7 Sep 2017 - 18:30

Doors Open: 18:30
Program start: 19:00 (No entry after program has started)
Entrance 80 SEK (card only)


"I wish to abandon imitation and illusion and enter Directly into the higher drama of: celluloid, two-dimensional strips; individual rectangular frames; the nature of sprockets and emulsion; projector operations; the three-dimensional light beam; environmental illumination; the two-dimensional reflective screen surface; the retinal screen, optic nerve and individual psycho-physical subjectivities of consciousness." – Paul Sharits, 1967

The radical and highly stylized work of American filmmaker Paul Sharits (1943-1993) forever changed the landscape of filmmaking and art, and continues to reverberate within the history of cinema. Driven by what he described as “inescapable anxiety,” Sharits was extremely prolific throughout the 60s and 70s. His films exploded the conventions of both narrative and experimental cinema at the time and were a complete departure from what other “structural” filmmakers, such as Peter Kubelka and Tony Conrad, were making at that time. Perhaps some of the most powerful films ever made, Sharits’ mandala films of the 60s—such as the highly charged Piece Mandala/End War, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G and Razor Blades—all used the flicker technique to violently alternate between pure color film frames with sexually explicit and sometimes crude still images. Trained as a painter and graphic designer, Sharits “drew” his films first with colored ink on graph paper, as blueprints for the completed films, and then proceeded to meticulously compose them frame-by-frame like musical notes. Stripping the elements of narrative cinema—illusion and imitation—from his work, Sharits instead highlights the materiality of film while focusing on a complete exploration of the film frame. A goal of Sharits’ films was to obliterate the viewer’s perceptions by using flickering light, stark imagery and repetitive sound to deeply penetrate the “retinal screens” and psyches of the audience members, creating a powerful, profoundly visceral and participatory experience.

- Jeremy Rossen

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(No entry after program has started)

USA | 1971 | 16mm | color | sound | 8’00

A mapping of an image of the linear passage of 16mm film frames and emulsion scratches onto actual 16mm film strip (the unperceived film print)/the aural word miscellaneous is extended to a length of 8 minutes by serial fragmentation, looping, staggering and overlaying/a variational but non-developmental strand thru time. Dedicated to Lynda Benglis. Like S:S:S:S:S:S, Inferential Current is concerned with the movement of film through the projector and with the film strip with sprocket holes. The movement of the sprocket holes shifts speeds and creates illusions of motions (reversals of direction, etc.) but also allude to the motion of the actual movement of the actual film going through the projector. There is an interplay of two generations of vertical scratches, which provides an ironic effect.

USA | 1982 | 16mm | color | sound | 24’00

This film is about the fragility of the film medium and human vulnerability, both the filmic and the human images resist threat intimidation/mutilation, the victim is defiant and the film strip also struggles on, both under fire. It is a somewhat violent drama but it is also an ironically comic work and there is a formal beauty in the destructiveness of the burning film. While the film (from section to section or from screen to screen, in the installation format) develops, becomes more visually complex, successively regenerates (as the figurative images degenerate), it nevertheless implies no finality, rather, even in its three-screen vicious circularity form, 3rd degree implies endurability, extension and on-goingness. – Paul Sharits


USA | 1968-1971 | 16mm | color | sound | 42’00

S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED signifies a fairly abrupt shift and departure from Sharits’ previous mandala films; this was his first work in many years that did not employ the flicker technique and used moving images. Paul Sharits’ epic and groundbreaking work is composed of three repeated, fourteen-minute sections of a river current. Each repetition consists of six dissolving layers of a river flowing in a myriad of directions, broken up by horizontal tape splices acting as dams. Deep and precisely executed emulsion scratches—created by custom tools Sharits made—eventually appear in continuous sets of threes throughout the film until the entire screen is nearly covered. The resulting effects represent, in the words of P. Adams Sitney, a “powerful and beautiful act of vandalism.” Sharits emphasizes the scratches to draw attention to the constant motion of the filmstrip running through the projector, while simultaneously exposing the viewer to the materiality and hidden depth within each frame. Sharits describes the film as “[a] conceptual lap dissolve from ‘water currents’ to ‘film strip current.’” Meanwhile, a dynamic soundtrack consisting of alternating and repeated phrases of an imaginary word heard by Sharits in his sleep are combined with a series of beeps that add to the complexity of the sound and image relations.

Program curated by Martin Grennberger, Stefan Ramstedt and Daniel A. Swarthnas.

All films from LUX, London.

Member production: Swarthnas