Black and Light (Pierre Rovère, 1974)

Black and Light (Pierre Rovère, 1974)

French Experimental and Artist’s Film of the 1970s
June 3, 7pm
$8/ $6 (members)

Curated by Enrico Camporesi
Organized Millennium Film Workshop

The panorama of French experimental and artist’s film still remains largely unexplored. The following program, built upon films from the Light Cone collection and drawing on the theme of perception, seeks to explore a variety of practices, thus providing a synthetic view of the production from the 1970s.


Wishful Thinking – General Picture Episode 3 (David Wharry, 1978)
16 mm / bw / op sound / 4′ 15

Wishful Thinking plays with humour on the phenomenon of projection. A film without any image, consisting of black and transparent leader, is accompanied by a voice over giving instructions to the audience. The screening is no longer a way of experiencing moving images, but a blank surface to project onto each viewer’s personal film.

Rythmes 76 (Jean-Michel Bouhours, 1977)
16 mm / col / sil / 18′ 00

Sixteen elements of the same object (a façade of a building, and 15 paintings based on it) are displayed on the filmstrip, following a structure that recalls the musical compositions of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Bouhours (filmmaker, theorist, and former film curator at Centre Pompidou) here tries to push to the limit the spectator’s experience, testing at the same time the filmic apparatus and the human perceptual one.

Face (Jean-Pierre Bertrand, 1971)
16 mm / b&w / sil / 10′ 00

Jean-Pierre Bertrand is one of the most mysterious figures in French contemporary art. Trained as a cinematographer, his latter artistic practice involves a variety of media, thus breaking the boundaries between sculpture, painting, and installation art. In the 1970s he made a series of films that can be thought as an experimental sketchbook. Face, under the unconscious influence of Warhol’s screen tests, is a reflection on the stillness produced by the moving image.

Parcelle (Rose Lowder, 1979)
16 mm / col / sil / 3′ 00

Composed frame by frame in the camera, Parcelle (fragment, particle or bit) rests upon the alternate appearance and variable duration of tiny colored squares or circles placed on black backgrounds and inserted in series between plain white or colored images. Although the film, filmed frame by frame, may appear conventional on a technical level, this is not the case conceptually as it has been conceived to pin point situations requiring the sense of perception to process images in various time lengths according to the characteristics viewed, a procedure which provokes the experience of optical superimpositions on the screen.

Black and Light (Pierre Rovère, 1974)
16 mm / b&w / son / 7′ 48

A classic of abstract film of the era, Black and Light was directly produced on a computer without the involvement of any film equipment. It is not the transcription of a movement, but a succession of composite facts which the projection device translates for the eye into impression of movements. This film does not refer to any external reality, but is meant to be its own reality.

Total running time: 46′

Enrico Camporesi is a writer and curator based in Paris. He is a research fellow at Centre Pompidou and a Ph.D candidate in a joint program between the University Sorbonne Nouvelle and the University of Bologna. His current research focuses on matters of restoration and museology of experimental and artist’s film. His writings on the moving image have appeared in Necsus – European Journal of Media Studies, Fata Morgana, La Furia Umana, and in several edited volumes. He curated screenings for Centre Pompidou, Light Cone, and Cineteca di Bologna

Located at Brooklyn Fireproof Gallery #104, 119 Ingraham St, L to Morgan Ave