______ Lights and Long Shadows
Frozen Dead, Frozen Sleep
Two or Three Saprophytes
Its Mouth Only Grows
As Stem is to Leaf
Royalty Free Images
For Just a Moment
In 1959, as an attempt to boost sales for a newly released polyester film stock, DuPont Chemical elected to hold a cameraless film festival whose works would be produced and screened entirely on the new substrate. The order is believed to have come from company president Crawford Greenwalt, who, during a business meeting in New York, happened to see a program of experimental animated films by Canadian artists Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart.
Greenwalt, intrigued by the materiality of the practice, propositioned the program’s director on the spot; unable to participate himself, the director agreed to put Greenwalt in touch with a young experimental filmmaker, Stan Brakhage. Newly a father, and in need of well paid work, Brakhage accepted the job, despite his immediate hesitations towards working with a chemical corporation. Within a month, a disagreement arose surrounding a DuPont family member’s submitted film, Brakhage was fired, and the festival was canceled. 44 years later, in 2003, Stan Brakhage died, after years of battling bladder cancer.
This exhibition comes as the conclusion of a six-month residency carried out in remote collaboration with the Monstera Foundation's headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Working closely with the Institute’s facilities and archives throughout – specifically material compiled during the Foundation’s recent three-year investigation into DuPont’s involvement with Brakhage’s death – the artworks presented here stand as creative responses to this criminally overlooked episode of a North American cultural history roundly swallowed by industry’s ineluctably long shadow.
Product(ion) and Paying For It
Smoking Gun, Painted Surface, Hazy Sky, Scorched Earth
'about the equivalent to perpetual motion'
Expansion and Decline (Variation I)