. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

On Andrew Lampert…

Posted by | George William Price | Posted on | October 8, 2014

You lucky blog readers are in for another treat this week, with second year graduate Art History student Elizabeth Metcalfe’s musings on how Andrew Lampert as both a producer and a conservator questions, reconstructs and ultimately expands what we as an audience perceive the scope of Cinema to be. 

Still from El Adios Largos Y Mas (Andrew Lampert, 2013). Courtesy of the artist.

Still from El Adios Largos Y Mas (Andrew Lampert, 2013). Courtesy of the artist.

The term curator derives from the Latin word cura, meaning “care.”  As an artist, archivist, and Curator of Collections at Anthology Film Archives, Andrew Lampert’s practice fully embraces the role of caretaker. Often preserving fragile, outdated technological forms and placing them in contemporary contexts, Lampert encourages viewers to consider the ways in which our interactions with technology transform over time. Working as a type of archaeologist, Lampert discovers what is lost and forgotten—as in the case of the found Spanish language-dubbed print of Robert Altman’s 1973 film The Long Goodbye—and then reconstructs, reenacts, or repeats his discoveries in order to form new narratives.

As an art history student, the anachronistic themes within Lampert’s films appeal to my interest in a dynamic, living history. While an object can be preserved, its surrounding environment is constantly in flux, therefore altering the object’s relationship to history itself. In an age where obsolescent or outmoded technologies are romanticized, Lampert reveals the meaningful relationships that emerge when the past and present are conflated. By blurring the borders of film and performance, Lampert makes these interactions even more apparent. He contracts cinema rather than expanding it, emphasizing the social space that emerges between the projectionist, the flat screen and the active audience.

On October 9, Lampert will bring his “contracted cinema” to the Gene Siskel Film Center for Conversations at the Edge, giving viewers the unique opportunity to actively participate in his site-specific live media performances. I for one am so excited not only to see how Lampert discusses his relationship to the archive but also to experience how he performs that relationship. See you there!