Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7pm
Light Industry at Simone Subal Gallery:
Films by Constantin Brancusi, 1923-1939
Simone Subal Gallery
131 Bowery, 2nd Floor
New York, New York
Presented by Phillipe-Alain Michaud
Though Brancusi's work as a photographer is well-known, it was only very recently discovered that he was also active as a filmmaker. From 1923 onward, using a camera lent by Man Ray, he made films both in his studio and while traveling, including one of a trip to Romania in 1937 that documents the construction of the Endless Column. For tonight's event, curator Phillipe-Alain Michaud will present these works—exhibited here for the first time in North America—alongside a late film by Paul Sharits and discuss Brancusi's practice across film, photography, and sculpture, shedding new light on this crucial chapter in the history of modernism.
Brancusi’s Sculpture Ensemble at Tirgu Jiu
Paul Sharits, 16mm, 1977/84, 21 mins
This film is a “chronicle” of a visit I made in 1977 to Romania to experience three of Brancusi’s most famous sculptures: The Endless Column; The Gate of the Kiss; The Table of Silence; (and the lesser known Arcade of Pedestals, the modular system of stools which lead from the “Gate” to the “Table”). These works are in the small, rural town of Tirgu Jiu, not far from the village of Hobitza (where Brancusi was born and spent his childhood). These works are shown in photographs and discussed as totally autonomous “abstract” sculptures simply placed conveniently around the town; but, in fact, they are also parts of a larger and very specific environmental (and symbolic) motif. Their placement suggests a metaphysical continuum; they span the boundaries of the town and while aligned in a (virtual) straight line, all three cannot be seen from any single point of view, so there is a temporal unfolding as one moves through the town to experience the relationship. - PS
Philippe-Alain Michaud is the Film Curator at the Musée national d'art moderne-Centre Georges-Pompidou and the author of Aby Warburg and the Image in Motion (Zone Books).
Special thanks to Simone Subal.
Presented as part of Couchsurfing.