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Sam Smith: The Camera’s Lens

Sam Smith: The Camera’s Lens

9–30 June 2012

A special cinema presentation of recent works by Australian artist Sam Smith as part of the Australian Cinémathèque’s ongoing series of programs focused on the connections between art and cinema. Smith’s work integrates sculptural construction and moving image in an artistic critique of cinema’s apparatus. Interrogating the formal structure of screen-space his work examines montage, filmic narrative and the camera instrument.

Into the Void 2009

Into the Void 2009

Sat 9, Sat 16, Sat 23 and Sat 30 June 2.00pm / Cinema A

SINGLE CHANNEL HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, COLOUR, 5:50 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

Using montage, multiple exposure and digital compositing Into The Void 2009 builds a tangent narrative. The artist searches New York for works of International Klein Blue (IKB) and a location that reflects the site where Yves Klein famously staged Le Saut dans le Vide (The Leap into the Void) 1960. Once the IKB works are found the artist extends his arms into the pigment, delving into the blue screen void. The work culminates in a time-based recreation of Kleinʼs famous jump: the artist hovers not only in space but also in time, suspended in a digital loop.

Essay: Into the Void by Jose Da Silva, 2009

Frame, Lens 2012

Frame, Lens 2012

Sat 9, Sat 16, Sat 23 and Sat 30 June 2.00pm / Cinema A

4K VIDEO AND SUPER 16MM FILM TRANSFERRED TO 2-CHANNEL HD VIDEO, COLOUR, SILENT, 3:48 MINUTES / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

Frame, Lens 2012 is a two-channel moving image work that interrogates the temporal and spatial possibilities of two cameras in one location: the relationship of lens to frame to action. Shot simultaneously on a 16mm film camera from 1975 and a contemporary digital cinema camera, the actions of the director and the movements of the camera apparatus explore the physical space of an interior room. The two cameras act as both capture device and subject matter, their age, mechanics, optics and recording media delivering a unique perspective to each channel. The room within the film becomes a space to explore cinematic language reduced to its most basic, that of composition and montage. The director operates the action from within the frame, while controlling the tension between the camera-object and the camera-angle.

Cameraman 2011

Cameraman 2011

Sat 9, Sat 16, Sat 23 and Sat 30 June 2.00pm / Cinema A

4K VIDEO AND SUPER 16MM FILM TRANSFERRED TO 2-CHANNEL HD VIDEO, COLOUR, STEREO, 31:14 MINUTES / CAST: JOHANNES SUHM / WITH: CARINA HEEKE, FRANCES HILL, SAMUEL HODGE, MAIJA HOWE, STEPHANIE NOVA MILNE, SAM SMITH, CLARE THACKWAY / SUPER 16MM FILM CAMERA: MAIJA HOWE, SAM SMITH / DIGITAL CAMERA: MAIJA HOWE, RICHARD NOVA MILNE, SAM SMITH / SOUND RECORDIST: DAN ANGELORO / PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: CLARE THACKWAY / ON SET PHOTOGRAPHY: DOMINIQUE ANGELORO, SAMUEL HODGE / CLAPPER: ALICE SMITH / DIGITAL ACQUISITION: STEPHANIE NOVA MILNE / DOLLY FABRICATION: WILL FRENCH / SET AND OBJECT FABRICATION: SAM SMITH / GERMAN TRANSLATION: LEONIE RODERIGUEZ / SCORE COMPOSED AND PERFORMED BY SAM SMITH / EDITING AND VISUAL EFFECTS: SAM SMITH / WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY SAM SMITH / COURTESY: THE ARTIST

In the two-channel video work Cameraman, a sequence of events take place between a film set, a cameraman’s apartment and an artist’s studio. The fractured narrative involves two camera lenses – one real and one sculpted by the artist. One channel of video conveys the action of the film set and its protagonists; the other interweaves the perspective of the film being shot – the ‘film within the film’. The work links celluloid film, sculptural practice and video installation through narrative-based cinematic language. The protagonist’s experience is one of traversing the realities of multiple screen-worlds, and registering the slippages between them.

Interview: Sam Smith in Conversation with Amelia Stein, The Blackmail, July 2011