Chris Kennedy

“Madison Brookshire: Color Series.” July 23, 2015

Madison Brookshire: Color Series

“I wanted to make movies that you did not just watch, music that you did not listen to, but felt and understood and thereby came to know something useful, true, and beautiful about the world.”—Madison Brookshire

Madison Brookshire comes to his filmmaking through his attentiveness to the practices of contemporary musical composition. Inspired by composers such as La Monte Young and Éliane Radigue, as well as his studies with James Tenney and James Benning, Brookshire approaches time experientially, drawing our attention to the manner of its unfolding. His camera-less Color Series was made by providing the film laboratory with six written scores that directed the film timer to change the printing lights from “Red” to “Green” to “Blue.” The result is a series of slow fades from one colour to the next, which, not unlike the experience of a sunrise, immerses the viewer in the perceptual phenomenon of gradual change. As Brookshire writes, “The subject of the work is duration, and color is the medium through which we experience it. The converse is also true: the subject is color and duration is the medium. The effect is a direct experience of time and vision.”

Color Series is preceded by a more recent film, the ever-evolving Veils, which was made by soaking pieces of celluloid in paints, urine, and various other liquids, and then allowing the assorted ravages of time—evaporation, dust, crystallization and mold—to inform the image. The film’s frenetic pace contrasts with the calm gradualism of Color Series, as Brookshire’s attentiveness to time here describes an organic density of lived experience. Veils is accompanied by a recording of a Brookshire composition performed at the Exploratorium in San Francisco by Brookshire, Ben Bracken, Ezra Buchla, Heather Lockie, and Laura Steenberge.—Chris Kennedy

Veils dir. Madison Brookshire | USA 2013 | 15 min. 16mm
Color Series dir. Madison Brookshire | USA 2010 | 74 min. | 16mm

Madison Brookshire in person.

Thursday, July 23 8:45pm

Still: Veils