Gregory Markopoulos

Date: 7 March 2008 | Season: Gregory Markopoulos 2008 | Tags: ,

7—8 March 2008
London Tate Modern

Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928–1992) was a key figure in the evolution of the New American Cinema of the 1960s, an archetypal personal filmmaker who counted Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage and Maya Deren amongst his contemporaries. His ravishing films are a complex combination of masterful camerawork and editing with a strong vision rooted in myth and poetry.

As his reputation reach its peak, Markopoulos rejected the independent film movement and relocated from New York to Europe in 1967. There, he planned the construction of an archive and projection space – The Temenos – on a remote site in the Greek countryside, a setting that would be in harmony with his extraordinary films.

In his later years, he meticulously edited his life’s work, incorporating over 100 individual titles, into an 80-hour long silent film for presentation only at his chosen location in Arcadia. Since Markopoulos’ death in 1992, the filmmaker Robert Beavers (himself the subject of a Tate Modern retrospective in February 2007) has been working towards the final printing and exhibition of this unique work. The screenings of the first two sections (“orders”) of ENIAIOS took place in 2004 and were commemorated in articles in Artforum, Frieze and Film Comment.

PORTRAITS OF ARTISTS: Friday 7 March 2008
THE ILLIAC PASSION: Saturday 8 March 2008

This rare opportunity to view a selection of Markopoulos’ films in London anticipates TEMENOS 2008; the free, open-air premieres of ENIAIOS III-V that will take place close to the village of Lyssaraia on 27-29 June 2008. 

The Tate Modern screenings are curated by Stuart Comer and Mark Webber, and will be introduced by Robert Beavers.

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Markopoulos: Portraits of Artists

Date: 7 March 2008 | Season: Gregory Markopoulos 2008 | Tags: ,

Friday 7 March 2008, at 7pm
London Tate Modern

Markopoulos made many extraordinary film portraits, which often incorporate an activity or object that has personal significance to the subject. This programme presents a selection of poetic and sensuous portraits of cultural and art world luminaries such as Gilbert & George, Alberto Moravia, Giorgio di Chirico and Rudolph Nureyev.

Gregory J. Markopoulos, Through A Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill, USA, 1967, 15 min
Portrait of Mark Turbyfill

Gregory J. Markopoulos, Eniaios (Order III, Reel 1) (Gibraltar), Switzerland, 1975, 15 min
Portrait of Gilbert & George

Gregory J. Markopoulos, Eniaios (Order IV, Reel 6) (The Olympian), Italy, 1969, 23 min
Portrait of Alberto Moravia

Political Portraits (excerpt)
Gregory J. Markopoulos, Europe, 1969, 15 min
Portraits of Ulrich Herzog, Marcia Haydee, Rudolph Nureyev, Giorgio di Chirico

Gregory J. Markopoulos, Eniaios (Order II, Reel 2), Europe, undated, 23 min
Portraits of Hans-Jakob Siber, Franco Quadri, Giorgio Frapoli, Klaus Schönherr and family

“The films preserve the myriad flights of isolated, spectrally splintered and itinerant spirit, lost in yearning, in search of intuitive wholeness while negotiating mazes of desire, seeking sanctuary in the reflection of countless identities. The works hold a shimmering mirror up to the contradictory compulsions of an era, set to register, for a few instants, shocks of recognition.” (Kirk Winslow, Millennium Film Journal)

The screening will be introduced by Robert Beavers.

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Markopoulos: The Illiac Passion

Date: 8 March 2008 | Season: Gregory Markopoulos 2008 | Tags: ,

Saturday 8 March 2008, at 7pm
London Tate Modern

Throughout his life, Markopoulos remained closely connected to his heritage and ultimately saw the Greek landscape as the ideal setting for viewing his films. THE ILLIAC PASSION, one of his most highly acclaimed films, is a visionary interpretation of ‘Prometheus Bound’ starring mythical beings from the 1960s underground. The soundtrack of this contemporary re-imagining of the classical realm features a reading of Thoreau’s translation of the Aeschylus text and excerpts from Bartok.

Gregory J. Markopoulos, The Illiac Passion, USA, 1967, 92 min

The Illiac Passion, which features chiaroscuro passages reminiscent of Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome of 1954, and incorporates 25 characters, is loosely based on Aeschylus’ ‘Prometheus Bound’. For a viewer seeing this extravagant ode to creation some thirty years after its making, the film’s most plangent moments involve Markopoulos’ affectionate casting of friends as mythical figures – Andy Warhol’s Poseidon pumping on an Exercycle above a sea of plastic, Taylor Mead’s Demon leaping, grimacing, and streaming vermilion fringes, and Jack Smith’s bohemian Orpheus, spending a quiet afternoon at home with Eurydice.” (Kristin M. Jones, Artforum)

The screening will be introduced by Robert Beavers.

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