May 26, 2011 / Filmwell
Kenji Koiso has his summer vacation all planned out: he and his friend Sakuma have …
March 23, 2009
MIT Press has recently released On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters – The Writings of Hollis Frampton a large volume of essays and additional material by photographer and experimental filmmaker Hollis Frampton. Who is Hollis Frampton? A valid question, as his critical creativity in attempting to jumpstart discourse on experimental cinema never really gained the noteriety it deserved. He was writing at a time that American artists were just starting to parse distinctions between various fine arts disciplines, and Frampton’s descriptions of the materiality of film influenced many filmmakers of the next generation. I am not sure who is responsible for this, but I thank them nonetheless – you can now watch many of his films online at UBUWEB.
Hollis on Hollis:
“In the case of painting, I believe that one reason I stayed with still photography as long as I did was an attempt, fairly successful I think, to rid myself of the succubus of painting. Painting has for a long time been sitting on the back of everyone’s neck like a crept into territories outside its own proper domain. I have seen, in the last year or so, films which I have come to realize are built largely around what I take to be painterly concerns and I feel that those films are very foreign to my feeling and my purpose. As for sculpture, I think a lot of my early convictions about sculpture, in a concrete sense, have affected my handling of film as a physical material. My experience of sculpture has had a lot to do with my relative willingness to take up film in hand as a physical material and work with it. Without it, I might have been tempted to more literary ways of using film, or more abstract ways of using film.”
From the MIT volume description:
“Frampton ranged widely over the visual arts in his writing, and the texts in this collection display his distinctive perspectives on photography, film, video, and the plastic and literary arts. They include critically acclaimed essays on Edward Weston and Eadweard Muybridge as well as appraisals of contemporary photographers; the influential essay “For a Metahistory of Film,” along with scripts, textual material, and scores for his films; writings on video that constitute a veritable prehistory of the digital arts; a dialogue with Carl Andre (his friend and former Phillips Andover classmate) from the early 1960s; and two inventive, almost unclassifiable pieces that draw on the writings of Borges, Joyce, and Beckett.”