Bruce Conner

Portrait

Born in 1933 in McPherson (United-States), died in 2008

 

CROSSROADS, 1976

Videopjection, film 35mm transcoded, 37’

Original score: Patrick Gleeson, Terry Riley

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive

Collection Pinault

In CROSSROADS, named after a series of nuclear tests conducted by the US army off Bikini Atoll in 1946, Bruce Conner compiles 23 sequences of atomic explosions. The tests were filmed by more than 500 military cameras. The artist transforms none of the footage, which was previously classified and unavailable to American viewers. The soundtrack of Conner’s piece is drawn from two sources: a collage by Patrick Gleason and a synthesiser composition by Terry Riley. The grandiose and brutal spectacle of this succession of gigantic water-and-steam mushrooms unfurls like a mantra, by turns fascinating and terrifying. Bruce Conner’s last film, EASTER MORNING, is also shown at the macLYON.

 

EASTER MORNING, 1966-2008

8mm/Digital video, color/sound, 10’

Music: «In C» by Terry Riley performed by the Shanghai Film Orchestra 

Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, copyright Conner Family Trust

The soundtrack of EASTER MORNING, Bruce Conner’s latest film, uses a composition by Terry Riley. For this work, Conner re-used 8 footage from one of his previous films, EASTER MORNING RAGGA, 1966, with digitally enlarged images. The luminous vibration of the picture flow is in perfect harmony with the trance-like rhythm of the music. The artist sees this intense and contemplative film as a “metaphysical quest for renewal, beyond the natural, ephemeral world”.

 

©Frank English Courtesy Conner Family Trust, San Francisco and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

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