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R34

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by Jack Chambers
U.S.A. / 26:00 / 1967
sound / colour

"Begun with a softly focused series of close-ups, London artist Greg Curnoe is unfurled in an impressionistic hue that gives way to a cataloguing of his Schwitters-like collages. Chambers proceeds with a strict attention to rhythm, chaining together recycled fragments in a round dance that swings in and out of closing doors, image winking out of darkness, the products of Curnoe’s labour intertwined with his own cooking, combing, taking out the garbage. His montage is not merely content to show an artist at work, but actively mimes the very work it is witness to.

“A fragmentary confessional ensues, broken lines attempting to smooth the way of history, even as his speech is subject to an abrupt and interruptive editing. Additional sound is provided by the Nihilist Spasm Band, a jazz/free noise ensemble that included Curnoe, Michael Snow and other London artists. Dissonantly enlightening, they add an industrial flavour to a film resolutely set within the workplace - Curnoe’s Studio. ‘R34’ ends in a gesture typical of Chambers, with an extended portrait sequence of Curnoe and his child. Both created and creator, the child is suspended between the re-ordered fragments of popular culture that is the stuff Curnoe’s artmaking, and a future that will take these same fragments and apply them to its own ends.” - Mike Hoolboom

Exhibition Formats

  • 16mm

Category

  • art and artists
  • film studies

Genre

  • experimental
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