Feb 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm
With John Knecht and Rebecca Cleman
“A few years ago, I had a chance to work on a major, building project with a group of architects. One of the things that I got out of that experience was the concept of “place making”. That is what I am doing in my work. I am making a place for the viewer to go to. Welcome to my world. You enter at your own responsibility. I am providing the material for provocation. I am not providing the answers.”-John Knecht
John Knecht began working with moving images in 1973. Since 1984 he has been making both single channel and multiple channel work. The body of my work is divided equally between both formats. “Fragments From the Wheels of Ezekiel”, 2011, is a work for fifteen individual flat screen displays. “Considering the Probability of Divine Intervention” 2013, is a piece that is made up of five flat screens and five paintings. DELUGE and Mr. Baxter’s Trip to a Parallel Universe continue a long series of works that John Knecht has made in both video, drawings and paintings which are informed by a fascination with imagined spaces that lay outside of the rational, gravitationally determined physical world that we occupy as biological and emotional beings. All of these recent movies are set in the same imaginary place. Different locations in another universe. Knecht’s moving pictures are drawn, to begin with, with pencil on paper.
His work has been informed by my Midwestern, rural, evangelical up-bringing in the 50’s and by the Chicago Imagist painters of the late sixties, most specifically the work of the “Hairy Who” painters of that time. He greatly admires the work of Segundo de Chomon who made “magic” films from 1988 – 1990. As a young filmmaker Knecht was in the camp of George Landow/Owen Land and Robert Nelson and William Wiley, more than in the formal camp of the structuralists. He likes to illustrate and loves the frame by frame control that animation allows.
DELUGE: Studies in the Super Natural
Mr. Baxter’s Trip to a Parallel Universe
10 min., 2012
2 min., 2011
Fragments From the Wheels of Ezekiel
Considering the Probability of Divine Intervention
John Knecht has been a practicing film and video artist since 1973. His films, videos and multiple channel installations have been shown all over the world. Recent exhibitions include “Considering the Probability of Divine Intervention”, a five channel installation at the Llewellyn Gallery at Alfred State College; “Fragments from the Wheels of Ezekiel”, a fifteen channel installation at the Everson Museum; now installed in part at the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, NY as part of their permanent collection. The “Urban Video Project”, an undertaking of, Syracuse University, Light Works Gallery and the Everson Museum; “Fragments from the Wheels of Ezekiel”; Clifford Gallery, Colgate University; “First Person Cinema” series, University of Colorado, Boulder; “Making Movies”, Schweinfurth Art Museum; The @ LAB, Ohio Univeristy; The Tou Scene Contemporary Art Center in Stavanger, Norway, the Vienna Film Festival, Bard College, the Mix Festival, NYC. Knecht’s works are included in the collections of the Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, The Queens Museum, California Institute of the Arts, and elsewhere.John Knecht holds the Russell Colgate Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History and Film and Media Studies Chair at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York where has been teaching since 1981. He served as Chairman of the Art and Art History department from 1991- 1999. Knecht has also taught in the Semiotics Department at Brown University as a Visiting Lecturer in 1980; and as an Assistant Professor in the School of Art at the University of Oklahoma from 1974-1978. Knecht served as a member of the Executive Committee at the Collective For Living Cinema in New York from 1980-82. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research from 1993-1999. Knecht received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in 1972 and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Idaho State University in 1974. He served with the Ninth Infantry Division in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, 1967-68.
Rebecca Cleman is the Director of Distribution of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). She has programmed or curated media for such venues as the New York Underground Film Festival, the Museum of Art and Design, Anthology Film Archives, and Andrea Rosen Gallery. Most recently, she led a roundtable discussion about “video art” for the ICA in Philadelphia, and co-organized a screening of films by Tommy Turner for Spectacle Theater, Brooklyn.