My Hand Outstretched: Programme 4

Date: 24 February 2007 | Season: Robert Beavers 2007

Saturday 24 February 2007, at 2pm
London Tate Modern

Robert Beavers, From the Notebook of …, 1971/1998, 35mm, colour, sound, 48 min
From the Notebook of … was shot in Florence and takes as its point of departure Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks and Paul Valéry’s essay on da Vinci’s process. These two elements suggest an implicit comparison between the treatment of space in Renaissance art and the moving image. The film marks a critical development in the artist’s work in that he repeatedly employs a series of rapid pans and upward tilts along the city’s buildings or facades, often integrating glimpses of his own face. As Beavers notes in his writing on the film, the camera movements are tied to the filmmakers’ presence and suggest his investigating gaze. (Henriette Huldisch, Whitney Museum of American Art)

Robert Beavers, The Painting, 1972/1999, 16mm, colour, sound, 13 min 
The Painting intercuts shots of traffic navigating the old-world remnants of downtown Bern, Switzerland, with details from a 15th-century altarpiece, The Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus. The painting shows the calm, near-naked saint in a peaceful landscape, a frozen moment before four horses tear his body to pieces while an audience of soigné nobles looks on; in the movie’s revised version, Beavers gives it a comparably rarefied psychodramatic jolt, juxtaposing shots of Gregory Markopoulos, bisected by shafts of light, with a torn photo of himself and the recurring image of a shattered windowpane. (J. Hoberman, The Village Voice)