Henriette Huldisch


    IN ROSA BARBA’S enigmatic twenty-two-minute film Outwardly from Earth’s Center (2007), the inhabi­tants of a remote Swedish island in the Baltic Sea attempt to halt their home’s steady drift northward. The all-but-inevitable collision with the mainland at some indeterminate point in the future will be catastrophic indeed, yet there will be nothing sudden or unexpected about it. As the island’s archivist—one of a number of “experts” appearing in the film—asserts, the earliest mentions of the island’s drift can be traced to the 1630s.

    Like many of Barba’s longer films, and in contrast to

  • David Gatten

    AS A GRADUATE STUDENT at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, David Gatten, having been inspired by the work of Agnes Martin, experimented with drawing lines on film when serendipity led him to a little-known volume called The Secret History of the Line. An eighteenth-century text written by William Byrd II, a wealthy planter and government official in Virginia, this book (together with its companion, The History of the Dividing Line) is an account of the author’s journeys mapping the border between Virginia, the first English colony in North America, and the newer colony of North Carolina.


    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