Tag Archives: A Month of Single Frames

aemi: Artist in Focus: Lynne Sachs (at the 66th Cork Film Festival)

66th Cork Film Festival
November 16-18, 2021
https://2021.corkfilmfest.org/films/aemi-artist-in-focus-lynne-sachs-615afd65aae68d005a5685ed

I will be heading to Cork International Film Festival in Ireland to present “Film About a Father Who” with 10 short films as part of their AEMI artist focus on my work. Honored to share four collaborative film poems: “Longings” made with filmmaker Moira Sweeney (who will be there with us!); “A Month of Single Frames” made with Barbara Hammer; “Girl is Presence” made with Anne Lesley Selcer; and, “Starfish Aorta Colossus” made with Paolo Javier.


Making work since the 1980s Lynne Sachs’ films have incorporated a cross-pollination of forms that extend to the essay film, documentary, collage, performance, and poetry. Deeply reflexive, Sachs’ films to date have outlined a rich interplay between the personal and the socio-political. aemi is delighted to present this overview of selected short works by Lynne Sachs at Cork International Film Festival, many of which are screening in Ireland for the first time. 

In addition to this shorts programme Lynne will also be in attendance at the festival for the Irish premiere of her celebrated feature Film About a Father Who.

CAROLEE, BARBARA & GUNVOR Lynne Sachs
From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.

STILL LIFE WITH WOMEN AND FOUR OBJECTS Lynne Sachs
A portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.

DRAWN AND QUARTERED Lynne Sachs
Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.

THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS Lynne Sachs
A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

GIRL IS PRESENCE Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer
Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.

LONGINGS Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney
A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.

DRIFT AND BOUGH Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.

STARFISH AORTA COLOSSUS Lynne Sachs
Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.

MAYA AT 24 Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.

A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer
In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.

Lynne Sachs Focus at Camera Lucida (Ecuador)

October 14-17, 2021 Loja Teatro Bolivar
November 11-19, 2021 Cuenca Teatro Sucre
November 20 – December 10, 2021 Online Ecuador 
https://www.ecamaralucida.com/2021-lynne-sachs


Program in English

Mirada Epicentro (Ceter Focus)

Authors who have made their way looking inward, achieving a work where the constant regression to aesthetic searches, thematic investigations and particular narratives, have a point at which the gaze gravitates, infects and expands.

In this edition, we are happy to share in Mirada Epicentro the work of Lynne Sachs, Bruno Varela and Ecuador de Territory, a program made up of the authors Alberto Muenala, Eriberto Gualinga and Sani Montahuano.

A Month of Single Frames
2020 – U.S.A – 14’
In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had a one-month artist residency in the C Scape Duneshack which is run by the Provincetown Community Compact in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The shack had no running water or electricity. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, recorded sounds with her cassette recorder and kept a journal.

In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her Duneshack images, sounds and writing to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor
2018 – U.S.A – 8’
From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
2021 – U.S.A / España – 5’
In a cinema letter to French director Jean Vigo, Lynne Sachs ponders the delicate resonances of his 1933 classic “Zero for Conduct” in which a group of school boys wages an anarchist rebellion against their authoritarian teachers. Thinking about the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol by thousands of right-wing activists, Sachs wonders how innocent play or calculated protest can turn so quickly into chaos and violence.

Drawn and Quartered
1987 – U.S.A – 4’
Optically printed images of a man and a woman are fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections. An experiment in form/content relationships that are peculiar to the medium, 1987

Film About a Father Who
2020 – U.S.A – 74’
Over a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.

Following the Object to its Logical Beginning
1987 – U.S.A – 9’
Like an animal in one of Eadweard Muybridge’s scientific photo experiments, five undramatic moments in a man’s life are observed by a woman. A study in visual obsession and a twist on the notion of the “gaze”.

Maya at 24
2021 – U.S.A – 4’
Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya in 16mm black and white film, at ages 6, 16 and 24. At each iteration, Maya runs around her mother, in a circle – clockwise – as if propelling herself in the same direction as time, forward. Conscious of the strange simultaneous temporal landscape that only film can convey, we watch Maya in motion at each distinct age.

Photograph on Wind
2001 – U.S.A – 4’
My daughter’s name is Maya.  I’ve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy.  As I watch her growing up, spinning like a top around me, I realize that her childhood is not something I can grasp but rather  – like the wind – something I feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.

Same Stream Twice
2012 – U.S.A – 4’
In 2001, I photographed her at six years old, spinning like a top around me. Even then, I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects
1986 – U.S.A – 4’
A film portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a prose poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a “character”. By interweaving threads of history and fiction, the film is also a tribute to a real woman – Emma Goldman, 1986 .

The house of science: a museum of false facts
1991 – U.S.A – 30’
Offering a new feminized film form, this piece explores both art and science’s representation of women, combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural college. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming of age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

Viva and Felix Growing Up 
2015 – U.S.A – 10’
Capturing fragments of the first three years of her twin niece’s and nephew’s lives with their two dads (her brother Ira Sachs and his husband Boris Torres) and their mom (Kirsten Johnson), Sachs affectionately surveys the construction of family.

Which way is east
Lynne Sachs / Dana Sachs
1994 – U.S.A – 33’
When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history.  Lynne and Dana Sachs’ travel diary of their trip to Vietnam is a collection of tourism, city life, culture clash, and historic inquiry that’s put together with the warmth of a quilt.  “Which Way Is East” starts as a road trip and flowers into a political discourse.  It combines Vietnamese parables, history and memories of the people the sisters met, as well as their own childhood memories of the war on TV.  To Americans for whom “Vietnam” ended in 1975, “Which Way Is East” is a reminder that Vietnam is a country, not a war.  The film has a combination of qualities: compassion, acute observational skills, an understanding of history’s scope, and a critical ability to discern what’s missing from the textbooks and TV news. (from The Independent Film and Video Monthly, Susan Gerhard)


Program in Spanish

Mirada Epicentro

Autoras y autores que han labrado su camino mirando hacia dentro, logrando una obra donde la regresión constante a búsquedas estéticas, investigaciones temáticas y narrativas particulares, disponen un punto en el cual la mirada gravita, se contagia y se expande.

En esta edición, nos alegramos compartir en Mirada Epicentro la obra de Lynne Sachs, Bruno Varela y Ecuador de territorio, un programa conformado por los autores Alberto Muenala, Eriberto Gualinga y Sani Montahuano. 

A Month of Single Frames
2020 – U.S.A – 14’
En 1998, la cineasta Barbara Hammer tuvo una residencia artística de un mes en Cape Cod, Massachusetts. La choza no tenía agua corriente ni electricidad. Mientras estuvo allí, filmó una película de 16 mm, grabó sonidos y llevó un diario. En 2018, Barbara comenzó su propio proceso de muerte revisando su archivo personal. Ella le dio todas sus imágenes, sonidos y escritura de la residencia a la cineasta Lynne Sachs y la invitó a hacer una película.

Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor
2018 – U.S.A – 8’
De 2015 a 2017, Lynne visitó a Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer y Gunvor Nelson, tres artistas multifacéticos que han abrazado la imagen en movimiento a lo largo de sus vidas. Desde la casa del siglo XVIII de Carolee en los bosques del norte del estado de Nueva York hasta el estudio de Barbara en West Village y el pueblo de la infancia de Gunvor en Suecia, Lynne graba una película con cada mujer en el lugar donde encuentra la base y la chispa.

E•pis•to•lar•y: letter to Jean Vigo
2021 – U.S.A / España – 5’
En una epistolar fílmica dirigida al director francés Jean Vigo, Lynne Sachs reflexiona sobre su clásico de 1933 “Zero for Conduct”, en el que los escolares libran una rebelión anarquista contra sus maestros autoritarios. Al pensar en el asalto del 6 de enero de 2021 al Capitolio de los EE. UU. Por parte de activistas de derecha, Sachs se pregunta cómo un juego inocente o una protesta calculada pueden convertirse tan rápidamente en caos y violencia.

Drawn and Quartered
1987 – U.S.A – 4’
Imágenes impresas ópticamente de un hombre y una mujer fragmentadas por un fotograma de película que se divide en cuatro secciones distintas. Un experimento en las relaciones forma / contenido que son peculiares del medio, 1987.

Film About a Father Who
2020 – U.S.A – 74’
Desde 1984 al 2019, Lynne Sachs filmó a su padre, un animado e innovador hombre de negocios. Este documental es el intento de la cineasta por entender las redes que conectan a una niña con su padre y a una mujer con sus hermanos. Con un guiño a las representaciones cubistas de un rostro, la exploración de Sachas ofrece visiones simultáneas y a veces contradictorias de un hombre aparentemente incognocible que públicamente se ubica de forma desinhibida en el centro del encueadre, pero en lo privado se refugia en secretos.

Following the Object to its Logical Beginning
1987 – U.S.A – 9’
Como un animal en uno de los experimentos fotográficos científicos de Eadweard Muybridge, una mujer observa cinco momentos poco dramáticos en la vida de un hombre. Un estudio sobre la obsesión visual y un giro en la noción de “mirada”.

Maya at 24
2021 – U.S.A – 4’
Conscientes del extraño paisaje temporal simultáneo que solo el cine puede transmitir, vemos a Maya en movimiento en cada época distinta.

Photograph on Wind
2001 – U.S.A – 4’
El nombre de mi hija es Maya. Me han dicho que la palabra maya significa ilusión en la filosofía hindú. Mientras la veo crecer, girando como una peonza a mi alrededor, me doy cuenta de que su infancia no es algo que pueda comprender, sino más bien, como el viento, algo que siento acariciar con ternura mi mejilla.

Same Stream Twice
2012 – U.S.A – 4’
En 2001, la fotografié a los seis años, girando como una peonza a mi alrededor. Incluso entonces, me di cuenta de que su infancia no era algo que pudiera comprender, sino más bien, como el viento, algo que podía sentir con ternura rozando mi mejilla.

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects
1986 – U.S.A – 4’
Un retrato cinematográfico que se sitúa entre una pintura y un poema en prosa, una mirada a las rutinas y pensamientos diarios de una mujer a través de una exploración de ella como un “personaje”. Al entrelazar hilos de historia y ficción, la película también es un homenaje a una mujer real: Emma Goldman, 1986.

The house of science: a museum of false facts
1991 – U.S.A – 30’
Ofreciendo una nueva forma de película feminizada, esta pieza explora la representación de las mujeres tanto en el arte como en la ciencia, combinando películas caseras, recuerdos personales, escenas escénicas y metraje encontrado en una intrincada universidad visual y auditiva. Los rituales de mayoría de edad a veces difíciles de una niña se reconvierten en una potente red de afirmación y crecimiento.

Viva and Felix Growing Up 
2015 – U.S.A – 10’
Durante los primeros tres años de la vida de mi sobrino y mi sobrina gemela, usé mi cámara Bolex de 16 mm para filmarlos mientras crecían en la ciudad de Nueva York con sus dos papás (mi hermano Ira Sachs y su esposo Boris Torres) y su mamá (Kirsten Johnson). . La película termina con un abrazo por el Día del Orgullo Gay.

Which way is east
Lynne Sachs / Dana Sachs
1994 – U.S.A – 33’
Cuando dos hermanas estadounidenses viajan al norte desde la ciudad de Ho Chi Minh a Hanoi, las conversaciones con desconocidos y amigos vietnamitas les revelan la otra cara de una historia compartida.

“A Month of Single Frames” at Kaleidoskop Film Festival (Vienna)

Dienstag, 5. Oktober 2021
19:00 Uhr

https://kaleidoskop.film/kaleidoskop-2020/fragmente-filme/recall/

RECALL [REWIND]

Kurzfilmprogramm [66 min] & Talk
aus der Reihe Kaleidoskop. Fragmente. Im Kino.

RECALL [REWIND] deals with the temporary absences of what has been and with practices of rendering invisible in the face of dominant image politics.

Video recordings of the demolition of the Eastman Kodak company complex in W O W (Kodak), played backwards several times in a row, reimagine the reconstruction of the former workplace. By means of a reenactment of excerpts from a French film with a colonial look, the autobiographical video Nou voix causes the unheard voices of French Guiana to be highlighted. The continuous experience of racism is the subject of This makes me want to predict the past, portraits of young people in the Olympia shopping center in Munich, where nine young people were murdered in a racist attack in 2016, accompanied by YouTube comments on Childish Gambino’s song “Redbone” . Dream-like sequences of Berber women roaming through rural landscapes oscillate in Chergui between memory and forgetting, between the presence and absence of the texture-rich space-time structure, assembled from archive material from the Tangiers Cinematheque. Impressions from everyday family life can only be perceived as ephemeral memory fragments in the gradually decomposed film material of film in the process of decay, which must be rearranged. What Time is Made of, on the other hand, takes up childhood memories which, as a message in a bottle in the form of a sealed film can, in which the traces of the sea have been drawn, have fictitiously survived for 30 years. Lynne Sachs approaches the filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who died shortly after the completion of the film, in A Month of Single Frames, a cinematic work in which the exploration of loneliness and the feeling for nuances go deep as a physical experience of cinema. Pointing out blind spots and stories in their current relevance in the current space of experience prompts a reassessment of the present and brings up strategies of talking back.


GERMAN :
RECALL [REWIND] beschäftigt sich mit den temporären Abwesenheiten von Gewesenem und mit Praktiken des Unsichtbarmachens angesichts dominanter Bildpolitiken.

Mehrmals hintereinander rückwärts abgespielte Videoaufnahmen der Sprengung des Eastman Kodak Firmenkomplexes in W O W (Kodak) lässt den Wiederaufbau der einstigen Arbeitsstätte reimaginieren. Mittels Reenactment von Auszügen eines französischen Films mit kolonial geprägtem Blick veranlasst das autobiografische Video Nou voix das Hervorheben ungehörter Stimmen Französisch-Guyanas. Die kontinuierliche Erfahrung von Rassismus ist Thema in This makes me want to predict the past, von YouTube-Kommentaren zu Childish Gambinos Song »Redbone« begleitetes Porträts von Jugendlichen im Olympia-Einkaufszentrum in München, wo 2016 neun junge Menschen bei einem rassistischen Anschlag ermordet wurden. Traumartige Sequenzen von durch rurale Landschaften streifenden Berberfrauen oszillieren in Chergui zwischen Erinnerung und Vergessen, zwischen An- und Abwesenheiten des texturenreichen Raum-Zeit-Gefüges, montiert aus Archivmaterial der Kinemathek Tangiers. Eindrücke aus einem Familienalltag sind im sukzessive zersetzten Filmmaterial von Film im Zerfall nur mehr als ephemere Erinnerungsfragmente wahrnehmbar, die es neu anzuordnen gilt. What Time is Made of wiederum greift eigene Kindheitserinnerungen auf, die als Flaschenpost in Form einer versiegelten Filmdose, in welcher sich die Spuren des Meeres abgezeichnet haben, fiktiv 30 Jahre überdauert haben. Lynne Sachs nähert sich der kurz nach Fertigstellung des Films verstorbenen Filmemacherin Barbara Hammer in A Month of Single Frames an, eine filmische Arbeit, in der die Erkundung der Einsamkeit, das Gespür für Zwischentöne als körperliche Erfahrung von Kino tiefgeht. Das Aufzeigen blinder Flecken und Geschichte/n in ihrer aktuellen Relevanz im derzeitigen Erfahrungsraum veranlasst eine Neubewertung der Gegenwart und bringt Strategien des Talking Backs zur Sprache.



W O W (Kodak)
Viktoria Schmid, 2018, 2 min
A countdown, onlookers, then the view of thick dust clouds. An apocalyptic scene of destruction that reverses: the dust flows back into the center of the image, bits of debris put themselves together, a building erects itself. Five YouTube clips played backwards, five different perspectives – Viktoria Schmid’s commentary on film culture: analogue film is dead—long live analogue film! (Diagonale)


Nou voix
Maxime Jean-Baptiste, 2018, 14:26 min
Nou voix is an autobiographical video departing from the participation of the director’s father, as a Guyanese figurant in the movie Jean Galmot aventurier (1990), which deals with the history of French Guiana. By re-enacting a part of the film, Maxime and his father try to amplify other kinds of voices that have been unheard in the original French film.


This makes me want to predict the past
Cana Bilir-Meier, 2020, 16:05 min
This makes me want to predict the past accompanies two young women on their way through urban spaces of transit. In direct interaction with the camera, they reveal desires and fears, while the voice-over rattles handed-down structures. Munich 1982, 2016, and 2019: connecting the generations is one constant factor, the experience of racism. (Diagonale)


Chergui
Chahine Fellahi, 2019, 4:59 min
Chergui is a piece created using material from the Cinematheque of Tangiers’ archives. Through oneiric scenes of Berber women walking in the countryside, Chergui reflects on the ungraspable nature of memory as the images form and unform, following the oscillating rhythm between remembering and forgetting. In Chergui, the figures’ contours dissolve into the pixelated landscape. The moving bodies are recast within an incommensurable space-time dimension; they are there and not there, suspended between presence and absence.


Film im Zerfall
Anonym, ca. 1965, 4 min (Exzerpt)
Impressions of everyday family life, captured moments of the liveliness of the market, of vacation moods with a view of meadows and mountains, children splashing, playing and running. A family album as moving image sequences, which occasionally evoke memories, but which are successively decomposed. The material invites us to reconstruct these memory fragments and to imagine our own stories. The result is a narrative, adding a further layer on the moving image in decay. The film material – emulsion decomposed by mold – becomes visible in its longevity as an ephemeral element. From the collection of the Austrian Film Museum.


What Time is Made of
Diana Vidrascu, 2019, 10 min
What if you found a message in a bottle in the form of a sealed film can, which your younger self had sent 30 years ago? After processing this16mm film reel, I discovered that the sea had left its mark on the images and the film bears the memory of all the things it witnessed in its journey to land. However, these proved to be my own childhood memories. (Diana Vidrascu)


A Month of Single Frames
Lynne Sachs (Made with and for Barbara Hammer), 2019, 14:08 min
Filmmaker Lynne Sachs was invited by her longtime peer and friend, Barbara Hammer, to explore Hammer’s experience with solitude using the materials she created during a remote residency in 1998 in a shack without running water or electricity. Diagnosed with cancer, Hammer began her own process of dying in 2018. Sachs’ use of overlaid text confronts the relationship between body and screen, collapsing the walls between space and time.

Lynne Sachs Featured August Interview on WomenDo Film Club

Women Do
August Interview 
By Solia Cates
https://womendo.com/august-interview

What inspired A Month of Single Frames?
I met Barbara Hammer in the late eighties in San Francisco. She was teaching a workshop on a film technique called optical printing. We were both part of the alternative, underground, experimental film community in San Francisco. We both moved to New York and stayed in contact, and when she was 70, I asked to shoot a roll of film [of Barabra and Florrie, her partner]. It took about five years, because Barbara was so busy and was also undergoing chemotherapy. When she was in her third round of chemotherapy and saw that the end was near, she gave me and three other filmmakers rolls of footage that she shot but never completed. She gave me the footage that you see in A Month of Single Frames, which she shot in 1998. She gave me the journal she kept, and I picked a few pages that she read. She got to see some of [the film], but died before I finished the edit. I thought about how I could use the film to talk to her; talk to her in the past in which she shot it, talk to her as a posthumous presence after her death, and talk to the people watching it about what we see through time. The edit and the text on the screen became a way to communicate on multiple levels.

What do you feel the gaze is within the film? Is there one gaze? Is it a meta-gaze? 
There are many different ways of seeing in the film. First of all, there is the gaze at nature, and the awe at nature – I love that she transforms nature for her needs. For example, she takes little gels and manipulates the grass. Then there’s the gaze that we have of a woman alone, in a place without running water, or electricity, in nature. It’s a romantic idea of survival. And then the film looks at the audience and asks [the audience] to be aware of itself, to be aware of watching a film. I always feel that I’m most successful when a person leaves one of my films and they doubt something that they believed before. With this, think about what it is to spend your time alone, which many people are intimidated by, what it is to face aging, what it is to have a relationship with nature that is delicate. So many movies are about climbing this or that, running from one place to another in the shortest amount of time….You don’t finish this and think “whoa, isn’t she brave?”, except that she was brave to think about the existential, about living, about relationships. Hopefully that brings out a different kind of empathy.

What else was important to you that you knew you wanted to see? How much did you plan, and what did you let reveal itself to you?
In this kind of filmmaking, you think a lot about intention, but you also give yourself space to let the material surprise you. Usually, the obstacle that presents itself to you can indicate something about the complexity of the work. This project wasn’t just going to be about a woman spending a month in a pretty place, it was also going to be a piece that dealt with mortal coil, nature, decay. As we gaze at the human form, we’re trained to look for beauty. We’re constantly framing ourselves to be desirable. Something that Gunvor Nelson once said to me as I was filming flowers in her backyard, “why are you just filming the living flowers? The dead ones are so much more compelling.”

Were there certain things that you found yourself inspired by when you were starting out, and have those inspirations maintained the same or have they changed over the years?
Early on in my filmmaking, I bought a 16 millimeter camera. I still have it. I bought it in 1987. I still use the same camera for almost every film I make. I have an intimate relationship with it, it’s a beautiful machine, and it sort of feels like it’s an extension of my body. 


I made another film with Barbara Hammer, “Carolee, Barbara, and Gunvor” in 2018. Carolee Shneemann is considered one of the great thinkers and practitioners of feminist performance art, and she is also a filmmaker – she made a film called Fuses which was very inspirational for many people. Gunvor Nelson is a Swedish filmmaker who lived in the United States for many years, another huge inspiration. Those three women are major heroes of mine. They were all super important women in my life, both as artists and as friends.

What made you want to be a filmmaker?
I think that filmmaking found me. I didn’t go looking for filmmaking. When I was growing up, I liked going to the movies, but I was far more interested in photography, writing, poetry, and drawing. “The movies” felt like a way to entertain and fill time. Then, I went to college and I continued to do art, but I was also a history major. There was a rift that I was unintentionally trying to sew together, which was my interest in social issues and politics with the art classes I was taking at the same time. In my junior year, I went to live in France and discovered the films of Chantal Akerman and Marguerite Duras. I had no idea that this medium, “the movies”, was also this really articulate, raw, intimate, unpredictable and not-formulaic way of seeing the world, and that it could give me the opportunity to pursue some intellectual curiosities that painting, which I still love, didn’t foster so much. In a sense, it was a treasure chest, or garbage can, where I could throw all of these ways of being in the world into one.


You can purchase and stream A Month of Single Frames here through September 17, 2021. This film is made available by the distributor, Canyon Cinema. Proceeds from the rental of this film will go to supporting the Barbara Hammer Feminist Film Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Additionally, more of her films will be made available to the public this October, with The Criterion Channel’s showcase of her work. For more, click here.

A Month of Single Frames is featured on our August Playlist.


Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her work ever since. She is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published her first book Year by Year Poems. From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NYFA, and Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center, the Walker the Getty, New York Film Festival, and Sundance. 

Lynne lives in Brooklyn.


Solia Cates is the Editor-In-Chief of WomenDo, a graduate of Yale University’s Film and Media studies program, and a writer and actress based in Los Angeles. She sits down with WomenDo Founder and documentary filmmaker Rebecca Carpenter to discuss inspiration, mentorship, and the emotional impact of viewing women’s stories.


WomenDo is a film club that highlights bold, inspiring, and groundbreaking stories made by and about women. 

Our mission is to celebrate female excellence by spotlighting female filmmakers and movies that focus on womanhood. Through our uniquely curated film “playlists”, members are exposed to the stories of trailblazing women who have pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo, whether their impact be personal, local, regional, or international. Through our conversation series, we sit down with women in all areas of the film industry to examine inspirations, motivations, and what it really takes to bring amazing stories to the screen.

The Flow Chart Foundation presents “Films + Poems = Lynne Sachs”

Films + Poems = Lynne Sachs
The Flow Chart Foundation
https://www.flowchartfoundation.org/events-public-programs-2021
Monday, September 13, 6 – 7PM (EDT), via zoom


Filmmaker/poet Lynne Sachs will share a selection of short films and read selections from her poetry collection Year by Year Poems (Tender Buttons Press). This free public event precedes an encore presentation of our Text Kitchen workshop—Frames & Stanzas: Video Poems, which begins the next day, Tuesday, Sept. 14.

The Flow Chart Foundation explores poetry and the interrelationships of various art forms as guided by the legacy of American poet John Ashbery. Through programs for both general and scholarly audiences showcasing innovative work by a diversity of artists of various kinds, The Flow Chart Foundation celebrates Ashbery and his art as an inspirational and generative force. We see poetry in particular as a conduit to exploration, questioning, and resistance to the status quo, and work to offer new ways to engage with it and its interplay with other artistic modes.

On Year by Year: Poems:
“The whole arc of a life is sketched movingly in this singular collection. These poems have both delicacy and grit.  With the sensitive eye for details that she has long brought to her films, Lynne Sachs shares, this time on the page, her uncanny observations of moments on the fly, filled with longings, misses, joys and mysterious glimpses of a pattern of meaning underneath it all.”  —Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body and Against Joie de Vivre

“The highly acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Sachs is also a captivating and surprising poet. Year by Year distills five decades into lyric, a lustrous tapestry woven of memory, wisdom, cultural apprehension and the delicate specificities of lived life.”  —Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs and When the World Was Steady


“In Year by Year, Lynne Sachs selects and distills from larger fields of notation, acute scenes representing her life and the world she was born into. Her measured, spare account brings her to an understanding and acceptance of the terrible and beautiful fact that history both moves us and moves through us, and, more significantly, how by contending with its uncompromising force, we define an ethics that guides our fate.” —Michael Collier author of Dark Wild Realm


Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her highly self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living and studying in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trihn T. Min-ha. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her body of work ever since. In tandem with making films, Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems.

From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing directly the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany—sites affected by international war–where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions. 

Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker and the Getty, and at festivals including New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Punto de Vista, DocAviv, and DocLisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival. Her 2019 film “A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prize at Oberhausen Festival of Short Films in 2020.  In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Lynne for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields. 

The Flow Chart Foundation’s “Text Kitchen” with Workshops by Lynne Sachs

https://www.flowchartfoundation.org/workshop-checkout/0xwihp0y2zgaxgr0tgxgjs3gsrukqr

The Flow Chart Foundation’s Text Kitchen hands-onWorkshops provide writers and other art-makers opportunities for deep exploration into poetry and interrelated forms of expression.

UP NEXT:

Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems—encore presentation!
a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs

Tuesday, September 14 & Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (registration includes both sessions)
6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom

In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images using an iPhone and simple editing software. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence. 

Participants are encouraged to join us for a free, public presentation of Lynne’s short films and poetry taking place virtually at 6PM (EDT) on Monday, September 13th. More info here.

Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80


PREVIOUS:

Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems
a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs

Thursday, June 10 & Thursday, June 17, 2021 (registration includes both sessions)
6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom

When award-winning Brooklyn filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs first discovered The Flowchart Foundation’s enthusiasm for poetry as a conduit for an interplay with other artistic modes, she knew that we would be a great place to offer a workshop that would nourish a deeply engaged dialogue between the written word and the image.

In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence. 

We encourage those with backgrounds in either or both poetry and image-making to sign up. Participants will need only a smartphone for creating their short films. Because creative collaboration between participants is a vital part of the experience, Lynne will carefully pair participants based on a questionnaire sent after registering. Note that this is not a tech-focused workshop, though some basic tech instruction will be shared.

Lynne’s virtual workshop will include the screening of some of her own recent short film poems, including “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (2015), “A Month of Single Frames” (2019), “Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home” (2020), and “Girl is Presence” (2020) as well as excerpts from her feature “Tip of My Tongue” (2017).

Join us in this 2-week multimedia investigation of the sounds, texts, media images, home-made movies, and sensory experiences that all come together in a video poem. We could not be more delighted to be launching the Text Kitchen workshop series with this event. 

Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80 [event SOLD OUT]

Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her highly self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living and studying in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trihn T. Min-ha. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her body of work ever since. In tandem with making films, Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems.

From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing directly the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany—sites affected by international war–where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions. 


Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker and the Getty, and at festivals including New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Punto de Vista, DocAviv, and DocLisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival. Her 2019 film “A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prize at Oberhausen Festival of Short Films in 2020.  In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Lynne for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields. 

Edinburgh International Film Festival screens “A Month of Single Frames”

Edinburgh International Film Festival
18 – 25 August 2021
https://www.edfilmfest.org.uk/2021/shorts-interconnections/08-21_16-00/

SHORTS: INTERCONNECTIONS
Part of the Shorts Strand
71 mins  

Body

A programme of short films, exploring collaboration, communication and interrelation.

With their fluid approach to structure and close attention to rhythm, the films in this programme demonstrate different ways of expressing connection and interconnection – with oneself, with another, between humans and non-humans, and with both the urban environment and natural surroundings. They ask us to be attentive to the relationship between exterior and interior worlds, transforming perception through new languages of observation and contemplation. 

A Month of Single Frames / Lynne Sachs / USA / 2019 / 14 min / English
A poetic dialogue between two female filmmakers from different generations – Lynne Sachs and Barbara Hammer. Sachs reworks Hammer’s unfinished film project, weaving together a tapestry of interconnected subjectivities that reflects on the memory and legacy of the iconic lesbian artist.

Autoficción / Laida Lertxundi / USA, Spain, New Zealand / 2020 / 14 min / English, Spanish with subtitles
Employing her signature deadpan style and experimenting with the boundary between fiction and documentary, Lertxundi allows a series of intimate perspectives on the female experience to emerge against a backdrop of urban ennui.

Signal 8 / Simon Liu / Hong Kong / 2020 / 14 min / No dialogue
The flux and flow of everyday life on the streets of Hong Kong is transformed into a mysterious spectacle of discovery in Liu’s celebration of 16mm film.

Tri-Alogue #4 / Caryn Cline, Linda Fenstermaker, Reed O’Beirne / USA / 2020 / 3 min / No dialogue
Masking the frame to divide the image, three filmmakers collaborate on the same roll of 16mm film. A compelling triptych portrait of Seattle in summer.

Redbird and other birds / Julieta María / Canada / 2019 / 13 min / English
Reflecting on the relationship between the natural and the manmade, and between the human and non-human, this experimental documentary offers new perspectives on the practice of birdwatching.

LE RÊVE / Peter Conrad Beyer / Germany / 2020 / 8 min / No dialogue
Semi-abstract and dreamlike impressions of natural forms, both animate and inanimate, are interwoven in a tapestry of tactile encounters that open up new forms of perception and understanding.

Of This Beguiling Membrane / Charlotte Pryce / USA / 2020 / 5 min / English
Pryce’s poetic observations of the natural world continue with this investigation of striders that inhabit the surface of water. What lies beneath this delicate boundary between one world and another?

Mimesis Documentary Festival to host “Film About a Father Who” and “Day Residue” workshop

Mimesis – Documentary Festival
August 2021
https://www.mimesisfestival.org/2021-program/#opening-night

Opening Night: Lynne Sachs + Workshop

Film About a Father Who
by Lynne Sachs (2021, 74’)Wednesday 4 August 6:00 PM
Boedecker Cinema

Drawing on a painstaking personal archive of images, home movies, and interviews, Film About A Father Who is a rare kind of cinematic portrait: one that succeeds in expanding our understanding of the filmmaker, her protagonist, and their relationship through its structure, aesthetic, and method. A beautiful accumulation of time, contradictions, and a multitude of perspectives reflects the all-too-familiar operatic dynamics of family.

This screening will be followed by a conversation with the artist and a reception with light refreshments.

Recorded by Marc Vidulich.

Mimesis Documentary Festival, Aug 4 2021
Q & A with filmmaker Lynne Sachs for Opening Night screening of “Film About a Father Who”
moderated by Maryam Muliaee, PhD
Post-doctoral AssociateDepartment of Critical Media PracticesUniversity of Colorado Boulderwww.maryammuliaee.comEditor, MAST journal www.mast-journal.org

  1. Can you talk a little about the process of archiving for Film About A Father Who in the course of three decades? My emphasis is on the word archiving (rather than archive) with an interest in the process, duration and change — a quality that also involves encounters with the unexpected and unplanned. I can imagine it must be an incredibly enormous amount of footage, images and sounds that needed your considerable time, patience and focus for re-listening, re-watching and final selection. How did you manage these demanding processes of archiving, organizing and reviewing your materials within three decades?
  2. There is sometimes this wrong assumption that films made up of home movies and family footage are hard to be directed or involve less direction. However, as a director you have sculpted the film with incredible attention to details. Your orchestration of the materials and visual rhetoric are so strong, thoughtful and distinct, revealed as an individual touch. How did you direct the film, and come to decision(s) about selection, order and function of home movies and family footage in your film?
  3.  There is an aesthetic of fragmentation in your film. You also mentioned to cubist paintings in your statement referring to your film and way of portraying your father. This fragmentation brings in dynamic variation, multiplicity and process – embodied in your way of engaging a variety of different materials (in terms of format, quality, time, order, aspect ratio, cut, collage, etc.); in a fragmented and unfinished image of your father; in the voice and view of multiple narrators the viewers encounter such as siblings some of whom remained disconnected for twenty years. I also find a meaningful association between this fragmental or fragmentary aesthetic and the way memories are always in pieces, ephemeral and collective. Can you talk more about the aesthetic of fragmentation (or variation) in your film, and why does it matter to you as a filmmaker?
  4. While the film title gives this assumption that your main protagonist is a man — obviously your father — I was surprised by and enjoyed far more and many encounters with women in the film, from your grandmother to your mother, your sisters and your father’s other wives, and of course yourself as a woman (as well as a mother and a daughter). Discovering this distinct feminist standpoint through which you connect the viewers more strongly with the female characters in the film was so remarkable for me. Can you talk about this feminist touch?
  5.  Can you talk about your use of aging/decaying videotapes? How did you find it aesthetically important or meaningful to deploy the disintegration of videographic materials? What is at stake in their tactile qualities (e.g. blurriness, incoherence, failure and dispersion) and how have their grainy textures helped your film narrative or aesthetics?

Workshop: Day Residue
A filmmaking workshop on the every day with opening night artist Lynne Sachs.
Thursday 5 August 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Grace Gamm Theater

According to Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams, our day residue is composed of the memory traces left by the events of our waking state. In this workshop, we explore the ways in which fragments of our daily lives can become material for the making of a film poem. While many people in the film industry rely upon a chronological process that begins with the development phase and ends with post-production, our Day Residue workshop will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages artists to embrace the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.

The workshop will include screenings of some of Lynne’s recent short film poems, including Starfish Aorta Colossus (2015), A Month of Single Frames (2019), Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home (2020), and Girl is Presence (2020) as well as excerpts from her feature Tip of My Tongue (2017).

“A Month of Single Frames” Reviewed in Echinox– Romanian Cultural Magazine

“I am overwhelmed by simplicity”
By. Georgiana Bozîntan
JUNE 18, 2021
https://revistaechinox.ro/2021/06/i-am-overwhelmed-by-simplicity/

Echinox is a Romanian Cultural Magazine published by the students from “Babeş-Bolyai” University. It has been published since December 1968.

A Month of Single Frames is a short film by Lynne Sachs, released in 2019. The filming belongs to the director Barbara Hammer, who made it in 1998, during an artistic residency in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, when she lived for a month in a shack in the Duneshacks, without electricity and running water. The short film is a collage of the shots filmed there.

In voice-over , Barbara Hammer reads from the diary she wrote during her residency, describing how she feels, what she sees, recounts dreams or explains the process and filming techniques she uses, for example, to capture the light of sunrise, “This forever wonder of sunshine”, or to superimpose colored lights over the filmed landscapes.

In her speech there are also phrases that remain in your head like a poem: “I am overwhelmed by simplicity. There is so much to see ”. Nothing happens in the movie. Barbara Hammer just shows us what she sees in her time spent alone: a dragonfly, shadows, landscapes, blades of grass in the wind, clouds and planes crossing the sky, the sea, dunes, raindrops, lichens, insects, tree trunks, leaves, flowers , plastic toys.

Text also appears on the screen, as a dialogue between Lynne Sachs and Barbara Hammer, through which the intimacy between the two occupies the space of the film: “You are here. I am here with you ”,“ You are alone. I am here with you in this film. ”

Experimenting with filming techniques, the short film then increasingly turns into a meditation on the artistic view of nature, mediated by the camera and which Barbara Hammer questions, asking “Why is it I can’t see nature whole?” and pure, without artifice? ”

The film finally flows towards a discussion about time, about the process of aging and death, “the sadness of departure, the inevitable ending breath, […] the complete and thorough blankness”. As explained at the end of the short film, “in 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive”, and the film made by her friend is part of this process.

A Month of Single Frames is a short film about many simple and emotional things, but especially about how we perceive, through different artistic or emotional filters, the places where we live and how they are always changing.

Argus Courier: Answering unanswerable questions through art

Argus Courier
by CLARK MILLER

June 17, 2021
https://www.petaluma360.com/article/entertainment/answering-unanswerable-questions-through-art/?fbclid=IwAR0yzTPffW_3H-Eu–DxJ0gBh1e7s1vRUx_WgOZQ1bGLsgSqhSt1vWWICTY

When Petaluma artist Carol Ceres succumbed at 56 to cancer last January, the quick rise of COVID-19 prevented any public memorial or retrospective exhibit of her work. Now, thanks to a new group show at the Petaluma Arts Center, art lovers can meet Ceres through her work and that of her circle of mostly LGBTQ artists.

The show’s title, Undertakes to Answer, is a phrase taken from the poem “Conversation” by Elizabeth Bishop. When visitors step into the center’s lobby, the first thing they see is a large reproduction of the 12-line poem, which begins “The tumult in the heart keeps asking questions. And then it stops and undertakes to answer.”

This is the center’s first Pride Month-related exhibit.

“What I love about the show’s title is that there are so many unanswerable questions in the world, but art undertakes to answer them anyway,” said Brittany Brown Ceres, the spouse of the artist, who passed away just 20 days after her diagnosis. The Ceres’s moved to Petaluma with their two young children in 2017.

The subtitle of the show, which runs through July 10, is “LGBTQIA+ Artists (and Allies) of the U.S. West & East [Carol Ceres and Her Circle].”

It brings together 23 artists, with 37 works in varied media. While most of the artists in the show identify as members of the LGBTQ community, curator Jonathan Marlow urges visitors to not bring their preconceptions. The show is neither sexualized nor thematically about identity.

As a program director for the center, Marlow recruited Ceres to teach at summer art camps for several years. With assistance from painter Mary Fassbinder, he put together the show to pay tribute to both Ceres’ art and her character.

Marlow’s own background combines art and technology. Formerly of Seattle, he was one of the first 100 Amazon employees. He later moved to San Francisco, where he and two others founded Fandor, a subscription service and social video sharing platform that operated from 2011 to 2019. He now works in film distribution.

The heart of the show is the five-piece “Trust Series” by Ceres, which takes up much of a long wall in the gallery. Each painting features an intense closeup of two bodies, cropped to achieve a near-abstract quality. The images variously suggest caring, sensuality, grieving — and dance, appropriately enough, given Brown Ceres’ background as a dancer and choreographer.

There are three other pieces by Ceres in the show.

Bookending the long wall where “Trust” hangs, two large paintings by East Bay artist Christine Ferrouge evoke an aspect of LGBTQ culture that is finally in the ascendant — that of family and children. The Ferrouge and Ceres families were neighbors until the latter moved to Petaluma.

In “The Day After the Costume Party,” the artist’s two young daughters are joined by Ceres’ young daughter in a garden. Still in their costumes, the girls smile at the viewer, exuding camaraderie and joy.

The other Ferrouge painting, “The Huddle,” suggests the mystery of childhood. A group of five young girls, most with their backs to the viewer, conspire together while one of them keeps a watchful eye on us.

“Christine’s work is exploding in the art world,” said Brown Ceres. “It’s exciting to see.”

Petaluma artist Garth Bixler is represented by a series of color studies he has done during COVID-19. Previously on the center’s board of directors, Bixler is also an art collector, and several of the works he loaned the show are intriguing. There are three photos created by John Dugdale using an updated version of cyanography, a 19th century photographic technique. Instead of black & white, the images emerge in tones of blue. The effect is old-and-new and rather uncanny. In “The Stairway,” a ghostly shadow hovers near the top of a steep, plain stairway.

Bixler also loaned the show two works by David Linger, who achieves a similar old-new effect by silk-screening dim, dark photo portraits he took in Russia onto thin porcelain.

There are many such delights in the show.

“Lota and Bishop,” a small construction-collage by Barbara Hammer, pays tribute to the poet Bishop (1911-1979), who lived in Brazil with Maria Carlota de Macedo Soares for many years. Hammer, who died in 2019, and filmmaker Lynne Sachs, also created “A Month of Single Frames,” one of the two short films that run continuously in the background of the show. The other film, “Eastern State,” was made by Talena Sanders, an assistant professor at Sonoma State University.

Petaluma artist Robin Bordow’s large painting “23 Blue” suggests the ultimate diamond, cut with hundreds of facets to hypnotic effect. Bordow is the director-manager of City Art Gallery in Petaluma. She is also a professional drummer.

Ceres had many friends in the art world, several of whom are in the show. In addition to Ferrouge, there is Russell Ryan, with the painting “Deer Jawbone with Cast Iron Rabbit and Poppies,” and Oakland artist Hadley Williams, who has three abstract paintings on display.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Ceres attended the Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship and moved to San Francisco in the early 1990s, eventually becoming a member of City Art Gallery. She met Brittany Brown in 1998. When Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the legalization of gay marriage in February 2004, Ceres and Brown were 11th in line to get married. The couple spent a decade in Oakland, where their children were born.

During the pandemic, Ceres painted at the dining room table every day.

“Up until a few weeks before her terminal diagnosis and despite COVID, Carol was also teaching art to the Grant Elementary kids here in our open-air driveway,” said Brown Ceres. “I was thrilled for her to be using art as healing, weaving her painting in between school and meals with our kids.”

Initially, she assumed this daily art meditation was primarily a coping mechanism during such a stressful period.

“At the time, I did not understand that it was a part of her dying,” said Brown Ceres. “But then again, she was such a unique soul and never failed to surprise us — especially with her profound wit and imagery. What was so important to Carol was that young artists, especially LGBTQ artists who may feel marginalized, have the chance to make art.”

Throughout her life, Carol Ceres’ goal, remarked Marlow, “was always to help younger, emerging artists find their way in a competitive art world.”

To that goal of supporting artists, as part of the Undertakes to Answer show, there will be a panel discussion at the center on June 19 at 2 p.m. Several artists will discuss how the artist makes the work and the work makes the artist. The Zoom-platform panel will be moderated by Josephine Willis, a niece of the Ceres family and an art student in Milwaukee.

Inspired as it is by the work and legacy of Carol Ceres, the gathering of artists to discuss what art matters seems a fitting and appropriate way to honor someone who was constantly inspired by and actively inspired others, though her art and through the example of how she lived her life.

“You never know when a piece of art will influence or change someone,” said Brown Ceres. “If it changes one person’s life, doesn’t that matter?”