CRISIS, COLLISION, RESOLVE: The Films of Richard Kerr

90 minutes

  • Press & Industry screenings and events are only for accredited passes.

Artist Richard Kerr introduces a self-curated programme of films and videos that highlight how method and material have informed his practice over the course of three decades.

Kerr is not only a much travelled artist, he is also one whose mobility of concerns is striking. He is mercurial, this at times disconcerted me . . . This presents problems for the critic-forecaster in that Kerr is someone whose direction cannot be mapped with certainty. There is strong thrust and steady trajectory, but reading his jet stream to predict his destination is problematic . Once again, this is my problem, not Richard Kerr's. Taking his films and videos one by one, Kerr is probably the least confused film artist of his generation ... If Kerr's concerns, and themes in this sense, are extremely mobile, it is also true that his works are unconfused. They are also compact. This is one of Kerr's undeniable virtues. The provenance of that compactness, like that of many virtues, can best be understood as a history.

Excerpted from Bart Testa's essay Richard Kerr: Overlapping Entries, 1993

In selecting the films for this program, I came across these observations made by Bart Testa in 1993 concerning the interests and methods in my work at the time. In retrospect, it is significant to observe how and why the concerns and materials in my work have evolved throughout my relationship with film. Looking back on this, I stand by Testa's comments and see how these films support the critic's observations.

The selected works trace a move from the photographic image to machine-assisted abstractions to found footage and cameraless filmmaking. The program is also an illustration of a studio practice that is informed by experimental film history, but moves to a meta-cinema practice as a continued exploration of technology's aesthetics through formal and material concerns.

I define myself as a professor-practitioner, so this selection of films also reflects my teaching philosophy: look, make, learn, and teach, as inspired by the process of intuition, spontaneity, and stream of consciousness.

—Richard Kerr

Cruel Rhythm (45:00, 16mm, 1991)

Universe of Broken Parts (11:10, digital video, 2007)

House Arrest (18:00, digital video, 2012)

Morning... Came a Day Early (9:00, 16mm-digital, 2015)

Wholly Holy (8:30, 35mm-digital, 2016)