8mm Film, "Big as Life" at The Museum Of Modern Art
by Aaron Krach
The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco Cinematheque have
joined forces to present a comprehensive retrospective of 8mm film making. Big
as Life: An American History of 8mm Films will survey the achievements in regular
8mm, Super 8mm, Hi 8 film and video over the last 50 years, from the earliest
practitioners through those artists active today.
What the MoMA is calling, “one of the most exciting artistic developments in
American cinema,” are thousands of films and videotapes that have been made
with 8mm equipment. Relatively inexpensive and offering a great amount of
autonomy for the artist, 8mm has been popular with a “culturally diverse”
group of artists.
According to co-organizers Steve Anker, Director of the San Francisco Cinematheque,
and Jytte Jensen, Associate Curator of the Department of Film and Video at The
Museum of Modern Art, the weekly series will focus on implicit social and critical
themes as well as on the artists who have created substantial bodies of work.
The retrospective will be accompanied by a catalogue edited by Albert Kilchesty
that includes original essays and source materials by artists, critics, and
other film professionals, as well as complete filmographies.
Artists in the series include Stan Brakhage, Bruce Conner, Ken Jacobs, George
and Mike Kuchar, Carolee Schneemann, Jack Smith, Joyce Wieland, Peggy Ahwesh,
Vivienne Dick, Joe Gibbons, Lewis Klahr, Phil Solomon, Martha Colburn, Orgone,
Luther Price, Anne Robertson, Eric Saks, silt, Anie Stanley and many others.
The series begins Friday, February 6, with the work of key artists who have been
critical to the definition of 8mm film making practice in the United States.
Thereafter, the programs will be held every Thursday through June 1998, stopping
for the summer months, and then continuing from October 1998 through June 1999.
The series’ final season will run from October through December 1999.