“Now, before your very senses, a subversive, dark art will perform the transference of one body – to other bodies. It will bring about the unholy mixing of object, animal and human essences. It will produce shape-changing hybrids, that will try to trick you and to seduce you. You will feel things you know to be irrational. You will believe things you know to be false.”
A performance about belief, doubt, power and possession in film and through film. In this 60 minute lecture-performance-screening, I draw upon my experiences as a dancer and as a filmmaker to consider the powers of corporeal presence and absence on screen and in the imagination, as I explore aspects of projection both psychic and cinematic.
The presentation first came about in response to an invitation to talk about the body in film at What If… festival at Siobhan Davies Dance, London in 2013. I thought that the body of the film viewer should not be left out of this equation, so I tried to put bodies, images, and the human imagination back together, and to use audio visual accompaniment to think about the relationship between film, modernity and magic. It was reworked for Fictional Matters at Glasgow’s CCA in 2016, and Munich’s School for Film & Television in 2017.
Slap Happy Hunters. Dir. Eddy Donnelly (1940, b/w, 7minutes, USA)
Alone: Life Wastes Andy Hardy. Dir. Martin Arnold (1998, b/w, 15 minutes, Austria)
Quiet Please. Dir. William Hannah, Joseph Barbera (1945, colour, 7.35 minutes, USA) excerpt.
Rize. Dir. David LaChapelle (2005, colour, 68 minutes, USA) excerpt.
The pre-recorded words at the start are inspired by and adapted from Hollis Frampton’s ‘A Lecture’ (1968)
Sergei Eisenstein (, 2010) ‘Disney’ www.stopactionemory.wikispaces.com/file/view/Eisenstein+on+Disney.pdf
Anselm Keifer, (2012) ‘Animism: notes on an exhibition’
Rachel O Moore, (1999) ‘Savage theory: cinema as modern magic’, Duke University Press
Elaine Scarry, (1987) ‘The body in pain: the making and unmaking of the world’, Oxford University Press, U.S.A.;