In 1973 a group of film students from the Harpur College Cinema Department looking to create a contemporary and fertile context for their work found The Collective for Living Cinema, an artist-run cooperative that would serve both as an exhibition venue and a center for production and discourse. Above the first program note was a miniature manifesto stating their intention to "overcome the economic, social and political burdens of an art in chains." Lasting for 19 years, The Collective came to embody the under-defined moment between the canonized generation of "the essential cinema" and the transfiguration of film as "new media" embraced by the institutional hierarchy of the art world and subject to the theoretical, critical and economic tidal forces therein. Run as a multi-disciplinary venue, The Collective continuously engaged in a recovery of the recent past, championing the marginal and positing alternative film histories. The screening room was seen as a workshop in which this culture became immersed in its own brand of cinematic delirium. Annette Michelson pointed out that The Collective "attempted to break down distinctions between industrial film and avant guard film, between films that form part of a classical canon and those which are on the margins or periphery of canonical taste." By "maintaining and constantly questioning an exploratory attitude rather than by embalming predigested classical canon", Michelson stated, The Collective emerged in the 1980's as the "liveliest" New York film venue of it's time.
This exhibition will re-examine the Collective's history and parallel it's mission within the current set of "economic, social and political chains." It has been organized as a series of individually programmed screening events at ORCHARD (April 6-8 to be held at Anthology Film Archive
), a timeline of documentation and an installation specific to the ambivalent capacity of cinema to enter the gallery through production / distribution on video.
Screenings and Event Schedule at Orchard:
Collectives of Irrepressible Cinema(s)
: Three Evenings Programmed by Three Maker/Programmers. Organized by Bradley Eros:
Thursday April 12, 8PM
Program 1: Organized by Mary Billyou & Sabine Gruffat
Interim Isles and Ur-Beings
Mary Billyou, Ours Be The Tossing
Sabine Gruffat, To the South Was
, 72. 2005
Deborah Stratman, Energy Country
Redmond Entwistle, Social Visions
Shelley Silver,Things I Forget to Tell Myself,
Bill Brown, Mountain State
Brian Frye, Observations at Gettysburg
Christina Battle: Buffalo Lifts
Friday April 13, 8PM
Program 2: Organized by Lili Chin,
1080's Upper Field Square
Voom HD Lab
Ericka Beckman, Tension Building
, 3 min, 2006
Theo Angell, Newr Blood Pinkis,
5 min, 2006
Lili Chin, May Mad Gab,
4.5 min, 2006
Pawel Wojtasik, Landfill,
5 min, 2006
Grahame Weinbren, 16 Letters,
16 min, 2006
Ali Hossaini, Unperception Now,
2 min, 2006
Angie Eng, Schpilin Aqui,
6.5 min, 2006
Leighton Pierce, My Person in the Water,
Leslie Thornton, Sahara Mojave,
13 min, 2006
Bradley Eros, Aerodynamics of the Black Sun,
6 min, 2006
Jennifer Reeves, Light Work 1,
8 min, 2006
Saturday April 14, 8PM
Program 3: Organized by Marianna Ellenberg
We are So Much Better Than This, Part II: THE PLASTIC SELF
Steve Reinke, Ask the Insects
, video, 11 min, 2006
Shana Moulton, Whispering Pines
, video, 4 min,2005
A.P. Komen/Karen Murphy, Play On
, video, 5 min, Netherlands, 2005
Oriana Fox, The Embodiment Workout
Helki Frantzen, Storm Brains
, video, 3 min, 2006
Marianna Ellenberg, Welcome to Normal
, video, 7 min, 2007
On Film Inc., The Relaxed Wife
, 16mm, 13 min,1957
Elisabeth Subrin, Swallow
, video 28 min, 1995
An informal discussion on the Collectives of Irrepressible Cinema(s)
program will follow the 4/14 screening.
Sunday April 15, 8PM
Performance by Michael Smith
Michael Smith will be presenting some early performance pieces from around the same time period as his work at The Collective for Living Cinema. Since that is so long ago he is unsure what he will do, but it will probably be at least 10 minutes and no more than 30. Be prepared to either sit on the ground or kneel, because if people stand, only five audience members will be able to see the show.
Thursday April 19, 8PM
Orchids for Orchard.
Program organized by Amy Granat
Cats, flowers,(a little touch of wild)...some sounds..almost hallways..
Pola Chapelle: How To Draw A Cat
A short film by Cinema Zero (with sound piece by Richard Aldrich)
Brian Wilson "Untitled"
Direct Art Product: Robot Movie
Performance Jutta Koether
Installation contribution by Ann Craven
Friday April 20, 8PM
: Programed by Abigail Child
Addressing political content through formalist means, utilizing a variety of strategies: structuralist, post-lyric, inventive, hybrid. The line up:
Peggy Ahwesh, 73 Suspect Words,
Fred Worden, Here
, 2005; 11m
Leslie Thorton, Let Me Count the Ways 10, 9, 8,7
, 2004; 20m
Dominic Angerame, Anaconda Targets
, 2004; 11m
Abigail Child,The Future Is Behind You,
Ken Jacobs, Krypton Is Doomed,
Saturday April 21, 8PM
James Benning and Bette Gordon:
United States of America
Anthony McCall, Claire Pajaczkowska,
Andres Tyndall and Jane Weinstock: Sigmund Freud's Dora
Sunday April 22, Gallery Hours performance with screening 8PM
Projection/Performance: Living Cinema Workshop
Project by Bill Brand.
Experimenting with live performance and a moving projector within the exhibition space, BIll Brand, Ruthie Marantz and Anya Maddow-Zimet will workshop evolving ideas of place, character and time, producing a work that will be presented as the evening's screening event.
Thursday April 26, 8PM
Birnbaum will present the original program of her works, as screened at The Collective in 1980. An experiment in "reverse engineering" of her well-known early appropriated video works to intersect with the Collective's program. By producing 16mm kinescopes of her early TV-formatted works, Birnbaum would directly affect a film-audience by taking on not only the dynamics of the cinemagraphic size, but also the difference in texture of what, during those years, were two nearly incompatible mediums. The screening will consist of the 16mm kinescope versions of Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman
, ©1978/9 and Kiss The Girls: Make Them Cry
," ©1979. In addition, (A)Drift of Politics: Laverne & Shirley
, ©1978 will be presented. This work shows a direct one-on-one comparison between video and film, by utilizing only the two-shots butt-edited, in video, from an episode of "Laverne & Shirley", screened simultaneously with a slow-motion film-version of the same images. Completing the evening's program, Birnbaum will also show rarely viewed video works produced during the same time period. Experiments with image and sound, in the pre-MTV, pre-digital, days of independents, which foreshadows the new ground between video and music, that was to come. Included are: "Remy/Grand Central: Trains and Boats and Planes,
©1980; New Music Shorts
, ©1981, and Fire/Hendrix!
Friday April 27, 8PM
Union Gaucha Productions Presents:
SPLIT IN HALVES.
2001, color, 16 mm, sound, 12 minutes
(by Union Gaucha Productions and Jeff Preiss). 2002, color, 16 mm, sound, 10 minutes
Axiom of choice.
2005, color, 16 mm, sound, 4 minutes
1999, black and white, 16 mm, sound, 6 minutes
1974-2005, color, video, 8 minutes
The Geography of Art.
1975-2006, color, video, 13 minutes
Jeff Preiss.Orchard Compass, April '07.
Saturday April 28, 8PM
FEAR OF WHITEOUT- the substance of things hoped for evaporates in the blink of an eye.
Programmed by Mark McElhatten
"The girl I left behind me is constantly before me someday she'll be beside me again" – Fats Waller
A gentle exorcism in a thimble theatre. I shudder to think...
A shoot- out on White Street leads to a gathering at the Orchard.
Proceeding from a place that was, arriving in a moment before us now destined to fall at our feet. An evening of involuntary memory with some site specific considerations, Shards of sound and image subjected to time, of known and unknown provenance. Film and video of vintage maturity mixed with the infantine and tender.
Filmmakers will include:
(A program that has metamorphosed into):
BONE ORCHARD SCRAPBOOK (living photoplays portray the aftermath).
Kalup Linzy. Lollypop.
Mark LaPore. Lunatic Princess.
Eenie Gehr. Greene Street.
Jeanne Liota. J.L. Pageant Performance with Hymnal Board.
Luther Price. Singing Biscottes.
Paolo Gioli. Animatografo.
Julie Murray. Anrthema.
Bruce McClure. 16mm Projector Performance.
Gallery installation includes:
: Marina's Playhouse. 1989, Super 8 Sound to DVD, 20 min.
: Mayhem. 1987, Featuring Lushe Sacker.
Improvised music by Christian Marklay, Charles Noyes, Zeena Parkins, and Shelley Hirsch. 16mm to Video, 20 min.
Guerilléres Talks. 1978, Super 8 Sound to video, 28 min.
Featuring: Anya Philips, Beate Nilsen, Lydia Lunch, Adele Bertei, Ikue Lle and Pat Place.
Gently Down the Stream. 1981,16mm to DVD, 14 min.
Multiple Barbie. 1998, Pixelvision, 9 min.
An Erotic Film. 1976, 3 min. / Still Life, 1975. 3 min. / Noyes, 1976. 4 min.
Bette Gordon and James Benning:
Michigan Avenue. 1974, 3 min. / i94. 1974, 3 min.
Nicolás Guagnini and Jeff Preiss:
(Sergeant Shit Serge), 2007. Photograph and DVD Loop.
Bob Fleischner / Mark Graff:
Bobby's Birthday. 1976, Video, 28 min.
Nervous Ken. 2004, DV video, 22min.
Two Wrenching Departures. 2006, 89min.,
Featuring Bob Fleischner and Jack Smith, a digital recreation of a Nervous System Performance, 1989.
Weather Diary 1. Video, 1986, 1 hour 21 min.
New Left Note, 1968-1982, Standard 8mm Silent to DVD, 26 min
Ken Ross and James Livingston:
Promo for the Collective. Super 8 sound to DVD, 22 min.
Ludlow St. Newsreel, featuring Abigail Child, Henry Hills, Peter Hutton and Fab Five Freddy / Portrait of Warren Sonbert, / Storing Industrials. Standard 8mm Silent to DVD 8 min.
Screen Tests. 1984, Super 8 Sound to DVD. 8 min.
The Leap. Shot and edited by Phil Weisman. 1987, Video, 3 min.
Slide projection documenting One Size Fits All Fashion Stunt Show. Performed at The Collective For Living Cinema.
Also on view:
ARTISTS CALL: Super 8 Against U.S. Intervention in Latin America:
Julio Benítez, Doug Hertz, Rob Scheber & Nancy Sullivan
Bette Gordon & Karyn Kay
Dan Walworth, Norman Cowie & Yanni Damianos
Hilary Kliros & Anne Manuel
Marjorie Keller & Sidney Peterson
Round table discussion: The Shared Screen: Merging Film and Video Before the Installation: Peggy Ahwesh, Bill Brand, Abigail Child, Thyrza Goodeve, Andrew Lampert, Jeff Preiss, Jason Simon, Leslie Thornton and others TBA.
Transcript available summer '07.
For information (212) 219–1061
Anthology Film Archive.
For info: http://www.anthologyfilmarchives.org/
*Yvonne Rainer's Screen Tests
Used as the first 8 minutes of "The Man Who Envied Women" (1985, 125 minutes), is a reconstruction of its original Super 8 incarnation. Made for the Collective for Living Cinema organized program in collaboration with Artists Call: Super 8 Films Against U.S. Intervention in Central America.
courtesy of Zeitgeist Films.