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http://www.concordia.ca/content/shared/en/news/finearts/cinema/2017/05/richard-kerr-tiff-crisis-collision-resolve.html

Richard Kerr's art and films featured at TIFF

Postindustrial show features art in the TIFF lightbox and Crisis, Collision, Resolve is a Wavelengths self-curated film screening and talk
May 9, 2017
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By Cecilia Keating

Ascending Leaders 1. 35mm Celluloid Film, Fluorescent Lights, Custom Lightbox. 30x30x6. Richard Kerr. 2016. (Detail). Ascending Leaders 1. 35mm Celluloid Film, Fluorescent Lights, Custom Lightbox. 30x30x6. Richard Kerr. 2016. (Detail).


Artwork created from woven, gored, boiled, melted and hand-drilled analog film is currently on display at a major exhibition of Concordia film production professor Richard Kerr’s experimental visual art in Toronto.

Postindustrial will run until June 10 at the gallery space of the Toronto international Film Festival (TIFF) Bell Lightbox space. Its centre pieces are Kerr’s latest “motion picture weavings” – an art form he has dedicated himself to for over 20 years.

Cinema, painting and sculpture

Kerr describes the celluloid weavings as “partly cinema, partly painting and partly sculpture.”

To create them, he threads strips of salvaged – and often manipulated and purposefully damaged – 35mm and 65mm film together and frames them. The pieces simultaneously deconstruct film into a sequence of individual images while allowing broader patterns of light and colour to emerge. They are a key area of his research at Concordia.

Other installations in Postindustrial include a five-hour digital loop made from 160 hand-painted and hand-manipulated slides from Hollywood trailers, and a video showcasing film that he pierced with a drill and then exposed to moonlight.

“I’m interested in what any given material will do, as opposed to creating stories or narratives, or creating social issues around it,” Kerr explains.

He started testing the artistic potential of film material in the late ‘90s, capitalising on the rise of digital film and the demise of analog. Universities, libraries and the NFB were getting rid of their physical film and Kerr started collecting it.

“My starting materials are all recycled and all free, so in a practical sense I have no real expenses for them, yet they have commercial value by the time I’ve finished,” he said.

A 'constant intellectual dialogue' with students

Reel-9 (Magenta).  35mm Celluloid Film, Fluorescent Lights, Plexiglas, Custom Lightbox. 52x26x6. Richard Kerr. 2014. Reel-9 (Magenta). 35mm Celluloid Film, Fluorescent Lights, Plexiglas, Custom Lightbox. 52x26x6. Richard Kerr. 2014.

Kerr defines himself first and foremost as a teacher, not an artist, and doubts whether his art would have progressed had it not been for the “constant intellectual dialogue” he shares with his students, both at Concordia since 2000, and before that the University of Regina.

“I give them experience and knowledge and process, they keep me current and give me energy,” he said.

He stressed that he always works alongside students, and to their scale – hence his emphasis on recycled materials and “DIY” approaches.

At Concordia’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Kerr teaches experimental undergraduate courses focused on process and the creation of artwork. He said he encourages students to work autonomously in an “artisanal way,” as opposed to the more industrial or commercial approach.

Wednesday, May 10, Kerr hosts an evening of his experimental films and videos dating back to the early ‘90s at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. He carefully selected the film programme to “speak to his duality as a visual artist and as a film maker,” and believes that the films will complement the work showcased in Postindustrial.

The two-hour screening is the latest edition of ‘Wavelengths,’ a time-honoured TIFF event series dedicated to experimental film and video art.

Richard Kerr: Post-Industrial will run until June 10 at the CIBC Canadian Film Gallery at the TIFF Bell Lightbox through June 10.

CRISIS, COLLISION, RESOLVE: The Films of Richard Kerr takes place on Wednesday May 10 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema 4 from 6:30pm. – 8:30pm.



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