Finding film footage and reinterpreting it for purposes unintended by the original filmmaker--indeed, transforming the material into a new work of art--is an aesthetic method used by such artists as Bruce Conner, whose work was shown last October in the Walker exhibition 2000 BC: THE BRUCE CONNER STORY PART II, and Craig Baldwin, a recent Walker artist-in-residence. This four-part program digs a bit deeper into facets of found footage used in contemporary cinema, showing a variety of applications within the framework of the genre.
While Dutch filmmaker Peter Delpeut summons Italian femme fatales to salute the European early cinema mythology, Hungarian Péter Forgács muses upon archived war images within a contemporary reality. While the aesthetic attitude of Americans Jay Rosenblatt and Alan Berliner remains diametrical to the approach of these European film artists, both use archived or homemade images to tackle a very personal and intimate struggle in relation to their own past.
The different histories told by these films deal in both form and content with memory and the past. However, by their treatment of the material, each filmmaker gives new meaning to dead, condemned images. They don't restore for the sake of preservation, but use the found footage (and home movies) to express their anger, doubts, sorrows, wonder, and admiration.