As a child, Amy Halpern made compositions using light and movement, like all children. She was interested in looking at volumes, both spatial and temporal, positive and negative spaces, and their representation and/or suggestion on screen.
Starting out in New York in 1971, alone in an apartment with a camera, a projector, a splicer and a pair of rewinds , she began to compose films of texture, light and shadow. The qualities of the medium, sensitivities of different emulsions to light, the elegant Brownian motion of the grain and the photographed gestures themselves- continue to hold her attention.
Working in 16mm, Halpern is interested in direct filming what is seen: an object, a location, a gesture, etc. She avoids dramatic manipulation, finding inherent dramas in abstraction more exciting, and defies the viewer’s expectations learned from narrative cinema. Playing with different associative forms, she fuses moments in which one may feel movement as color, or an image as a taste.
Invocation, 1982, silent, 2 min; 3 Preparations, 1972, silent, 6 min; Pouring Grain, 2000, silent, 2 min; Filament (The Hands), 1975, silent, 6 min; Peach Landscape, 1973, silent, 5 min; Injury on a Theme, 2012, 7 min; Palm Down, 2012, silent, 6 min; Cheshire Smile, 2012, 5 min; Access to the View, 2000, 2 min; By Halves, 2012, silent, 7 min; Three-Minute Hells, 2012, 14 min; #27, 2019, silent, 3 min, world premiere*; My Mink (Unowned Luxuries #2), 2019, silent, 4 min, world premiere*; Elixir, 2012, silent, 7 min.
16 mm screening. Copies courtesy of Amy Halpern.
A programme by Francisco Algarín Navarro.