Artists' Television Access


Friday, September 6, 2002, 8:00 pm, $5

PENUMBRA: A Total Eclipse of ATA
screening and closing party on the 22nd of Sept. 7:00pm –

gallery and window open throughout the month
Artists Television Access – 992 Valencia @ 21st (415.824.3890)

Filmic by nature, their ephemerality unfolding in time like a smoke
ring, once almost solid, dissolved to a mere wisp; the bewitching
quality of shadows interacts with the world in an intimate way. They are
allowed to mingle with objects, to envelope them. Shadows can be
illusion. They lend dimension to vision. During the month of September,
Penumbra slowly transforms the Artists Television Access into a
cinematic sonata in three parts, culminating with a closing party and
night of films and performance on the 22nd.

The ATA storefront window, installed earlier in the month, becomes a
dream machine casting shadows on the white papered walls, surrounded by
a curtain of eculyptus branches, blowing softly in an artificial wind. A
soft strobe peeling back layers from the usual street parade. A long ago
memory of what exists behind the eyelids. The installation slowly
becomes visible as the sky darkens.

The gallery is host to an exhibition of work exploring the nature of
shadow and light with photography and assemblage. Somewhere between the
realm of complete darkness and total illumination, these works reveal
dimension, obscure depth, expose the invisible and the minute, trace the
outlines of time, find color in the banal. Featuring dioramas by bay
area artist John O’Malley, whose current work “recreates fragments of
American landscapes both real and imagined” (O’Malley). The dioramas,
when viewed through a lens, resemble the slightly hazy images of a
memory. A pastoral pastime come to life in miniature. Photographer
Susannah Hays explores time and the nature of photography, with
photograms and photographs making celestial forms from the very
ordinary, charting the heavens with a nod to Newton. Shadows are not
just shades of grey. A sublime color balance can transform the seemingly
commonplace into a careful study of depth and warmth. Kathryn Hillier’s
photographs evoke a strong sense of place and time. Ann Chamberlain’s
Small Comfort, an installation of x-rayed toys (including a teletubby),
is almost frightening, revealing both the invisible and the unspeakable.
The specter of what once seemed so comforting debunked by the scientific
method. Also in the gallery will be selected prints from the mini-pin
project, an on-going pinhole photography project with a populist
approach, using recycled 35mm film cannisters and visitor participation.
A closing party correlates with a film screening.

Sunday the 22nd will be a night of films and performances. Shadows on
the wall, shadows of the sun, and shadows of the past. Exposing the
ghostly images that exist in our dreams and sunburned visions. Illusions
of the ordinary and tales involving the birth of cinema, the horror of
self perambulation, and the giddy glory of performances done for the
first time. Thomas Comerford (Chicago), gives us ILLA CAMERA OBSCVRA
(The Dark Room), a pinhole film which “examines the camera obscura-the
dark room-as metaphor for cinema and as site for shifts in perception
and understanding perception. Part of a series of films made with
pinhole cameras and found/homemade noise machines”. Fred Camper of the
Chicago Reader called this film, “…a strong meditation on the tenuous
nature of filmed images”. Also from Chicago, Rebecca Meyers will screen
how to sleep (winds), a film descibed by Meyers as “An open dormant
landscape, waiting”. This is a 16mm, color film meditating on wind, and
the combination of sound and image. The bay area’s own Ken Paul
Rosenthal gives us his film, I, My Bike , a cinepoem about city biking,
childhood obsessions, wishes for death, and the spector of history.
Featuring vintage shots of Market Street, vignetted against a crowd of
bicyclists. Sheri Wills (Providence RI), will open and close the show
with a pair of color photogram films, Anodyne and Acetylene. Showing new
film work will be Jeff Warrin (silt, SF), Louis Recoder (NYC), and
Alexis Bravos (SF). Plus, a few surprises.

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