Subversive Elements

Film Title Poem + Poemfields nos. 2 & 5

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Thursday 7/19
7:00 pm
$10 General Public
$8 Students & Seniors
FREE Lightbox Members & IHP Residents

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Jennifer West/Stan VanDerBeek

Two artists who approach text and language as both the subject and building blocks of their filmmaking, Jennifer West and Stan VanDerBeek have created celluloid “poetry” that deconstructs traditional narrative structures. In these three films, the word merges with the film frame while the eye deceives the mind.

Jennifer West’s Film Title Poem is an etched, hand-painted 35mm digitized film comprised of collaged words, images, patterns and glitches shot from over 500 movie title cards to a musical soundtrack. West describes the film as “a psychic montage of my inner-history of film in alphabetical order.” 

The film is structured by a computer alphabetical sorting process, beginning with numbered films and moving through the list of movies in alphabetical order. The images were shot using a flashlight creating the effect of lighting the walls of a completely dark space. It is comprised of shots of individual movie titles and isolated words from the titles; these create a rhythmic word and image viewing game for the viewer, as they decipher recognizable fragments. Shot on analog 35mm film, the film celluloid of 8,000 feet of optical prints were inscribed with etched patterns, outlines, tracings, punctures and marks emphasizing the materiality of the film – using a host of unconventional tools such as forks, vegetable peelers, shards of mirror and hole punchers.

This work is part of a wider project considering the idea of the “remembered” film and how fiction weaves itself into our lives and memories – and how our viewing experience, and thus memories, has changed with the digital and Internet revolutions. 

Preceded by:

Poemfield no. 2

Stan VanDerBeek, US, 1966, 7 min., color

Poemfield no. 5 (Free Fall)

Stan VanDerBeek, US, 1969, 6 min., color

About Jennifer West
Jennifer West is an artist, who for over ten years, has gained international recognition for her explorations of materialism in film. Over the last two years, West has presented four solo exhibitions internationally, “Is Film Over? at Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China; “Action Movies, Painted Films and History Collage” at Man Museum, Nouro, Sardinia, Italy; “Film is Dead…” at Seattle Art Museum; and “Flashlight Filmstrip Projections” at Tramway, Glasgow, Scotland.  In addition to the major new works commissioned by the Seattle Art Museum and Tramway, she also completed a feature film for ICA London’s Art Night in 2016 and presented her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. In conjunction with the Yuz Museum exhibition, a catalogue was produced and four films were acquired as a joint acquisition with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Other significant commissions include the High Line Art, New York, NY; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, and the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom. West has produced eleven Zine artist books that she gives away at her exhibitions and her writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze and Mousse Magazine. She received her MFA from Art Center in Pasadena and her BA from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. She has lectured widely on her ideas of the “Analogital” and is an Associate Professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

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International House Philadelphia is pleased to announce that our flagship arts program Lightbox Film Center has a new website. Our film center rebranded last year, reflected in the name change, and now it has a dedicated website to match. The new site makes it easier than ever to explore our unparalleled film programming, with added content to learn more about our artists and series.


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