Chrissie Iles

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1 “Blue” (John Kelly) If YouTube is our collective online cinema, then the best film of the year was posted there: Veteran performance artist John Kelly’s video rendition of “Blue” (excerpted from Paved Paradise Redux, his drag tribute to Joni Mitchell) turns conventions of sexual identity inside out and moved Mitchell herself to tears.

    2 Women Without Men (Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari) The unsettling stories of four women’s lives unfold in politically volatile 1950s Tehran.

    3 The Posters Came from the Walls (Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams) A documentary on the

  • film October 12, 2009

    Frames of Mind

    IN HIS ESSAY “LA TERRA NUOVA,” ROBERT BEAVERS elucidates a paradoxical principle that has informed his filmmaking from the earliest days of his career: “Like the roots of a plant reaching down into the ground, filming remains hidden within a complex act, neither to be observed by the spectator nor even completely seen by the filmmaker. It is an act that begins in the filmmaker’s eyes and is formed by his gestures in relation to the camera.” While the act of filming is distinguished from painting, say, by the mediating apparatus of the camera, filmmaking is nevertheless inexorably tied to the

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1 Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud) This brave black-and-white animated narrative feature adapts Satrapi’s graphic novels about her life as a rebellious young woman in revolutionary Iran and as an expat in Vienna.

    2 Prater (Ulrike Ottinger) The story of the Prater, the oldest amusement park in the world, known as the “desire machine,” told in a dreamlike sequence of surreal illusions, through the eyes of, among others, Josef von Sternberg.

    3 Tigertail (Dara Friedman) A poetic short film with the texture of a home movie: children, a garden, fragments of tribal music

  • Chrissie Iles

    1 “The Secret Public: The Last Days of the British Underground 1978–88” (Kunstverein München) History will prove that the artists in this intelligent show—among them Michael Clark, Derek Jarman, Stuart Marshall, Neil Bartlett, Stephen Willats, and Richard Hamilton—were the UK’s hidden cultural force and the last generation to be defined by themselves rather than by the market. They are rarely mentioned in “official” accounts of contemporary British art, but this exhibition (organized by Stefan Kalmár, Michael Bracewell, and Ian White) made it clear that they were the real heart of

  • John Latham

    THE PASSING OF John Latham, one of Britain’s senior artists (and also one of the most radical), marks the end of an era. A central figure in British art since the ’50s, Latham died on January 1, at eighty-four. He wielded a subtle but profound influence on a younger generation of artists and curators, including Damien Hirst, Douglas Gordon, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, myself, and many others, through his rebellious approach to authority, and his far-reaching ideas regarding the role of art and the artist.

    Latham’s career began in the drab environment of Britain in the aftermath of World War II, against

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1 “DESTRICTED” For this series of short films, Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla, Larry Clark, Mike Figgis, Sam Taylor-Wood, and Gaspar Noé have—or soon will have—created (at the behest of Neville Wakefield, Mel Agace, and Andrew Hale) some of the sexiest moments in recent cinema. Strictly for adults.

    2 AUA AUA (DOROTHY IANNONE) Living in Germany since the late ’60s, expatriate Dorothy Iannone has created a voluptuous, libertarian, and unashamedly erotic body of work. A film (from 1972) framed within a large, hand-painted box sculpture, Aua Aua celebrates life with

  • FRAMES OF MIND: THE FILMS OF ROBERT BEAVERS

    ROBERT BEAVERS’s extraordinary films have for decades gone largely unseen in the US. Next month the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York mounts the first complete retrospective of Beavers’s work, organized by HENRIETTE HULDISCH, who spoke with the filmmaker in Berlin last summer about the highly personal cinematic vision he has pursued for nearly forty years. Whitney curator and film historian CHRISSIE ILES introduces their conversation.

    IN HIS ESSAY “LA TERRA NUOVA,” ROBERT BEAVERS elucidates a paradoxical principle that has informed his filmmaking from the earliest days of his career: “Like the roots of a plant reaching down into the ground, filming remains hidden within a complex act, neither to be observed by the spectator nor even completely seen by the filmmaker. It is an act that begins in the filmmaker’s eyes and is formed by his gestures in relation to the camera.” While the act of filming is distinguished from painting, say, by the mediating apparatus of the camera, filmmaking is nevertheless inexorably tied to the

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1. Five (Abbas Kiarostami) The contemplative stillness of Kiarostami’s five-part masterpiece reveals the rhythms of the Caspian seashore through slowly observed details.

    2. Notre Musique (Jean-Luc Godard) In Godard’s divine tragedy, Paradise is guarded by the US Marines: Empire knows no bounds.

    3. ( ) (Morgan Fisher) ( ) frees insert shots from classic Hollywood movies from their marginalized role as the connective tissue of cinematic narrative and promotes them to an egalitarian conceptual role.

    4. Michelangelo Eye to Eye (Michelangelo Antonioni) The director stands in front of his

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1 Michael Heizer, North, East, South, West (Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY) Heizer’s key work, only partially constructed in the Nevada desert in 1967, is now for the first time fully installed, indoors, at Dia:Beacon. Four negative volumes cast in steel and sunk in the ground, these large, dark, enclosing forms are both protective and forbidding. This is radical sculpture: uncompromising, direct, clear, profoundly corporeal, provoking a strong urge to climb in. A compass for large sculpture, North, East, South, West led directly to Heizer’s seminal Double Negative, 1969–70. Dia director

  • Jack Goldstein

    “I AM ALWAYS DISAPPEARING in my performances––it’s strange how personal my work is.”

    Just as a serious assessment of the ’80s is beginning, one of the period’s most important and neglected figures has slipped from our grasp. The long-term significance of Jack Goldstein’s artistic achievement is only now becoming evident. In his life and work, Jack, who committed suicide in San Bernardino in March at the age of fifty-seven, articulated the profound anxiety dominating an era of spectacle, as the open-ended Conceptual practices that characterized the ’70s gave way to an appropriation-based return

  • Chrissie Iles

    CHRISSIE ILES

    1. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson) Anderson’s razor-sharp direction incorporates artwork by Jeremy Blake and music by John Brion and Harry Nilsson.

    2. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov) In the longest single take in film history, Sokurov escorts us through thirty-three rooms in the Hermitage, past 867 actors and three orchestras, as though traversing his country’s history in a dream.

    3. What’s the Time in Vyborg? (Liisa Roberts) Written with teenagers in the formerly Finnish town of Vyborg, Russia, Roberts’s film rebuilds this lost city through images of the present, as part of