Events Around the World

Daylight Test: Silent films 1977-79 Abigail Child (rare 16 mm film prints)

Special Event / United States
June 10, 2019
7:30 PM Microscope Gallery (1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B, Brooklyn, NY 11237)

Some Exterior Presence 1977 Film (16mm), 9 min, color. My first experimental film, structured on the 4 handed nature of film and electron theory: original footage —“outtakes” from a television documentary I had directed in the spring of 1975 in South Bronx and Brownsville boroughs of New York City — manipulated, then optically printed, then manipulated again. 4X4x4

“The hands are at once linear——the parallel fingers moving across the table as though measuring lengths of film—as well as rounded and expressive, almost touching by the end of the work. These two extremes are somehow mediated by the figure in the white suit who forever undergoes the ritual of entering a dark doorway with linear slats of light. He stands or moves somewhere between these two domains: the exterior linear world and the other world which it houses, where exists the presence of softness and the possibility of touch…” Linda Dackman, Cinemanews 1977

 Peripeteia I 1977, film (16mm), 10 min, color. A landscape movie, filmed while living in the Oregon coastal rain forest, fall 1976. A digressive eco-attendance contrasting the camera’s fixed sight with in-site movement. Navigation ecstatically spiraling sunwards.

Peripeteia II 1978, Film (16mm), 10 min, color. Returning to and extending from Peripeteia I, a navigation by light, again contrasting the camera’s fixed sight with “in site” movement. A sculpture of glass, mirrors and film vies with the choreography of the cardinal points: dense shelter, rain, red emulsion. Filmed in the Oregon Coastal forest, June 1977.

 Daylight Test Section  1978 Film (16mm), 4 min, color. Recurring emergence of narrative. The “loaded “image becomes the determinant feature for reading otherwise unemotional footage; a first experiment in what is an ongoing investigation. 

Pacific Far East Line 1979, Film (16mm), 12min, color.Another landscape film, in this case urban. The work constructed from materials gathered over two years looking out at downtown San Francisco from a loft on Folsom Street. The elements are "folded" and mixed, Time redefines Space: the erector and helicopter appear as toys within a schizy motor-oil-ized ballet mechanique. 

Ornamentals   1979, Film (16mm), 10 min, color. In North Indian classical singing, the approach (up or down) to the note; also the bushes with red berries that grow in Northern California. Footage gathered over many years organized along the color spectrum in a structure of expansion. The concern is abstraction, surfacing representation, increasing connotation through what repeats in time and what is seen —shocks stretched on impressions’ edge to undermine habit.  The film was crucial to my understanding of composition, to my desire for an encyclopedic construction (the world out there) and reaffirmed my allegiance to rhythm. 

Grantee: Abigail Child

Website: www.abigailchild.com