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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a new home for making art at Duke University.
Date & Time
Friday, February 2 at 7:00 pm
Admission
Free; registration required. Register here
Venue
Film Theater at the Rubenstein Arts Center
2020 Campus Drive
Durham, NC 27705
Description

“The films of Nathaniel Dorsky blend a beauteous celebration of the sensual world with a deep sense of introspection and solitude. They are occasions for reflection and meditation, on light, landscape, time and the motions of consciousness. . . Dorsky’s films reveal the mystery behind everyday existence, providing intimations of eternity.”—San Francisco Cinematheque

The Duke University Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts program welcomes visiting artist Nathaniel Dorsky to Duke and Durham in the spring semester of 2018 for four nights of films, February 2-5. Nathaniel Dorsky: 18 at 18 features 18 films from the filmmaker, screened at silent speed, 18 frames per second.

Screening at the Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University, the slate of films spans the filmmaker’s career and includes a new six-film cycle, Garden of Light, photographed at the San Francisco Arboretum in 2017. The Garden of Light cycle will be screened in its entirety as a world premiere.

Program

Triste
(1974-96, 18.5 min.)
Triste is an indication of the level of cinema language that I have been working towards. By delicately shifting the weight and solidity of the images, and bringing together subject matter not ordinarily associated, a deeper sense of impermanence and mystery can open. The images are as much pure-energy objects as representation of verbal understanding and the screen itself is transformed into a “speaking” character. The “sadness” referred to in the title is more the struggle of the film itself to become a film as such, rather than some pervasive mood.

Variations
(1992-98, 24 min.)
Variations blossomed forth while shooting additional material for Triste. What tender chaos, what current of luminous rhymes might cinema reveal unbridled from the daytime word? During the Bronze Age a variety of sanctuaries were built for curative purposes. One of the principal activities was transformative sleep. This montage speaks to that tradition.

Love’s Refrain
(2000-01, 22.5 min.)
Perhaps the most delicately tactile in this series, Love’s Refrain rests moment to moment on its own surface. It is a coda in twilight, a soft-spoken conclusion to a set of four cinematic songs.

The Visitation
(2002, 18 min.)
Part One of a set of Two Devotional Songs. “The Visitation” is a gradual unfolding, an arrival so to speak. I felt the necessity to describe an occurrence, not one specifically of time and place, but one of revelation in one’s own psyche. The place of articulation is not so much in the realm of images as information, but in the response of the heart to the poignancy of the cuts.

About the Artist

Nathaniel Dorsky, born in New York City in 1943, is an experimental filmmaker and film editor who has been making films since 1963. He has lived in San Francisco since 1971. His films have been screened at museums, universities, and festivals around the United States and Europe, and he frequently exhibits new work at the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant-Garde and the Wavelengths program of the Toronto International Film Festival. In the spring of 2012 Dorsky screened films as part of the three month long Whitney Biennial. And in October 2015, the New York Film Festival honored his work with a thirty four film complete retrospective at Lincoln Center. He has received numerous awards and recognitions including a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the LEF Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the California Arts Council.

Kodak Motion Picture Film interviews Nathaniel Dorsky.
Top image: still from Love’s Refrain. Images and descriptions courtesy of the artist.

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