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Paul Sharits: Illusion and Object

“At the risk of sounding immodest, by reexamining the basic mechanisms of motion pictures and by making these fundamentals explicitly concrete, I feel as though I am working toward a new conception of cinema. Traditionally, ‘abstract films,’ because they are extensions of the aesthetics and pictorial principles of painting or are simply demonstrations of optics, are no more cinematic than narrative-dramatic films which squeeze literature and theatre onto a two-dimensional screen.”

WHEN PAUL SHARITS SUBMITTED Ray Gun Virus and Piece Mandala/End War to the Selection Jury of the Fourth International Experimental Film Competition, Knokke-Le Zoute, in 1967, he wrote the above as part of his “Statement of Intention.” These and his subsequent works indicate his preoccupations with the nature of the film medium, its dualities and complexities. Ray Gun Virus (1966) and Piece Mandala/End War (1966)

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