Artists' Television Access

Worlds Within Worlds: Remembering Owen Land

Friday, November 4, 2011, 8:00 pm, [members: $5 / non-members: $10]

Among filmmakers, George Landow/Owen Land (1944–2011) was frequently ahead of his time and always profoundly original. In the 1960s, arguably the golden age of so-called lyrical filmmaking, Landow’s own early films explored the physical properties of film and the paradoxes of visual representation in ways that anticipated the next decade’s vogue of “Structural Film.” Of course, by that decade, disdainful as he was of formulae and labels, not to mention wary of reductionist academics, the artist (who became “Owen Land” in 1977), was elaborating an irreverent oeuvre that included bizarre pseudo-documentaries and  mis-directed educational films. Eschewing stereoptypical “avant-garde” expressivity in favor of an industrial non-style that served as a paradoxical platform for his deadpan comedy, inventive wordplay and sophisticated theological speculations, the works of Landow/Land are truly in a class of their own. This mini-retrospective memorial will include Diploteratology; Thank You Jesus for the Eternal Present; Film in Which There Appear Edge Lettering…; New Improved Institutional Quality; Wide Angle Saxon; On the Marriage Broker Joke… and more, including very rare late-period pieces and little-screened video work. (Steve Polta)