Lucy Raven

  • Chris Marker, Lettre de Sibérie (Letter from Siberia), 1957, 16 mm transferred to 35 mm, color, sound, 62 minutes.

    Lucy Raven


    EVERY CHRIS MARKER FILM I’ve seen I’ve watched, at least the first time, on a burned DVD, the titles Sharpied on by one friend or another in my loose Chris Marker Appreciation Society. These discs were given to me over drinks or sent through the mail; sometimes I swapped copies of films I’d already gotten hold of. Not long ago, I watched a fuzzed-out, samizdat copy of one of my favorite Marker films—his early, hour-long essay called Letter from Siberia (1957).

    The things I’d remembered most clearly about that film were its incredible (and incredibly funny) animation sequences, made

  • Odilon Redon, Domecy Decoration: Trees, Yellow Background, 1901, oil, distemper, 94 5/8 x 72 7/8".


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2011.


    Mary Reid Kelley, Sadie the Saddest Sadist (Armory Show, New York) Tucked away in the back of the Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects booth at the 2011 Armory Show was a monitor showing a costumed figure with exaggerated face paint, pacing in front of a hand-drawn black-and-white background. The piece was Mary Reid Kelley’s Sadie the Saddest Sadist, 2009, and the mixed metaphors, narrative snippets, and repurposed

  • Lucy Raven, China Town, 2009, still from a photographic animation, 51 minutes 30 seconds.


    HOW DO YOU SHOW what’s not there anymore—or what’s not there yet? Answers run throughout the work of both Lucy Raven and Thom Andersen, who trace processes and places that are gone, hidden, or changing so rapidly that we can hardly keep pace. Raven’s photographic animation China Town, 2009, currently showing at MoMA PS1 in New York, features thousands of photographs arranged in a loping, stuttering sequence that tracks the production of copper wire from the metal’s mining in Nevada to its processing and use for electrification in the vast Three Gorges Dam in central China. Andersen’s landmark films Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) and Red Hollywood (1995), are precisely calibrated montages of cinematic clips that reveal, respectively, the movie industry’s grip on its city and its engagement in the suspicion, surveillance, and censure of global politics.
    Far from the stock-in-trade didactics of documentary or metanarrative, Raven and Andersen each offer audiovisual experiences that toy with the forms of time and media themselves. Artforum invited the two artists to meet in Los Angeles and talk about their mutual commitments to unearthing the past and picturing what is to come.

    THOM ANDERSEN: How did you think about the processes of work you filmed in China Town [2009]? I like the idea of using stills in the movie, jumping from one still to the next. Paradoxically, it clarifies what’s going on. Is that what you had in mind?

    LUCY RAVEN: I’d always had the idea to make China Town as an animation and to work from still photographs, which I’d never done before. I think the question of how you show work and how you show an industrial process clearly is really difficult, and one function of the stills was to slow down the moving parts enough to see them better.

    TA: So how did