A woman in a flowery dress takes the stage and tells us about Ed Halter, who is presenting at Anthology Film Archives as part of the fourth Migrating Forms festival of moving images. He's a critic, curator, runs the Light Industry, a venue for art film in Brooklyn.
Making his introduction, Halter says the lecture will be a selection of "fake experimental films from cinema and television"—films within films, films within shows—"compiled from Google and memory." Halter warns, "The films [he] will show have only a tenuous connection to actual experimental film made by actual experimental filmmakers." They are instead mass culture's understanding of artsy-fartsy, anti-Hollywood filmmaking.
I'm at the Harry Dodge screening at The Kitchen. The first video starts. Onscreen, someone wears a mask with a cube affixed to its forehead. There's no telling if it's a man or a woman, but the mask suggests the ugliness of a dude, and the perverse, uncouth way this person speaks also seems masculine. It's probably Harry. The person describes a film to the camera, walking us through it like a director would with his cinematographer. There's a lot of talk about a "super nice carpet" and a description of a photo of a woman with a "sperm-covered head," and the way it would look when her "perfect pink tongue" pops out. Film talk, like "POV" and "cut!" is thrown around. Lots of elements of the imaginary film are described as "beautiful" and "lovely" and "fuckable" but all you see is a person in a drab room in a hideous mask, its lips removed to reveal the narrator's lips moving. The video, called Unkillable (2011) goes on like this for about 15 minutes.
Mixed Media, 212 x 66 inches, Courtesy the artist.
Artist Kirstine Roepstorff was born and trained in Denmark, but lives and works in Berli