From 1972 to 1981, Robert Gardner conducted a Boston television series that became a reference and a cult show for the experimental cinema community: Screening Room. The program, which welcomed some of the most relevant avant-garde filmmakers of that time, offered not only in-depth interviews with the guests, but also the opportunity to discover their work. Today, in 2020, Screening Room remains a source of inspiration. Gardner’s legacy, in combination with the spirit of the times and the possibilities brought to us by technological advancement and the internet encouraged us to develop a show that will be broadcast on streaming. Camera Obscura, which also follows the steps of Janine Bazan and André S. Labarthe’s Cinéastes de notre temps, is a creative endeavor – an interpretation of Gardner’s show with a bold aesthetic and in an innovative format in tune with our times. The show, which will bring to the audience an-in detail presentation of the creative processes of a selection of filmmakers, is also an invitation to discover their work, as it will feature chosen excerpts of their creations. The name Camera Obscura is a reference to the optical device that inspired painters and anticipated cinema centuries before its creation – a box-like, unlit construction where a ray of light coming from the outside projects, through a small hole in one of its walls, a moving image that is seen on the surface opposite to the opening. The (S8) aims to be that ray of light, travelling from wave to wave on its way to project its images on the wall of any room in the world.
In June 2020, Luther Price, one of the most unique personalities to ever join us prematurely left this world. His visceral work, in which pain, violence, eschatology, and transgression were singularly combined and transformed into healing acts, pure and moving, will be the subject of this Camera Obscura session. Guided by Ed Halter (Light Industry, Bard College), one of the most relevant promoters of his work, and recalling our interview with him in 2017, we’ll explore new aspects of his work, including his super 8 pieces from the 80s, his latest creations in 16mm, and the unique ways in which he approached performativity and found footage. We’ll also put on show a selection of his films as a way to pay tribute to him as a person and as an artist, to honor and remember his beautiful and tortured journey through this mortal world.