Mnemonics of Shape and Reason (2021) by Sky Hopinka
CROSSROADS 2022 — program 4
before you witnessed this entropy
Saturday, August 27, 3:15pm at Gray Area
Quietly echoing CROSSROADS program 2, the films on this program explore elemental transubstantiations: air, fire, water and stone become one. Luminous and loving, life-affirming and elegiac. Meditations on the brevity of life, and on continuity, these works embody transformation and eternity. Melodramas of nature and contemplations of immateriality braid the intimate and introspective with the expansive and macrocosmic.
Advance tickets here. $12 General/$10 Cinematheque Members and members of Gray Area.
Festival Pass here. $110 General/$90 Cinematheque Members and members of Gray Area.
COVID-19 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine is required for entry to Gray Area. The use of masks is highly encouraged.
facebook event here
SCREENING: A Perfect Storm (2022) by Karel Doing (UK); 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes. Mnemonics of Shape and Reason (2021) by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga); digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes. Lácrimas (2021) by Jeremy Moss (US); digital video, color, sound, 14 minutes. Puncture (2021) by Carleen Maur (US); digital video, color, sound, 4 minutes. Ontogeny (2022) by Janis Crystal Lipzin (US); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes. Amaryllis—a study (2020) by Jayne Parker (UK); digital video, color, sound, 7 minutes. M*U*S*H (2022) by Jodie Mack (US/UK); 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes. from time without beginning (2021) by Lorenzo Gattorna (US); digital video, color, sound, 7 minutes. Solace (2021) by Chantal Partamian (Lebanon): digital video, color, sound, 1 minute. Alone Sleeps the Water, Frozen She Awakes (2021) by Sofia Petersen (Argentina/Spain): digital video, color, silent, 5 minutes. TRT: 63 minutes
A Perfect Storm is a landscape film or, more precisely, a landscape imprinted on the film’s emulsion. The artist has used seeds, tiny composite flowers and other small elements of cultivated and wild plants. The film consists of sequences that are intricately composed and parts that are completely ‘self-organized.’ As such, plants appear not merely as inanimate objects but rather as characters who are expressive in their own right. Such otherworldliness is also reflected in a sequence of gargoyles, providing a link to the hidden animist tendencies that prevail in human culture. This primordial expressiveness is underlined by an improvised guitar solo by the inimitable Florian Magnus Maier. (Karel Doing) north american premiere
Mnemonics of Shape and Reason traverses the memory of a place and space visited by the artist. Employing an original syntax of storytelling, the artist interweaves scattered and reassembled landscapes with layers of captured audio, poetic text and music. A rhythmic account of the spiritual implications of colonial plunder, Hopinka’s fluid reflections transmute ideas of spiritual malleability tied to land, sky, sea, myth, place and personhood. bay area premiere
A melodrama of nature gazing—wavering moths, sparrows, cicadas, shadows, streams and towering trees. A dizzying and displacing garden in a lower lighting key. The plants, they shine at night. (Jeremy Moss) bay area premiere
Through the limits of language breaking visually and sonically over a burning forest, Puncture seeks to pierce through the affect and potential of its own particular moment in time. (Carleen Maur) bay area premiere
During the worst drought in decades and in the summer of the second year of the pandemic, my thirty-year-old organ pipe cactus finally bloomed. Ontogeny exposes a startling display as the cactus develops from flower to fruit, “the pink-tipped sepals peeling back millimeter by millimeter until… it retreats and shrivels, a ball gown turned to rags.” (Janis Crystal Lipzin, citing Ligaya Mishan: “The Ephemeral Beauty of Night-Blooming Flowers,” The New York Times Style Magazine Oct. 11, 2021) world premiere
A short study of the interior of amaryllis flowers, shot on 16mm film. The central pistol, the stamens and the anthers, which produce the yellow pollen, are set against the colour field of the petals. (Jayne Parker) bay area premiere
A funerary gesture. A death dance party. Vivacious grief finds interplanetary putrescence. (Jodie Mack)
Empedocles spoke of “non-generated elements” (fire, water, earth, air), “which never have a beginning or an end” and from which “all the things that were and will be, and the things that are” were born…. Rubbing dichotomies and complementarity, Lorenzo Gattorna films the elemental pillars of the world and holds them together with the elementary ones of cinema: light, dark, black and white, color, abstraction and figuration, raw film. The latter in particular is shown naked, an atom of images, pure matter, pure light, pure space. This world, filmed by filmmakers, is not very different from Empedocles’, yet it has not had enough of being represented. (Laterale Film Festival, 2021) Sound Design/Music by Trevor Welch. bay area premiere
When the Beirut explosion occurred, my first thought was that of relief that my grandmother had passed a year and some before. The best hours to sit outside among her plants and flowers were those of sunsets. How does one mourn when they are grateful for the occurrence of some deaths as salvation? How does one mourn when in separation, we spare the ones we love the end of their world? (Chantal Partamian) US premiere
As teardrops fall to snow, they freeze and break, with a sound. (Sofia Petersen) north american premiere
Karel Doing (UK) is an independent filmmaker, photographer, writer and researcher currently based in Oxford, UK. In his practice he investigates the relationship between culture and nature by means of analog and organic process, experiment and co-creation. Doing’s work has been shown internationally in the context of film festivals, museum and gallery exhibitions and live events. (Karel Doing)
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) was born and raised in Ferndale WA and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside CA, Portland OR and Milwaukee WI. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary and non fiction forms of media. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His work has screened at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, TIFF Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance and NYFF Projections.
Jeremy Moss (US) is a Pennsylvania-based filmmaker and curator from the American Southwest. His films and videos often overlap and blend a number of genres, modes and gestures including speculative nonfiction, expressionism, surrealism, diary film, dance film and emulsion-based abstraction. His work insist on fluidity, betweenness and seismic shifts in experience and perception. With a constant attention to movement—wavering bodies, moving landscapes, glimmering frames—his films sustain a sensory resistance to fixedness. Moss is the Director of the Film/Media program at Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster PA), a programmer for the Moviate Underground Film Festival (Harrisburg PA) and a co-director of new Gleaners Film Festival.
Carleen Maur (US) is an experimental filmmaker living and working in Columbia SC where she teaches at the University of South Carolina. She received her MFA in Cinematic Arts from the University of Iowa in 2017. Carleen’s work focuses on hybrid methods of both film and video that examine the intersections between gender, sexuality and camouflage.
Janis Crystal Lipzin is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Sonoma County CA whose practice embodies film, video, photo work, artist books, performances and installations wherein light and photo-chemistry collide and conspire to reveal aspects of our world deserving of more careful scrutiny. Her work blends an enduring interest in the volatility of nature and human events with a sympathy for alternative, hand-made methods that she interweaves with digital processes. She was Director of the Film/Photo Program at Antioch College before teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute for three decades. Her work has received recognition internationally for fifty years with thirty-four grants, commissions and awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and three NEA Fellowships and by more than 300 exhibitions at showcases including the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, the Tate Modern, Pacific Film Archive, the Venice Biennale, The Exploratorium and the National Gallery of Art. She has been active in critical writing and curatorial actions and founded the pioneering San Francisco micro-cinema eye music.
Jayne Parker (UK) was born in Nottingham in 1957. She studied at Mansfield College of Art, Canterbury College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. She was a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths’ College 1984–1998 and has taught at the Slade since 1989. Her work has been shown at art venues, on television and in film festivals internationally.
Jodie Mack (US/UK) is an experimental animator who received her MFA in film, video and new media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Combining the formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation with those of cinematic genres, her handmade films use collage to explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling, the tension between form and meaning. Musical documentary or stroboscopic archive: her films study domestic and recycled materials to illuminate the elements shared between fine-art abstraction and mass-produced graphic design. The works unleash the kinetic energy of overlooked and wasted objects and question the role of decoration in daily life.
Lorenzo Gattorna (US) is an experimental filmmaker from New York. He holds a BFA from NYU and an MFA from UIC. He is totally in tune with moving images that embrace revisionist and remodernist perspectives. His short films have screened at festivals including Experimental Film East Anglia, Moviate, Fisura, Sphere, Blue Danube, Harkat 16mm, Analogica, International Portrait, Istanbul International Experimental, Cámara Lúcida, Antimatter, DOBRA, Laterale, Bogotá Experimental, Marienbad and Obskura. He has programmed screenings for Anthology Film Archives, Antimatter, Maysles Cinema, Sight Unseen, The Nightingale and UnionDocs. Currently, he is a film/video technician and visiting instructor at Pratt Institute.
Chantal Partamian (Lebanon): Experimental and documentary filmmaker, originally from Beirut, from a Lebanese-Armenian family. They currently live and work in Quebec. Through their work, celluloid, memory, obsolescence and political imaginaries merge to reflect on erasure, denial, repetition and blur. Partamian’s work consists of experimental short films and documentaries through which they explore themes of justice, migration, identity, gender and conflict. They mainly work on Super-8mm and with found footage. In April 2020, Partamian launched an online project of temporal assemblages in an Instagram profile inspired by Vinegar Syndrome: @katsakh.
Sofia Petersen (Argentina/Spain) studied at the Universidad del Cine de Buenos Aires and subsequently at Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (Spain), where she developed her first feature. Her work has participated in several international film festivals and is part of Animitas film collective.