To enter Stacey Steers' films is to fall into an inner world inhabited by female characters and made up of closed spaces that open up to the unfathomability of mental and sensory processes. Her particular use of collage, centred on 19th-century graphic imagery and silent films, seems to turn the layers of carefully arranged cut-outs into layers of thought, memory or fantasy. As sometimes happens with these, her images tremble due to their material nature - the conversion of the original filmic images into physical images to be cut out - and the long processes of creation inherent in frame-by-frame animation result in obsessive work.
Phantom Canyon, Stacey Steers, EEUU, 2010, 35 mm, 10 minutes
Meticulous handmade collages explore a woman’s fantastical journey through memories. Elements of 18th and 19th century engravings are combined with the figures from Eadweard Muybridge’s Human and Animal Locomotion, first published in 1887. The music and sound design are by composer Bruce Odland.
Night Hunter, Stacey Steers, EEUU, 2011, 35 mm, 16 minutes
Meticulously crafted from over 4000 handmade collages and incorporating images of Lillian Gish taken from silent-era live-action cinema, Night Hunter summons a disquieting dreamscape drawn from allegory, myth, and archetype to create an evocation of the uncanny and an exploration of the creative process. The music and sound design are by the composer Larry Polansky.
Edge of Alchemy, Stacey Steers, EEUU, 2017, 35 mm, 19 minutes
Edge of Alchemy is the third film in a trilogy examining women’s inner worlds. Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor, delicately lifted from their early silent films, are seamlessly cast into a surreal epic with an upending of the Frankenstein story and a contemporary undercurrent of hive collapse. The music and sound design are by Polish composer Lech Jankowski (Brothers Quay).
[loop, digital projection]