Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Leslie Thornton: Tuned Always to a Shifting Ground

Program 2: The Arts of Melancholy

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Sensing, facing, absorbing the dark side—it runs through all of my work. Melancholy—it produces a kind of poetic realism that I think is ultimately about beauty and knowledge. It touches at times on the political, but never through direct address. The tone is there, starting with my first film, X-TRACTS (1975), in the sound of a voice. It is present in the more recent serial Let Me Count the Ways, as it examines personal, cultural, and historical fallout surrounding the bombing of Hiroshima. She Had Her So He Do He To Her (1987) looks at censorship through science fictional and tired eyes. Another Worldy (1999) is both celebratory of dance, and at the same time telling of the erasures each culture produces to maintain its own coherence. It is in the interstices of language; that is where all of my work resides—in the betweens. Also screening: …or lost (1997), part of the in-progress The Great Invisible, and The Last Time I Saw Ron (1994), a portrait of actor and close friend Ron Vawter.” (Leslie Thornton)