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Jeanne Liotta – Eternal Returns
Land of Enchantment 1994, Super 8mm, color, silent, 3 min.
Crosswalk 2010, video, color & b/w, sound, 18 min. 45 sec.
Soon It Would Be Too Hot 2014, HD video, color, sound by Zach Layton, 7 min.
Observando El Cielo 2007, 16mm, color, sound by Peggy Ahwesh, 19 min.
EXPANDED FILM PERFOMANCE
Path of Totality 2017, 16mm film loop, concrete and transparent objects, +/- 30 min.
friday 20 october 2023 at 19:30
Museo Hermann Nitsch vico lungo Pontecorvo 29/d Napoli
On a European tour, for an exceptional chance return in Naples Jeanne Liotta, New York-based artist intersecting art, science, & natural philosophy in her Science Project. “Working with film has something of a scientific base in and of itself – you have that chemical aspect, you’ve got the optical aspect, so you’re really dealing with perception, ultimately, which I could call science, in a way; it’s some science and philosophy. I use the term ‘natural philosophy’ a lot because that’s what we used to call it before we had this term ‘science’. It was everyone’s job – it was like citizen science. Each person has the responsibility or the opportunity as a human being to discover what their world is made of and what they think about it, to observe and take notes and reflect upon – that’s our job as human beings somehow, that’s what I feel like I’m doing when I make things. It’s just my thinking.”
In 2010 for Independent Film Show 10 edition, we got to know the ‘naturalistic’ films observing the movements of the Earth, and then in 2018 for IFS18 edition we immersed ourselves in the expanded film performance at the Vigna San Martino and in the live feed augmented reality video installation In This Immense Space Hidden Things Appear Before Us, video imagery shot in real time by smartphones installed onto the Museo Nitsch’s roof are superimposed with computer generated SkyView renditions of the actual planets, constellations, space stations, and ‘junk’, passing the Earth’s orbit; in the exhibition Break the sky the Bruno Studies watercolors based on the silhouette of the Bruno’s statue in Campo de’ Fiori, the inks and the Nightly Studies watercolors and inks that draw the maps of the night skies observed in the locations around the world during her film research, and the Articuli photograms, hand-printed in the darkroom, inspired by the Copernican diagrams woodcuts of the philosopher Dominican friar G. Bruno.
On Friday 20 October 2023 at 19:30 are scheduled the four films and the expanded film performance:
LAND OF ENCHANTMENT (1994, Super 8mm, color, silent, 3 min.) First encounter with the New Mexico landscape with Super 8mm kodachrome camera roll, with a compass. A mystical land where the compass can’t find north. Lost in the moment.
CROSSWALK (2010, video, color & b/w, sound, 18 min. 45 sec.) Set in New York’s Losaida, Crosswalk’s directness – embodied in handheld shots and the grainy tactility of Super 8mm – respects its subject. The camera follows a Good Friday procession on the Lower East Side. Through crowded streets, the Christ figure falls the requisite three times as ‘soldiers’ lash him into line. Sensitized to her material’s connotations, Liotta avoids messages. The religious pun of the title extends easily to the cultural and racial cross-sections of the environment; to the aural juncture of police sirens, traffic, hip-hop, and a voice-over religious text; to the reenactment of a biblical event amid storefronts, banks, and vehicles.
SOON IT WOULD BE TOO HOT (2014, HD video, color, sound by Zach Layton, 7 min.) Taking its title from the first line of James G. Ballard 1962 climate-fiction novel The Drowned World which vividly describes a dystopic future Earth, Soon It Would Be Too Hot utilizes original imagery, sound and the most current CO2 data visualizations to consider the ongoing state of melting Arctic sea ice due to the warming of air and oceans fundamentally caused by our carbon emissions. It was commissioned for a unique science/art collaborative think tank for projection on NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, a 360 global platform for earth science education. Premiered at the Fiske Planetarium, Boulder CO.
OBSERVANDO EL CIELO (2007, 16mm, color, sound by Peggy Ahwesh, 19 min.) Liotta filmed the sky over a period of seven years from remote sites and draw inspiration from the writings and Copernican diagrams by cosmologist and philosopher Giordano Bruno as well as current augmented reality ‘stargazing’ smartphone apps for the identification of celestial objects. Although created 500 years apart, Liotta asserts that in essence both approaches serve to allow us to visualize our location in space and consider our existence within the wider universe.
PATH OF TOTALITY (2017, 16mm film loop, concrete and transparent objects, sounds by Eric Baus, Phil Cordelli, and Oren Silverman, +/- 30 min.) Inspired by the total solar eclipse of August 2017, visual concepts of light latency, peripheral vision, and the cosmic imagination are activated through the use of simple objects and external water lenses.
Jeanne Liotta (1960, New York USA) makes films, videos, and other ephemera including installation, film performance, works on paper, and photography. Her works encompass a constellation of mediums and her investigations of the ephemeral and the real in cinematic time is often located at a lively intersection of art, science, and natural philosophy. Observando El Cielo was voted one of the top films of the decade by The Film Society of Lincoln Center, took the Tiger Award for Short Film at Rotterdam International Film Festival, and was listed in Artforum 2007 Top Ten Films.
For 17 years she was the creative force behind Firefly Cinema, a community garden microcinema curated from the 16mm collection at The New York Public Library; she wrote a short monograph on the Films of Joseph Cornell published by SF Cinematheque for “Navigating the Imagination Cornell retrospective” at SFMOMA, from her research on The Joseph Cornell Film Collection at Anthology Film Archives, New York.
Liotta has more recently published an essay in Millennium Film Journal, titled “Enter Germs, Enter the World: Hand Processing Artists Films in the AIDS Era”. Currently she is a Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder where she directs the graduate program in Film and has been mentoring graduate students in the Bard MFA program NY for many years. Her films are distributed by Light Cone, Paris and her work is represented by Microscope Gallery, NYC