Sunday, April 20, 2008

Essays on Camera Work

Artists' Television Access

Tonight’s films divulge the buried undercurrents of institutional manipulation, emotional experience and the social politics imbedded within documentary images and image making. Kwame Braun’s experimental video essay, passing girl; riverside – An Essay on Camera Work, unfolds the complexities of emotion and politics entwined within a simple moment between a young girl and a man with a video camera. Memo to Pic Desk, by Chris Kennedy and Anna van der Meulen, takes an idiosyncratic look at the theatricality of vintage news photography using typewritten materials from the archives of the Toronto Daily to disclose how moral codes, delinquency, and freewill are pulled into an altered coherence. Harun Farocki’s Respite resurrects archival footage from 1941 that documents the life of inmates at the Dutch transit camp for Jews in Westerbork, Holland. Shot by an inmate of the camp at the command of an SS officer, the hidden politics of the images create a visual tension of conflicted interests. Farocki, in an ode to silent film, has inserted inter-titles with detailed descriptions of the images as well as his own ruminations on the psychologically complex footage. (Jennifer Blaylock)

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