Robert Beavers: Programme 1

Date: 14 November 2008 | Season: Robert Beavers 2008

Friday 14 November 2008, at 3:30pm
Norwich Aurora Festival

Robert Beavers, 1968-70/2002, 35mm, colour, silent, 33 min
Cast: Robert Beavers, Gregory Markopoulos, Tom Chomont
Filmed in Switzerland, Germany (Berlin) and Greece.
I began with a decision to film a self-portrait at monthly intervals and to explore the space that extends from the aperture to immediately in front of the camera and then to my surroundings. After a few months of these (self) reflections and examinations of the Bolex camera’s possibilities, I began to include also portraits of Gregory Markopoulos, with whom I was living and travelling and whose dedication to filmmaking I was constantly observing. Slowly I became aware of my intention to make certain features of the camera articulate. One of the first was the use of the space for coloured gelatine filters found between the lens and the aperture. This is a space in which I placed very small pieces of gelatine filters to colour different parts of the frame. Later I noticed that the movement of sliding the pieces of filters into the filter slot reversed the vertical order of the colours at a certain point in the sliding movement. There was a sudden sense of discovery when I consciously saw this happen. I reflected about this reversal of the order of the filters and began to work with the camera as an analogue to the senses. In this case to the reversal of the image within sight. That sounds more abstract than it was, and, when I think about it now at such a distance in time, I see a more general connection between the intention to film a self-portrait and this (self) reflection about the articulate quality or vitality of the camera’s features. (Robert Beavers)

Robert Beavers, 1980, 35mm, colour, sound, 15 min
Cast: Robert Beavers
Filmed in Italy (Rome, Verona) and Austria (Salzburg)
Like the roots of a plant reaching down into the ground, filming remains hidden within a complex act, neither to be observed by the spectator not even completely seen by the filmmaker. It is an act that begins in the filmmakers’ eyes and is formed by his gestures in relation to the camera. In a sense he surrounds the camera with the direction of his intuition and feeling. The result retains certain physical qualities of the decisive moment of filmmaking – the quality of light and space – but it is equally surprising how a filmmaker draws what he searches for towards the lens. (Robert Beavers)

Robert Beavers, 1993-2001, 35mm, colour, sound, 20 min
Cast: Robert Beavers
Filmed in Greece (Island of Hydra)
What lives in the space between the stones, in the space cupped between my hand and my chest? Filmmaker/stonemason. A tower or ruin of remembrance. With each swing of the hammer I cut into the image and the sound rises from the chisel. A rhythm, marked by repetition and animated by variation; strokes of hammer and fist, resounding in dialogue. In this space which the film creates, emptiness gains a contour strong enough for the spectator to see more than the image – a space permitting vision in addition to sight. (Robert Beavers)