. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

March 21 – Wavelengths: in the blink of an eye

Posted by | Raven Munsell | Posted on | March 17, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 6 p.m. | Curator Andréa Picard in person!

Still from View From the Acropolis (Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, 2012). Courtesy of the artists and Motive Gallery.

Still from View From the Acropolis (Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, 2012). Courtesy of the artists and Motive Gallery.

Named for but also infinitely inspired by Michael Snow’s 1967 masterpiece, Wavelength, the Toronto International Film Festival’s avant-garde program presents films and videos that defy convention, suggest alternate ways of thinking, and sometimes re-emerge from a distant past in order to comment on the present. Curated by Andréa Picard, who has curated Wavelengths since 2006, this program is a Wavelengths compendium featuring a number of works from the 2012 line-up (including Nathaniel Dorsky’s August and After, Ernie Gehr’s Auto-Collider XV and Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan’s View from the Acropolis which were all cited in the New York Times’ best films of the year wrap-up and screen as Chicago premieres) and highlights from previous editions, including a 35mm restored print from La Cinémathèque française of Henri Storck’s too-rarely seen 1929 Surrealist gem, Pour vos beaux yeux. Blinking is not encouraged!

ANDRÉA PICARD (b. 1977, Toronto, Canada) is a film curator and writer based in Toronto and Paris. For twelve years she was a member of the programming department at TIFF Cinematheque (née Cinematheque Ontario) and has been curating Wavelengths, the Toronto International Film Festival’s celebrated avant-garde series, since 2006. She also writes the “Film/Art” column for Cinema Scope magazine.


349 (for Sol Lewitt), Chris Kennedy 
(2011, Canada, Video, Color, Silent, 1 min.)
349 (for Sol Lewitt) is a digitally animated version of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #349. A recreation of LeWitt’s geometric vocabulary and primary colour palette, 349 careens through emblazoned emblems, lifted from walls and transported into dialogue with the legendary artist’s lifelong exploration of spatial systems and human emotion. (Andréa Picard)

Pour vos beaux yeux, Henri Storck
(1929, Belgium, 35mm archival print, B&W, Silent, 8 mins.)
Long thought lost, Henri Storck’s scarcely seen 1929 Surrealist gem, Pour vos beaux yeux (made in collaboration with painter Félix Labisse) uses playful optical tricks in its tale of a young dandy who tries to send a glass eye through the post, to no avail. Shown here in a 35mm restored print courtesy of La Cinémathèque Française.(Andréa Picard)

Class Picture, Tito and Tito
(2011, Phillippines, 35mm, Color, Sound, 5 mins.)
Filipino artist collective and “photography film” aficionados Tito & Tito convert a single 16mm colour strip into washed-out 35mm; the sea, like history, swallows but also spawns.(Andréa Picard)

Garden/ing,  Eriko Sonoda
(2007, Japan, Video, B&W, Sound, 6 mins.)
Shot frame-by-frame and eschewing all digital effects, Garden/ing is a trompe l’oeil hall of mirrors that meticulously stymies a view from a window with enlarged photographs of its very vista. (Andréa Picard)

Slave Ship, T. Marie
(2010, USA, Video, Color, Silent, 7 mins.)
The apocalyptic sublime of J. M.W. Turner’s 1840 masterpiece The Slave Ship, with its fiery conflagration and strewn debris amid wild waters, is the source for T. Marie’s time-based pixel painting-film: a languorous, searing abstraction with a hot, translucent palette updates the classic scene in reference to today’s skewed social hierarchy and the sale of human life. (Andréa Picard)

Capitalism: SlaveryKen Jacobs
(2007, USA, Video, Sepia, Silent, 3 mins.)
Transforming nineteenth century stereographic images of cotton-picking slaves into haunting, flickering worlds of depth and movement, Ken Jacobs re-awakens a frozen and shameful moment in history. (Andréa Picard)

View from the Acropolis, Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan
(2012, The Netherlands, 35mm, B&W, Sound, 15 mins.)
Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebran de Haan’s glorious 35mm View from the Acropolis extends the Dutch artists’ interest in Europe’s shifting power dynamics by offering a monumental meditation on the original Turkish site of the Pergamon altar, now stowed in the famous Berlin museum which holds its name. (Andréa Picard)

Auto-Collider XV, Ernie Gehr
(2011, USA, Video, Color, Sound, 9 mins.)
Ernie Gehr’s Auto-Collider XV, from his ongoing series devoted to vehicular form and movement, is a no-holds-barred trip into painterly abstraction, where an Agnes Martin painting meets a rapid-fire back-and-forth Gerhard Richter squeegee and the world is swiftly rent asunder. (Andréa Picard)

August and After, Nathaniel Dorsky
(2012, 16mm, Color, Silent, 18fps, 19 mins.)
Nathaniel Dorsky’s August and After is dedicated to two recently departed friends, legendary filmmaker George Kuchar and actress Carla Liss. The film shows them vibrantly, resiliently alive shortly before their passing and then sets off in search of soothing beauty, yielding searing 16mm images awash in colours both belonging to and transcending our natural world. Well into the twilight years of 16mm filmmaking, Dorsky continues to present textures and hues that are indispensible to the art of cinema. We will be poorer without them. (Andréa Picard)