Bruce Jenkins

  • Robert Gardner, Benares, India, 1984. Photo: Jane Tuckerman.

    Robert Gardner

    IN 1987, shortly after the death of Basil Wright, a pioneering figure in British cinema, Robert Gardner wrote a brief tribute praising Wright’s “truly transforming cinematic vision” and dubbing him the “quiet poet of film.” A generation and an ocean apart, these two nonfiction filmmakers had nevertheless shared a deep commitment to recasting documentary practice, ostensibly the most normative form of film, into a vehicle for personal expression. In an elegant turn of phrase, Gardner wrote of his profound gratitude for Wright’s Song of Ceylon (1934), which revealed “how moving, moving pictures

  • Paul Sharits, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, 1968, strip from a color film in 16 mm, 12 minutes.

    Paul Sharits

    ONE OF THE FEW MISFIRES in the Whitney’s landmark 2001 exhibition “Into the Light: The Projected Image in American Art 1964–1977” was its partial reconstruction of Paul Sharits’s 1975 film installation Shutter Interface. While the work was accorded pride of place on the cover of the show’s catalogue, in the gallery it seemed anemic. Amid pitch-perfect re-creations of Robert Whitman’s Shower, 1964, and Michael Snow’s Two Sides to Every Story, 1974, as well as the brilliant installation version of Anthony McCall’s interactive film projection Line Describing a Cone, 1973, one encountered an aloof

  • Bruce Conner

    BRUCE CONNER’S DEATH this past summer was not his first. Back in 1972, in an attempt to stanch annual solicitations for inclusion in Who’s Who in America, he wrote to inform the publisher of his death, only to find himself an entry in Who Was Who in America the following year. A more conceptual loss, of his artistic persona, took place in February 1973, when a long-planned exhibition titled “The Complete Dennis Hopper One Man Show” finally opened at the James Willis Gallery in San Francisco. Originally proposed in the mid-1960s at a time when Conner had completed two dozen or so Ernst-like