Press Releases : 2009/04

Babette Mangolte: 'Filming Performance'

Published 2009/04/30

Trisha Brown's Choreography Water Motor, 1978. Courtesy of Babette Mangolte



Wednesday, 6 May 2009 /19:00
Nedre gate 7, Oslo

About the Talk

After filming her first feature as Director of Photography in 1970, Babette Mangolte moved to New York City, where she worked as a cinematographer for Chantal Akerman and Yvonne Rainer, among others. Deeply involved in New York's downtown art scene, she documented, in still and moving images, performances by artists and dancers such as Trisha Brown, Philip Glass and Marina Abramović. Mangolte elaborates on this history and on the her unique and widely acclaimed reputation in the documentation of performance. She will present some of her films (in excerpt or in their entirety) like Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramović (2007), Water Motor choreography by Trisha Brown (1978), and Yvonne Rainer's AG INDEXICAL with a little help from H.M. (2007) and possibly Yvonne Rainer's RoS INDEXICAL (2008).

About the Speaker

The French-born, New York City-based experimental filmmaker Babette Mangolte was one of the first women accepted into the cinematography programme at L'École Nationale de la Photographie et de la Cinématographie in Paris, founded by Louis Lumiére, in 1964. In her work as director from the 1970s, Mangolte focused on performance documentation, working with artists such as Richard Foreman, Robert Whitman and Lucinda Childs. Her early film work was a self-examination as to what it means to be a spectator, but also an experiment in narrative filmmaking. Among the films directed by Mangolte are What Maisie Knew (1976), The Camera: Je or La Camera: I (1977), Four Pieces by Morris (1993) and Seven Easy Pieces (2007). Her films are in the collections of the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Deutsche Kinematek, Berlin and the Cinéathèque Royale de Belgique in Brussels. The first retrospective dedicated to her work took place in 2000 in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Her second retrospective was in New York City in September 2004 at the Anthology Film Archives.

Other activities by Babette Mangolte during her residency at OCA

Friday, 15 May at 10:00
OCA Studio 2, Nedre gate 7
Workshop: 'Sound and Image in Media Installation, two opposites fighting for attention'

Sound goes everywhere while the image is more or less a projection on a static screen. The attention span needed to hear and see is vastly different for sound and image. The workshop will experiment with those differences and demonstrate how you can use space to induce and motivate the gallery viewer to various modes of participation within the works displayed in the gallery.

The workshop is open for BA and MA students from all disciplines. An active participation is required, therefore please send an rsvp to Fleur van Muiswinkel at before 8 May with a small introduction on your own work and motivation.

Wednesday, 27 May at 19:00
ISP Artist Resident Babette Mangolte
Lecture: 'On Landscape'

Babette Mangolte will give a lecture relating to landscape films and the concept of wilderness. As a part of Mangolte's presentation, the artist will screen The Sky On Location, a 16 mm film (78 min) shot by the artist in 1982, in which Mangolte approaches the question: is it possible to confront nature with a real purity of vision? A personal mediation on the landscape of the American West that tracks the ruling conception in nature in the 19th and 20th centuries from the pioneers through the 'instamatic' tourists while obsessively following the four seasons. Ernest Larsen writes about the film: 'the elemental vicissitudes of the weather, the exact moment of the day, the colour of the light and the soil and the trees form an acute visual record of the constantly changing mood of the landscape – the film successfully attempts, with quiet, passionate, almost single-minded firmness, to confront us as nakedly as possible with our cultural inability to see nature whole, without preconceptions.'