To the Winged Distance: Programme 1

Date: 2 February 2007 | Season: Robert Beavers 2007

Friday 2 February 2007, at 7pm
London Tate Modern

Introduction by Robert Beavers

Robert Beavers, Work Done, 1972/1999, 35mm, colour, sound, 22 min
Bracing in its simplicity, Work Done was shot in Florence and the Alps, and celebrates an archaic Europe. Contemplating a stone vault cooled by blocks of ice or the hand stitching of a massive tome or the frying of a local delicacy, Beavers considers human activities without dwelling on human protagonists. Like many of Beavers’ films, Work Done is based on a series of textural or transformative equivalences: the workshop and the field, the book and the forest, the mound of cobblestones and a distant mountain. (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice)

Robert Beavers, AMOR, 1980, 35mm, colour, sound, 15 min
Amor is an exquisite lyric, shot in Rome and at the natural theatre of Salzburg. The recurring sounds of cutting cloth, hands clapping, hammering, and tapping underline the associations of the montage of short camera movements, which bring together the making of a suit, the restoration of a building, and details of a figure, presumably Beavers himself, standing in the natural theatre in a new suit, making a series of hand movements and gestures. A handsomely designed Italian banknote suggests the aesthetic economy of the film: the tailoring, trimming, and chiselling point to the editing of the film itself. (P. Adams Sitney, Film Comment)

Robert Beavers, The Hedge Theater, 1986—90/2002, 35mm, colour, sound, 19 min
Beavers shot The Hedge Theatre in Rome in the 1980s. It is an intimate film inspired by the Baroque architecture and stone carvings of Francesco Borromini and “St. Martin and the Beggar,” a painting by the Sienese painter Il Sassetta. Beavers’ montage contrasts the sensuous softness of winter light with the lush green growth brought by spring rains. Each shot and each source of sound is steeped in meaning and placed within the film’s structure with exacting skill to build a poetic relationship between image and sound. (Susan Oxtoby, Toronto International Film Festival)