasks that somehow suggest a kind of quiet mystery within and beyond the image. Sometimes one hears the rhythmic, pulsing symphony of crickets in a Baltimore summer night.. Other times jangling toys dissolve into the roar of a jet overhead, or children tremble at the sound of thunder. These disparate sounds dislocate the space temporally and physically from the restrictions of reality. The small home-movie boxes within the larger screen are gestural forms of memory, clues to childhood, mnemonic devices that expand on the sense of immediacy in her “drama.” These miniature image-objects represent snippets of an even earlier media technology — film. In contrast to the real time video image, they feel fleeting, ephemeral, imprecise.
“The X Y Chromosome Project” by Lynne Sachs and Mark Street (11 min. 2007) In addition to our two daughters, we make films and performances that use the split screen to cleave the primordial and the mediated. After returning from an inspiring week long artist retreat at the Experimental Television Center, Lynne asked Mark to collaborate with her on the creation of a piece in which they would each ruminate on the other’s visual, reacting in a visceral way to what the other had hurled on the screen. Lynne would edit; Mark would edit. Back and forth and always forward. No regrets or over-thinking. In this way, the diptych structure is sometime’s a boxing match and other times a pas de deux. Newsreel footage of Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt is brushed up against hand painted film, domestic spaces, and Christmas movie trailers. Together, we move from surface to depth and back again without even feeling the bends.
“Same Stream Twice” (4 min. 16mm b & w and color on DVD, 2012) My daughterʼs name is Maya. Iʼve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy. In 2001, I photographed her at six years old, spinning like a top around me. Even then, I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek. Eleven years later, I pull out my 16mm Bolex camera once again and she allows me to film her – different but somehow the same. Directorʼs Choice Award – Black Maria Film Festival 2013
“Drift and Bough” (Super 8mm on Digital, B&W, 6 min., 2014) Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper. The stark black lines of the trees against the whiteness create the sensation of a painterʼs chiaroscuro. Woven into this cinematic landscape, we hear sound artist Stephen Vitielloʼs delicate yet soaring musical track which seems to wind its way across the frozen ground, up the tree trunks to the sky.
“Starfish Aorta Colossus” (4 1/2 min., 2015) Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the celebration of nouns illuminate twenty-five years of rediscovered film journeys. NYC poet Paolo Javier invited Lynne to create a film that would speak to one of his poems from his newly published book Court of the Dragon (Nightboat Books). Sachs chose Stanza 10 from Javier’s poem “Starfish Aorta Colossus”. Lynne traveled through 25 years of unsplit Regular 8 mm film that she had shot — including footage of the A.I.D.S. Quilt from the late 1980s, a drive from Florida to San Francisco, and a journey into a very untouristic part of Puerto Rico. Throughout the process, Lynne celebrates the haunting resonances of Javier’s poetry.
“And Then We Marched” (4 min. 2017) Lynne shoots Super 8mm film of the Jan. 21 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and intercuts this recent footage with archival material of early 20thCentury Suffragists marching for the right to vote, 1960s antiwar activists and 1970s advocates for the Equal Rights Amendment.
“Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor” (Super 8mm and 16mm film transferred to digital, 9 min, 2018)
From 2015 to 2017, Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark. SNEAK PREVIEW! Premiere: Museum of Modern Art, Feb. 2018.