The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine
December 9, 2017
Curated by Michelle Puetz in collaboration with Jim Dempsey (CvD) and David Gryn (Daata Editions)
In collaboration with Corbett vs. Dempsey gallery, CFA will be presenting nine films at Art Basel Miami Beach on Saturday, December 9. The screening is free and will be projected outside on the wall of the New World Center (designed by Frank Gehry). More information can be found here. Curated by Michelle Puetz (CFA) and Jim Dempsey (CvD).
Named after Helen Morrison and Sybil Shearer’s film The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine, the screening highlights films that utilize dance, bodies, movement, and abstraction. A combination of historical archival footage and contemporary artists films made from CFA’s collections, this selection conveys the poetry and grit of the Midwest with an eye on the place where hard work meets artistic transcendence.
Full Circle (Robert Stiegler, 1968, color, sound, 24 minutes)
“A contemporary Koan. A series of highs, encompassing people: waiting for the bus, laying tiles at Swami’s house, celebrating a Spring Be-in and children smiling.” –Robert Stiegler
An Anthology of Kinship (Samantha Hill and Haptic, 2017, color, sound, 8 minutes)
Commissioned by CFA as part of the archive’s “Media Mixer” project, An Anthology of Kinship utilizes home movies shot by Chicago artist and muralist Don McIlvaine to investigate how memory, history, and location intersect.
Union Pier 1942: Film Experiments (excerpt) (Morton & Millie Goldsholl, 1942, b/w, silent, 5 minutes)
An exploration of objects and bodies in motion by the duo behind Goldsholl Design and Film Associates, one of Chicago’s leading graphic design studios from the 1950s through the 1970s.
Variations on Euclid (Ruth Page, 1938, original score by Jeff Parker, b/w, sound 4 minutes)
Choreographed by dancer Ruth Page, Variations on Euclid is part of a larger collaboration with artist Isamu Noguchi, who designed the “sac dress” at the center of the ballet and created a sculpture based on Ruth Page in this dress titled Miss Expanding Universe (1932).
Untitled Rehearsal (Ruth Page, circa 1930, original score by Jeff Parker, b/w, sound 2 minutes)
While on tour in Southeast Asia in 1928-29, Ruth Page filmed numerous dances that would later influence her choreography. In this footage, we see Page experimenting with movements based on traditional Balinese dances.
Disintegration Line #2 (Larry Janiak, 1970, color, sound, 12 minutes)
“An optically printed full color randomly animated film set to Gamelan music. Full field abstract images progress in subtle visual sequences in discernible steps of intensity. DL2 is a film expressing the spirituality in art, a view of the cosmos as dancing atoms.” –Larry Janiak
Without Wings the Way is Steep (Helen Morrison & Sybil Shearer, 1961, color, sound, 5 minutes)
Shot by filmmaker Helen Balfour Morrison, Without Wings the Way is Steep documents dancer and choreographer Sybil Shearer’s solo performance of “without wings—an abstract version of life on the precipice.”
The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine (Helen Morrison & Sybil Shearer, 1961, b/w, sound, 5 minutes)
A document of Sybil Shearer’s company performing a dance described as one in which “people with mundane jobs are caught up in something bigger than themselves and drawn to an abstract, spiritual power.”
Something to Move In (Latham Zearfoss and Joel Midden, 2014, color, sound, 5 minutes)
Commissioned by CFA as part of the archive’s “Media Mixer” project, this musical manifesto remixes late 1960s political dialogue with modern dance to resuscitate a bygone revolutionary thrust.