presented in association with EXiS 2017
With its precarious positioning at the tectonic edge of the U.S., the San Francisco Bay Area has long been home to dreamers, artists, activists and lifestyle experimenters. With a media history tracing back to the photographic experiments of Muybridge, the region boasts an incredibly vibrant film/video history, one which takes many forking paths and which parallels the rich countercultural currents of the region and which is impossible to summarize in a single short program. Suspended Belief—presented as a microscopic intro to films of the region—is a selection of contemporary films and historic antecedents which reflect not only strong engagements with the northern coastal American landscape. Opening with Bruce Baillie’s 1966 classic All My Life, the films on this program also reflect direct physical engagement with the tools of cinematic expression and turn toward intimacy and introspection as temporary anti-linguistic explorations as temporary tonic to troubled times. Also screening: Will Hindle’s Billabong (1966), an impressionistic view of a Oregon boy’s camp; Gunvor Nelson’s luminous animated collage, Field Study #2 (1988); Ken Paul Rosenthal’s 1996 work Spring Flavor, a study in hand-processing, re-photography and natural dyes, filmed in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. More recent films include Karly Stark’s luxuriously intimate cinematic love letter I Am Delighted By Your Alchemy, Turning Everything in My Kingdom to Gold (2014); J.M. Martinéz’ crystalline forest view Cyclical Refractions (2016); Malic Amalya’s Roadsides & Waste Grounds, in which human forms and insects merge with ephemeral landscape and Vanessa O’Neill’s two-projector view of the sea, Suspension (2012). NOT TO BE MISSED: screening also includes Nathaniel Dorsky’s 17 Reasons Why (1987), a tour-de-force in “unslit” 8mm camerawork and an overwhelming activation of projection screen as energy field.
Pictured above: Ken Paul Rosenthal: Spring Flavor (1996)