Thursday 24 November, 20:00

Robert Fenz. Improvisations

The films of Robert Fenz reinterpret the relation between film and music using virtuoso, lyrical improvisations in 16 mm, somewhere between American free jazz, the New York School of photography and a travel log through countries with political unrest and rundown areas or borderlands. This session comprises four of his major films, made between 1996 and 2011. Vertical Air, the best-known, combines American landscape and abstraction in a dialogue with the jazz improvisation of musician Wadada Leo Smith. Crossing is a film about the border between Mexico and the USA which Fenz based on his work as director of photography of On the Other Side, by Chantal Akerman. In Meditations on Revolution IV, filmed in the Mississippi Delta, Fenz explores the quality of the grain to “speed up the random nature of the film” and produce the “vibration” of the film in the portrait of a boxer. In his final film, Correspondence, he returns to the locations of three classics by the American pioneer of ethnographic film, Robert Gardner, in Papua New Guinea, India and Ethiopia. [Screening in 16 mm.]

Vertical Air, 1996, 28 min.; Crossings, 2006-07, 10 min.; Meditations on Revolution, Part IV: Greenville, MS, 2001, 29 min.; Correspondence, 2011, 30 min.