April 4 - May 9, 2014
I used to edit movies for a living. It was a skill I learned in the old school, meaning it was as much a craft of physical construction as it was a conceptual art.
The great thing about editing physical film was that one could stop watching the movie and deal with it over a lightbox as lengths of colorful acetate. (Something lost in the transition to video tape editing and then to the nonlinear methods). I knew a foot of fiilm was 2/3 of a second on screen, I could tell a pan or a zoom or a dolly by how the shapes moved across the strip as I wound the film over a light table. Eventually I could even judge the pacing of them to a reasonable degree. I got used to seeing little bits of the stuff stuck here and there all over the place. The lamp over my work table was festooned with little trims of film, for instance, and I developed an uncanny ability to find the bit I might want to add back in the course of refining the edit. These series of individual pictures narrowly and in a sense arbitrarily separated by the frame line became fascinating to me without my really knowing it.
As I slowly became more of a photographer than a filmmaker this fascination persisted, once again without my really knowing it. When I started taking pictures I would get my chromes back cut and mounted:each one its own thing. The film editor in me soon rebelled, and I started asking the lab to just give me back the roll, uncut. I was intrigued by little narratives (short films for sure) but I was also in thrall to the odd collisions and juxtapositions that took place between the lines. Another kind of short film.
These works are some of the result.
- Michael Sean Edwards
Short Films by Michael Sean Edwards resides at the Adjacent to Life pop-up gallery housed in Ninth Street Espresso (341 E. 10th Street at Ave B).
image: by Michael Sean Edwards, Easter Sunday, Grand Central Station, 16.5” x 60”
Curated by Mark Roth