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Liliane Lijn: Collected Film and Video Works

In a two program retrospective, Straight to Video and Spectacle are proud to present the film and video work of visual artist, Liliane Lijn. Widely known for her Poem Machines (invented in 1962 alongside Burrough’s and Gysin’s Dreamachine,) in which Lijn stirred a conversation more relevant now than ever: the relationship between language and time, text and movement. Lijn’s application of text onto rotating cone-shaped “koans” stripped language of its meaning as it dematerialized the volume of the cone, inducing a hypnotic state – not unlike the nullifying effect that the increased rate of information has today. Lijn’s Poem Machines were featured recently in the MoMA’s Ecstatic Alphabet exhibition this past spring.

Lijn works across a broad range of materials and media, making extensive use of new technologies to create works that view the world as energy. Particularly interested in the interaction between light and matter, her recent work uses video as memory encapsulated in light. Her sculptures use light and motion to transform themselves from solid to void, opaque to transparent, formal to organic– a constant dialog of opposites.

Sunday, August 5th
Program 1: 7:30
Program 2: 10:00

Sunday, August 19th
Program 1: 7:30
Program 2: 10:00

Program 1: Practice/Process
+Factory Snaps, 1970
+Fire Water, 2007-8
+Caution Matter, 2011
+What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping, 1971-1973
+Power Game, 1974
+Power Game The Arches, Glasgow, 2011

Program 2: Life/ Context/ Construction of Identity
+Inner Space Outer Space, 2010
+It Never Happened Before, 2008
+Look a Doll! My Mother’s Story, 1998-2000
—Early Events—
+Seagate: the Sea in my Elbow
+Great Neck: Shouldering the Burden of Childhood
+Lavender Queen
+Paradise Lost

About the Artist:
Widely known for her Poem Machines (invented in 1962 alongside Burrough’s and Gysin’s Dreamachine,) in which Lijn stirred a conversation more relevant now than ever: The relationship between language and time, text and movement. Lijn’s application of text onto rotating cone-shaped “koans” stripped language of its meaning as it dematerialized the volume of the cone, inducing a hypnotic state – not unlike the nullifying effect that the increased rate of information has today. Lijn’s Poem Machines were featured recently in the MoMA’s Ecstatic Alphabet exhibition this past spring. What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping documents these sculptures in a montage that is perhaps the ideal way to experience the breadth of their impact. Always one to stay current, Lijn has used the evolutions of science, industry, and technology as fertile hunting grounds for unearthing the archetypal resonance within. This query begins with vignettes of industry in Factory Snaps, a series of production close-ups captured in Super 8 film using factories that aided Lijn in her work throughout the late ’60s in London. She trades the autobiographical jumping off point for one rooted in mythology in Fire Water and Caution Matter, initially a video installation, but shown in this program as vignettes. Fire Water further crops industry to specifics, while expanding its key to the logical mythographic end, which is to say the beginning, as Lijn documents two factories found along The Sacred Way – the connecting road from Athens to Eleusis. A “reconnection” of art and science is the central thread of Inner Space Outer Space, a series of interviews with scientists from when Lijn was a resident at the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley interspersed with moving images of her life’s work. But it is the timeless absurdity of Power Game that has provided the most coherent touchstone in Lijn’s career. The stipulations for this send-up of power, which uses the ambiguity of language as currency in which complicit “players” hedge their bets, was first staged by Lijn in 1974. This video enfolds layers of the original game with its subsequent re-stagings up to 2010. These films, along with a batch of autobiographical works that enlighten Lijn’s familial ties and early awareness of the body as matter, will be shown August 5th and August 19th at Spectacle Theatre in Brooklyn. Films in which art critic Frank Popper has heralded as instrumental in “the passage from the mechanical to the electronic in art” are not to be missed as we find ourselves approaching even more guarded passageways in art, technology, science and industry. –Elizabeth Murphy

Curated by Kellie Morgan/Straight to Video

About Spectacle: Spectacle Theater is a nonprofit cinema space located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Our programming features rare films, lost oddities, missing classics, and special events. All screenings are $5 unless otherwise noted.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Liliane_Lijn
lilianelijn.com
spectacletheater.com