Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder

Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder: Film Projection Performances

"[Gibson and Recoder's] performances melt the projector's machine materialism into ethereal experiences." Ed Halter, Live Cinema: A Contemporary Reader

Jack H. Skirball Screening Series

New York artists Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder present their sublime and meditative double 16mm projection performance, Untitled, recently featured at Anthology Film Archives in New York. The duo's work exploits the physical qualities of the medium in creating profoundly moving aesthetic and philosophical experiences. "The planular drift of the projected frame alters its course, bending here, defracting there--keystoning its way through the darkness of a cinematic abyss," as the artists have put it. They have exhibited at the Whitney Museum, P.S. 1, MoMA and The Kitchen in New York; the ICA and the Barbican in London; the Viennale; Kunst-Werke in Berlin; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; La Casa Encendida in Madrid; and Image Forum in Tokyo.

In person: Sandra Gibson, Luis Recoder

Production Notes:

Untitled (2008), 16mm film performance; technical specifications: double 16mm film projection, electric humidifiers; glass, mixed media; original score by Olivia Block. A minimalist monochromatic film frame is projected through a glass pane fogged via a humidification system.

The images we consume cinematically are formed so subtly from light's interaction with film, its recorded dialogue with silver halides suspended in gelatin emulsion. The resulting images that infect the screen produce unimaginable effects on self and psyche. Vibrations of varying hues create a dialogue with subconscious languages and longings of which many of us remain blissfully unaware. The hand absorbs the light. Obscures, darkens. An opaque appearance in the field of light materializes the light. Discloses its light-ness. For light itself is not enough to show this. For light to show this it must be obscured, covered-over, withheld. It must be stopped, stopped-up, stopped-down in order to achieve the point of clearest resolution.

Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder have exhibited their solo and collaborative performances and installations at the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), P.S.1 MoMA (NY), The Kitchen (NY), Diapason Gallery (NY), Redcat (LA), Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery (Houston), Ballroom Marfa (Marfa), Robischon Gallery (Denver), ICA (London), Barbican Art Gallery (London), Peter Kilchmann Gallery (Zurich), Viennale (Vienna), KW (Berlin), Hartware Medien Kunst Verein (Dortmund), TENT. (Rotterdam), Palais des Beaux-Arts (Brussels), La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Museu do Chiado (Portugal), RIXC (Latvia), Image Forum (Tokyo). Their work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Museum of Contemporary Cinema Foundation (Paris), as well as numerous private collections. Gibson and Recoder are based in New York City.

"Viewing Gibson and Recoder's film performances and installations is deeply immersive and the memory of their pieces always seems to remain purposefully abstract. Their collaboration is as much grounded in a manipulation of light, as it is in the cinematic, or indeed fine art practice as a whole. Through expert manipulation, light becomes their primary medium.

"Projectors, glass, mist. Emanating. LIGHT. The performance begins, transient delicate shapes form and shift, delicate and subtle relationships emerge, nuance, repetition, form, movement, light, circles swirling, intense sound, light, consuming and immersive, changing, interacting, living, touching, engulfing, fluid. Allowing oneself to become consumed within the viewing process gives an opportunity to enjoy the unfamiliar and familiar. Pulsing, vibrating images are reminiscent of being, of space. I experienced a deep want; to be engulfed within the space of the piece. Before the realization that was my present state. How delicate the absence. A million paintings in light flicker before my eyes, each one a delicate yet physically manipulated reflection of existence. The rhythm and forms intensify yet somehow maintain ethereal translucence. One could not have planned for such an intense sensory invasion. A film seemingly of no subject, communicating with such impacted intensity.

"The light dots continue to linger within self and psyche. Now somehow accepted as permanent residents. In unexpected moments many new films, experiences present themselves, from the initial flickers of the performance. The subsequent, residual repeats seem to bear no less emotional intensity. A connection, expanded. Joining, light on light form on form, intermingled textures, blur, the experience of lights and dots, consuming me without permission, constantly pounding. The material exposition somehow produces flickering translucent beauty. Eyes tire and relax, visual experiences differ, double visions, altered spatial realities begin and cease to exist. Interesting dialogues in light and shade; as riveting as any great speaker, or mind in conversation; not weighed by language. I enjoy the sublime extended ethereality.

"In the darkened theatre I saw a beautiful film performance, the content of which is constantly changing and deepening, revealing itself as an acutely aware reflection upon relationships. As interestingly considered creative interplay. Which encourages us as audience to step out of Plato's cave and engage fully and with more awareness, to reflect within our own ideas upon the multiplicity of possibility for cinematic experience." -- Yvonne Maxwell

Funded in part with generous support from Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

Associated Images: 

MON 11/24
8:30 pm

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff