Canadian filmmaker and artist Richard Kerr transforms salvaged 35mm and 65mm film footage into lightboxes that emphasize the film medium as a sequence of images.
Canadian filmmaker and artist Richard Kerr admits to a certain obsession with the medium (and the materiality) of film. In the mid-'90s, be began to create lightboxes using strips of film woven together and placed between sheets of Plexiglas. These "film weavings," as Kerr calls them, emphasize film as a sequence of images. Patterns of colour and light emerge at a distance, while individual film cells, like miniature photographs, are often clearly visible up close.
This new series of lightboxes, created between 2014 and 2016, are constructed from salvaged 35mm and 65mm film footage that includes work by the great NFB animator Norman McLaren; leaders and credits; appropriated footage from more mainstream productions; and film that has been bleached, scratched, and otherwise physically distressed by the artist, the emulsion purposely damaged.
Some of Kerr's most interesting explorations of the film medium to date are found in two recent digital films that, like the lightboxes, take analog film as their starting point. In these works, Kerr's extreme manipulation of the film, both before and after it has been processed, gives insight into the most basic elements of cinema: darkness, light, colour, and the illusion of movement.