Landscapes from the twenties clicking by on carousel projectors. Old home movies of life in French-colonized Morocco. A collage of clips from 200 films, taking us on a drive through glittering Los Angeles. These and other projects are part of the exhibition Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema presented by ICA. This exhibition explores cinema’s complex political, formal, and ideological history from the 1910s to the 1960s by showcasing the work of six international artists. Each uses archival material to convey both a critique and a nostalgia for the outmoded film technologies and abandoned idealism of a previous era. Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema opens on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, with a reception from 6:00–8:00 p.m., and will remain on view in ICA’s Project Space through March 4, 2012.
In their influential manifesto, “Toward a Third Cinema,” filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino state: “The capacity for synthesis and the penetration of the film image, the possibilities offered by the living document and naked reality, and the power of enlightenment of audiovisual means make the film far more effective than any other tool of communication.” Each work in this exhibition explores a thread from this essay that applies to all of the works in different ways.