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May 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Near and Dear: An Album of Experimental Film and Video

w/ David Baker, Ann Deborah Levy and Lorenzo Gattorna

“These film and video makers, close friends and celebrated figures, were selected for their commonality of embrace with nostalgic environments. This gathering manifests recreations of intimate memories and reflections of the natural world amidst rejuvenated and rejected keepsakes that define these personal testimonies. The exhibition will be an intimate encounter touching upon intuitive as well as structured disciplines and tutelage. A communal kinship and initiative can be found in this cross-generational dialogue amongst moving image practitioners. Near and Dear is dedicated to Mr. E, an avid participant of the closed screenings at Millennium Film Workshop, whose groundbreaking films on 8mm and constant concern for shared viewings have inspired the reasoning and realization of what will take place on this special evening.” -Lorenzo Gattorna, event curator.

*Preceding this event we are hosting a workshop regarding experimental filmmaking with Lynne Sachs and all workshop participants are welcome to attend this event free of charge.

What Was Was by David Baker

USA, 2011, 7 minutes, digital projection, Music by Florian Wittenburg




Wherein an alphabet of surges and shadows bloom like Rorschach indices, clouds of indeterminate origin in a continuous refulgent hierophany, hierophany from the Greek roots “hieros” meaning sacred or holy and “phainein” meaning to reveal or to bring to light.

“…The true God mimics the universe…debris no longer noticed…Lurking, the true God literally ambushes reality and us as well…Hence we say, the true God is in the habit of concealing himself…‘Latent form is the master of obvious form.’” – Philip K.Dick, Valis

For more information about this film’s score, go here.

Watercolors by Ann Deborah Levy USA, 2007, 13 minutes, 16mm, color, silent




The surface of a pond serves as a canvas on which nature creates a continually changing painting that mirrors but alters details of the landscape surrounding it. Beginning in late winter, just before leaves appear on trees, the film records changes in weather, foliage, color and light as reflected on the water over a course of a year. Sunlight falls on the leafless woods on a March afternoon and creates unexpected hues in the water; wind ruffles the water, creating abstract op art paintings; ice and snow texture shadows that fall on the surface; and light changes color from bright white of early summer to gold in August to cloudy sky on a rainy October day.

What’s Out Tonight is Lost by Phil Solomon USA, 1983, 8 minutes, 16mm, color, silent




“Adopting its title from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, WHAT’S OUT TONIGHT IS LOST is an elegaic film sifting through the unrecoverable. The film is a reflecting pool where vision breaks up. The home we recognize is swallowed in the brume, the light barely penetrates; and the yellow school bus steals us away, delivering us into new clouds, embracing fear. The film has a surface of cracked porcelain and intaglio: the allergic childhood skin of cracks and bruises. This is a film of transubstantiations, the discorporation of human forms into embers. Air looms and blossoms into solidity and nearness … I hear it breathing…” –Mark MacElhatten

night side by Rebecca Meyers USA, 2009, 5 minutes, 16mm, color



night side is a tone poem of twilight images, colors, and lights that privilege isolation, even loneliness. Birds appear alone, perched sentinel-like on winter branches. Interiors, though absent of human presence, nevertheless beckon through warmly lit reflections of lamps in windows.” – Tony Pipolo

Vineland by Laura Kraning USA, 2009, 10 minutes, digital projection



Vineland is a short experimental documentary filmed at the last drive-in movie theater in Los Angeles, located in a desolate area called the City of Industry. Floating within a backdrop of smokestacks, beacon towers, and passing trains, dislocated Hollywood images filled with apocalyptic angst are re-framed and reflected through car windows and mirrors as the displacement of the radio broadcast soundtrack collides with the projections upon and surrounding the multiple screens. In Vineland, the nocturnal landscape is seen as a border zone aglow with dreamlike illusions revealing overlapping realities at the intersection of nostalgia and alienation.

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Brian Frye USA, 1999, 11 minutes, 16mm, black and white




Sometime in the 1960s, a chiropractor from Kansas City directed a short film titled “A Portrait in Fear.” In 1999, I bought the outtakes from the cinematographer. The poetry came naturally.

The Absent One by Peter Buntaine USA, 2011, 6 minutes, digital projection





A love separated by great distance, relived in the ruins of memory. An edict; to keep loving. ‘The Absent One’ is a film about loneliness and longing which borrows its title from Roland Barthes’ ‘A Lover’s Discourse.’ It is filmed in two French locations; the mountaintop ruins of Chateau Peyrepertuse (one of the final Cathar strongholds against the Catholic Inquisition) and Europe’s oldest botanical garden, ‘Le Jardin des Plantes’ (literally ‘Garden of Plants’) in Montepellier. Both locations, though beautiful, seemed full of sadness. The epitaph displayed at the end of the film is a cautionary mandate: ‘Live Joyously.’

The Enchanted Forest by Lorenzo Gattorna USA, 2011, 7 minutes, digital projection





A 16mm portrait that weaves together the beauty of both the abandoned and restored landscapes of the theme park that still remains in Baltimore County. Subtle superimpositions of the vibrant attractions amidst the forgotten forest present the possibility of a nostalgic return to a former glory. The imagery that unfolds is set to the Ave Maria as performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. Many thanks to Clark’s Elioak Farm for their cooperation in the production of this film.

A Love Supremeby Thomas CampbellUSA, 1995, 16 minutes, digital projection, black and white




Well, I am not a huge fan of using words to describe art and every time I am asked to write an artist statement my gut instinct is just to say, “Um, I make stuff.” And in reality that is what I do. I am a creative person by nature and by trial and error — and I just enjoy adapting to different creative scenarios and moving with them. If I was arm wrestled into stating what my work is about…I would say that the basic theme’s are affirmational in a self-referential sense…sometimes addressing personal or societal issues as simple reflection, just to say get your stuff together, don’t be a turd or just be thankful for what is — and usually having. In general, I really rather people have there own unhindered experience with the work, than with so much back story…

David Baker is a painter and filmmaker. He divides his time between New York City and a 148 year-old brick schoolhouse located one hundred miles north of the city on the Hudson River.

He has exhibited his paintings at the Tony Shafrazi, Annina Nosei, Tibor de Nagy, John Good and Postmasters galleries in NYC as well as in Tampa, FL and at the S.L. Simpson Gallery in Toronto. A catalog of a show entitled “Avatars of the Tortoise” was published by the University of South Florida with an essay by Jerry Saltz. Baker’s paintings have been written about in Artforum, Arts Magazine and the New York Times. Baker has written articles for Detour Magazine on Jack Smith and Willem De Kooning’s late paintings.

Baker’s films and videos have been shown in two “Personal Cinema” programs at the Millennium Film Workshop in New York City (2008, 2010). He has also shown his work in Lorenzo Gattorna and Peter Buntaine’s curatorial project “The Experiment” at Maysles Cinema in Harlem , NYC. Baker showed “Ten Tha” in the 2009 Migrating Forms Film Festival as part of “Void For Film”, a seven hour screening of imageless cinema. On Jan. 3, 2010, Baker’s film “A Secret Location On Seventh Avenue” was part of Brian McCarthy’s program “The Lure Of Space,Part 1”. at Union Docs. Baker participated in the E.P.I.C. (Extreme Private Intimate Cinema) program during the 2010 Migrating Forms Festival. Three of his digital films were shown at the 2010 Milwaukee Underground Film Festival: “The Subterraneans”, “Ab Ovo”, and “Sotto Voce”. In November of 2010 he was part of a program called “New Forms In Moving Picture Art” at Microscope Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn NY along with Ken Jacobs, Richard Garet, Nisi Jacobs and Michael Schumacher. From Feb.13-27, 2011 Baker was included in a group exhibition entitled “What Tornado” also at Microscope Gallery.

When he isn’t working, the artist can be found somewhere on the Hudson River between the Kingston Rhinecliff Bridge and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge in Catskill paddling a West Greenland style kayak or more probably out in his play boat on any of numerous Class 4 water courses.

Lorenzo Gattorna is an experimental documentary filmmaker and curator residing in New York City. For almost three years, he has programmed screenings for Maysles Cinema of Harlem and UnionDocs of Brooklyn. Past program credits include Missing Allen/The Grandfather Trilogy, New York(er) Shorts, The Playing Field and The Experiment. Since 2009 he has co-curated a regular series, The Experiment, at Maysles Cinema that screens experimental work exploring the borderland between the ‘experimental’ and ‘documentary’ genres of cinema. Recently he participated in the Migrating Forms E.P.I.C. artist dialogue series and presented his work at NYU’s Experimental Film Workshop as a visiting artist. His 16mm films produced within the last five years have realized personal sentiments through rhythmic interpretations of natural landscape and body language. He has previously worked for Millennium Film Workshop as a Manager of Operations and received grants from Warner Brothers and The Malcolm Ross Memorial Foundation. Lorenzo Gattorna continues the promotion of alternative approaches to cinema through personal productions and public exhibitions.

Ann Deborah Levy is an artist and filmmaker based in New York. Though originally trained as a painter, she has also made photographs and installations, designed and performed in experimental theater, and more recently made films. She has been a recipient of fellowships to both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  Her films have screened in festivals, art galleries, and alternative venues in the U.S. and Europe.  Her latest films are Watercolors and its longer companion piece, Waterscape: illusions, a meditation on myth and reality that deconstructs the documentary filmmaking process, revealing it as another form of “illusion-making.”  She is currently at work on two digital video projects that explore what travelers record in images, diaries, and letters.


May 7, 2011
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

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