Contemporary Artists Respond to the Legacy of Bruce Conner

Bellas Artes Projects (BAP) is pleased to announce a talk with artist residents Lucy Raven, Paul Pfeiffer and Hassan Khan, in which they will respond to the legacy of Conner’s work on later generations.

Time manipulated through frames and repetitions, appropriation of footage and images from popular culture and the convergence between music and film are themes the artists will discuss in relation to their discoveries in experimental cinema and also in their filmmaking practice.

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Bruce Conner (1933-2008) was one of the most prominent artists of the post-war era and was considered a countercultural figure of the San Francisco punk milieu. He was a known caricaturist and aimed to reveal the darkness behind consumerism.

The multimedia artist was celebrated for his surrealist sculptures and avant-garde films, which alluded to themes of post-war American society. He pioneered a style of filmmaking, a quick-cut method of editing, combining found and new footage. This distinctive technique helped to shape the aesthetics of generations of young filmmakers.

 

 

Bruce Conner manipulated time through frames and repetitions. His films splintered time into hundreds of jump cuts (A MOVIE) or folded time back upon itself with recurring, gradually lengthening clips. This enabled spectators to experience jumping from present to past and vice versa.

Conner’s tendency to experiment is pertinent to Lucy Raven’s exploration of time in China Town (2009), an hour-long photographic animation portraying the time, materiality, and metaphysics of the globalized industry.

Lucy Raven frequently used animation as the foundation of her studies, exploring the relationship between still photography and the moving image.

 

  Courtesy of Mada Masr. 

Courtesy of Mada Masr. 

 

Paul Pfeiffer explored similar themes in a series of video works focused on professional sport events. The artist removed the bodies of players from games, shifting the viewer’s focus to other aspects of the videos. They were looped, exposing a contemporary culture obsessed with fame. Pfeiffer invited viewers to exercise their imaginations and project their own fears and compulsions onto the art object. He exploited the familiarity of the sports images to bring to light the way society passively absorbs information.

In Conner’s films, music played a significant role, combining soundtracks to images to maintain an air of stability in a system of visual instabilities. The soundtracks worked as the contradictory driving force for the visual events.

Similar to Conner’s films, Hassan Khan created different environments in Composition for a Public Park (2013). He attempted to have spectators experience radically different states of being throughout the park, suspending time so that new horizons could be explored. He ensured that the musical and visual compositions married into each other to create a sense of displacement.

Join us for an artist talk, Contemporary Artists Respond to the Legacy of Bruce Conner on Monday, April 2 at 7:00 pm! BAP Residents Lucy Raven, Paul Pfeiffer, and Hassan Khan will dwell upon themes related to the importance of the American artist and his impact on the contemporary art scene. 

For inquiries and more information, please contact info@bellasartesprojects.org or (02) 817-2205.

Bellas Artes Projects