Come and See
Three Favorite Films of J.G. Ballard chosen by Claire Walsh and presented by Tacita Dean in conjunction with Dean’s new film JG, on view at Arcadia University Art Gallery (February 7 – April 21), a project funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Come and See
dir. Elem Klimov, Soviet Union, 1985, 35mm, color, 136 min., Russian/German w/ English subtitles
Regarded by author J.G. Ballard as the greatest war film ever made, Klimov’s journey through the terror and brutality of World War II is an epic tale of survival against physical and emotional destruction.
In response to an invitation by International House’s program curator Jesse Pires to put JG into a cinematic context, Dean asked if J.G. Ballard’s long-time partner, Claire Walsh could make a list of the author’s favorite films. The first three films on the list perfectly combine to present three very distinctive aspects of Ballard’s personal vision: war, sci-fi, and film noir. J.G. Ballard (1930-2009) earned a cult following during his lifetime for fiction distinguished by its “dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes, and the psychological effects of technological, social, or environmental developments” which is how the Collins English Dictionary defines the adjective “Ballardian”.
Dean’s new 35mm film, JG, is a sequel in technique to her 2011 Turbine Hall project, FILM, and is inspired by her correspondence with J.G. Ballard about the artist Robert Smithson’s earthwork Spiral Jetty and his own short story, The Voices of Time. The new work is a looping 35mm Cinemascope film shot in the saline landscapes of Utah and Southern California using her invented aperture masking process. It is her first landscape film made in the US and seeks to respond, in some way, to the proposition posed to her by the author shortly before he died, to treat the Spiral Jetty as a mystery her film will solve.
Please join us on February 5 as Dean introduces the series and speaks briefly about JG.