Three Days in May: San Francisco Crossroads Festival 2017

By Michael Sicinski

May 18, 2017
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https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/three-days-in-may-san-francisco-s-crossroads-festival-2017


Displacements
, by Russian-American multimedia artist Anton Ginzburg, is yet another film whose fascination lay with its ambiguity. For the most part it is a comparative work, juxtaposing an interior with an exterior. However, it is by no means that simple. The interior is a degraded video image of a video camera, trained directly on the camera that is recording the images that comprise these parts of Displacements. Or, perhaps we are watching a feedback loop, which might explain the flares of yellow, cyan, and magenta that keep disrupting the studio space. Meanwhile, the exterior shots consist of footage shot around Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Ginzburg seems to be drawing connections between earthworks, early video art, and structural film. (Displacements has direct references to Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton, and Ernie Gehr.) But beyond this, Ginzburg seems to be working with a principle of duality. Everything is linked to another historical moment or movement, but each work in turn is abjuring reference in order to draw attention to its own formal production. As they meet within this film, all of these formalist discourses become “content” again, historically and aesthetically displaced.

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