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Objects in time: artefacts in artists’ moving image

Butler, A. (2020) Objects in time: artefacts in artists’ moving image. In: Murphy, J. and Rascaroli, L. (eds.) Theorizing Film Through Contemporary Art: Expanding Cinema. Film Culture in Transition. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789462989467

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“Films are containers filled with objects”, according to Volker Pantenburg, but the status of the object in film is utterly ambiguous: real and imaginary, symbolic and material, phenomenal and ephemeral, the object in film is a partially assimilated version of something that exists or existed elsewhere. Objects pass through the medium, becoming something other than themselves, but still pointing, indexically, towards their original condition. Through readings of two contrasting works about objects in museums, this chapter explores the role of the object in film as a marker of time and a measure of differential medium specificity. Tacita Dean’s 16mm film Day for Night (2009) made in the studio where Italian painter Giorgio Morandi worked for over 50 years, translates his still lives into film. Elizabeth Price’s two-screen digital film, A Restoration (2016), draws on the collections of the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums in a reinvention of museological interpretation as a Dionysian rite that gives new life to ancient objects. In artists’ films about museum objects, time is not recovered but invented, on the basis of the encounter between an artefact and a medium. In artists' moving images there is a dematerialisation of the object by the medium, but this may equally be considered as a rematerialization of the medium by the object.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:82621
Publisher:Amsterdam University Press


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