Views from Inner Space

Christopher Townsend: Misdirect Movies

Extract from review, Art Monthly 369, September 2013, pp.24-25

“So in Misdirect Movies we have contemporary artists building on and reprising modernist activity, but doing so not as pastiche for the benefit of the market, but as distancing devices from cinema. The acknowledged principle for the show may be collage and the rearrangement of cinemas’s infinite supply of imagery – it is infinite because it grows faster than our capacity to appraise or rearrange it – but the outcome is something beyond cinema. I was especially taken by Dave Griffiths’ presentation of tiny, almost unintelligible images on glass slides, to be viewed through a microscope. The slides themselves, and the demand that one put them in the apparatus and focus it, recalled the materiality of proto-cinematic devices in the 19th century – not the precursors of cinema, but rather evolutionary paths that weren’t pursued. So too the creation of a flow of images, one slide after another, required a body rather than dematerialising it. The microscope also brought the viewer back to the history of optics, the idea of fixing the object in sight, and the need for the precision lens with which to do it.”

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