Sylvielin's Blog

Interview with Anthony McCall

Posted in about Art, Interviews with Artists, Interviews with Filmmakers by sylvielin on May 29, 2011

(Interview made in Februrary 2011, Paris)


〔Extract from the original text〕

Q  In the 1970s, when you made the “solid light films (including Line Describing a Cone), the experimental or avant-garde films were still largely shown in movie theaters. But works like “solid light films were rather shown in empty spaces, which represented quite a breakthrough with regards to conventional ways of film projections at the time. What was the motivation behind the “solid light films and the process leading to the series of works?

A  The context where I made the works in the 1970s was primarily avant-garde film, both in London and in New York. The show places were not actually cinemas or movie theaters but rather what you might call ‘alternative spaces’: empty rooms with some movable chairs for the audience and a blank white wall to project onto. So the rigid format of the movie theatre was already breaking down. Secondly, one of the key developments in avant-garde film was what came to be called “expanded cinema”. I see this as an important precedent to what’s now called “installation art” in the art galleries. The development of the idea that three-dimensional space could be activated with projectors, moving images, and a durational structure, came from Expanded Cinema. This work moved further and further away from the exhibition structure of the commercial cinema with its hidden projection booths, screen, fixed seating, and so on.

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