Updates, Live

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stan Brakhage: Mothlight (1963)

Brakhage was intimate with his camera and with the world seen by his camera from the very beginning. And from a certain moment on he felt the camera was of no more use between him and the world. He started to put the world directly on the film, either by painting it, scratching it, or by physically gluing the world there, like in this 4 minute movie from 1963, Mothlight. It could sound crazy to you, but Brakhage collected patiently hundreds of moth wings from the inside of lamps and windows, added parts of leaves and other detritus and sandwiched them between two filmstrips. The outcome was the life of a moth, from birth to death: a dance of patterns on the wings, of psychedelic beauty. The world of butterflies, as seen by the light bulb; or the fascination in the eyes of butterflies deadly attracted by the light bulb; or the fascination of us in watching the screen.

You could ask, is this the real world? Of course not, this is the world created by the imagination of Brakhage. An artist creates universes on his own, he is some kind of God (or Frankenstein, matter of perspective), and the only criteria for us to judge should be the consistency of the world we see on the screen, on the canvas, in a book (or the world we listen to when in a concert hall).

(By Brakhage)


Post a Comment

<< Home