installation
The Spell of Film · EUA · 2013
"The Spell of Film" is an installation in which a single black film loop is threaded through the circuitous path of a projector and assembly of guiding rollers spelling the word "FILM".


Film projection exceeds the limits of its concept as a mere functional apparatus for the mechanical performance of cinematic works. A concept of “projection performance” is, therefore, inherent to the medium which performs not only the negation of its mediation and thus subordination to the celluloid material, but also its resistance as a passive carrier. (Projection projects its ambivalence to the material, intermittently hesitating between its slavish animation of a dead object and its absolute indifference as to whether the object is already dead or missing.) To perform the already performed is to raise this element of resistance to a second degree awareness. In light of this awareness, the concept of projection performance becomes a tautological concept in which “performance” merely doubles and thus foregrounds the specific functioning of the projective apparatus.
To work as an artist within a certain tautological understanding of projection-as-performance is precisely to perform and reperform ad infinitum the already performed. Film projection has always relied on a projectionist to perform and reperform ad infinitum (ad nauseum) the already performed and preformed functioning of the projective apparatus. An aesthetics of projection performance is an apprenticeship to this dedicated custodian of darkness (of nothingness, of disappearance, of invisibility, of transparency). To work or labor in utter darkness is one thing (i.e., to make a bare something out of a bare nothing), but to shape and reshape the intermittent im/palpability of this void through the tyranny of cinematic time is another thing, one which incessantly haunts in its stubborn resistance to the resistance. To break free from this temporal tyranny of narrativized time – or at least to slip beneath its gaze – a shift in the projective location presents itself as a possible exit, though by no means an escape.

Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder


Collaborators for over a decade, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder unite the rich traditions of the experimental film, particularly its structuralist and materialist strands, and the multi-modal sensibility of expanded cinema that emerged in the 1960s, in which the moving image was woven into the labile space of performance, sound, and audience interaction. Their larger body of work explores this interstice between avant-garde film practice and the incorporation of moving images and time-based media into the museum and art gallery. In 2012, Gibson and Recoder were “Artists in Focus” at Courtisan Festival in Ghent, Belgium. From March 1 – April 7, 2013, Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York exhibited their first public art commission, Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation. Gibson and Recoder live and work in New York.

Selected Filmography (Performances & Installations):
Exit (2001), A Sourceful of Secrets (2002-2003), Override (2004), Alignments for Linea (2004), Light Spill (2005), Atmos (2006), Exciter (2006), Backlight (2007), Untitled (2008), Entanglements for 1-4 Projectors (2009), Aberration of Light: Dark Chamber Disclosure (2011-2012), Lightline (2012), Topsy-Turvy: A Camera Obscura Installation (2013)

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