Cinema of the Body: Element, MUSEic of the Body, Light of the Body, Wildfire, Tides, Videotape for a Woman and a Man.
- Amy Greenfield |
- 1973-2009 |
- 78 minutes |
- COLOR |
The nude is a great art form in sculpture, painting, still photography. Amy Greenfield, first inspired by the daring of the underground Film of the 60s, has consistently from 1972 on, built an art of the nude as a motion picture medium, breaking with that tradition as a contemporary woman, while asserting the values of timelessness. The extreme force of action of her performance reverses the association of the female nude with passivity and creates a gestalt of the meanings not possible in any other than the motion picture medium.
"To convey more effectively the experience of movement Greenfield has often performed or performed with, nude dancers. Without costumes the play of muscle and tendon, the shifting weight and the effects of the force of the body not only become clear, but for Greenfield the body acquires a transparency, a sense not only of what lies beneath the skin but beyond it . . . basic dreams of both the individual and collective existence which lie hidden within most people . . . but which can be uncovered and expressed through a performance of belief and ordeal in the crisis-like, yet suspended process of making cinema."
- The Museum of Modern Art, Cineprobe Program notes by Robert Haller.
ELEMENT (1973) 11 ½ minutes. Black and White. Silent. (16:9 restored version).
Camera: Hilary Harris. Performer: Amy Greenfield
Premiere: Toulon Festival Of Young Cinema, Toulon and Paris.
Featured; The Whitney Museum of American Art "The Color Of Ritual The Color Of Thought: Women Avant-Garde Filmmakers In America, 1930-2000
An avant-garde classic. Turning herself into moving sculpture, " Greenfield rolls and seethes and plunges in a field of mud, her hair, her face not just slathered with mud but become part of it."
- Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice
Like female artists in other forms - Tina Mendotta, Carolee Schneemann, Versuchka, Charlotte Moorman, who covered their bodies with earth and paint and chocolate - Greenfield in Element reveals a femaleness both transgressive and erotic. She unites complex associations of death and birth in a daring visceral act as both film-maker and which becomes a rite uniting complex associations of death and birth.
- Christine Temen, Boston Globe
MUSEic Of The BODy (1994/2009)
Camera: Greenfield Performer: Suzanne Gregoire.
Interactive installation set: Nam June Paik
Premiere: Women Forward, The First Biennial Of Women In The Arts, Brooklyn
European Premiere: Barcelona Art Contemporari Festival '09
" A nude attacks a piano with her long strand of pearls. Magical! Unforgettable"
- New York Times 10 Best in The Arts for 1994. Jennifer Dunning
Edited in 2009 from raw video projected in Greenfield's section of the Greenfield/Paik video performance, "For Charlotte Moorman" , Anthology Film Archives Fluxus event.
The female performer is wrapped only in a gigantic strand of pearls. She crashes her body and pearls onto the piano keys in transgressive and erotic strength, grief, terror, rage, freedom, while her image is broken up in multiple video views behind her, seen through through Greenfield's cubist-like camera and cutting.
LIGHT OF THE BODY (2004). 11 minutes. Color. Sound.
Camera: Sallie Patrick Performer: Francine Breen Music: Marilys Ernst
" 'Light Of The Body' is especially remarkable in as much as while composed of extraordinarily erotic movements, color shifts of naked dance, it manages to remain a film of the beauty of illuminated nudity . . . no sexual manipulation - Bravo!
- Stan Brakhage
Edited from Greenfield's SRO multimedia performance, Raw-Edged Women, presented at the American Museum Of The Moving Image and Anthology Film Archives, 1997.
Five takes of one minute of performance footage are transformed by a digital/analogue "jam" of motion transforming techniques in increasing layers to etherealize the the torch-wielding topless dancer into a scintilating cinema of corporeal light.
WILDFIRE (2002) Color. Sound.
Camera: Sallie Patrick. Music: Philip Glass.
Premiere: Berlin Film Festival
First Prize: Williamsburg Surrea Film Festival
Gold Prize: Houston Film Festival
"A beautiful film. A great film."
- Bruce Baillie
"A surreal masterpiece. The beauty rises to a level of intoxication, thus making ('Wildfire') direct in its reconciliation of poetry and motion."
- Keith Wigdor, judge
Williamsburg Surreal Film Festival
Beginning and ending with Edison's 1894 Annabelle Dances, "Four female dancers clad only in flames respond to Annabelle's solo, their movements condensed with the aid of digital effects, creating an ode to the female body." (Berlin Film Festival). Annabelle was hand-tinted. Wildfire is colorized into an intense rainbow blaze, building from slow motion then layered, reversed, speeded to create a wildfire explosion of female energy.
TIDES (1982) Color. Sound.
Camera: Hilary Harris. Performer: Amy Greenfield
Premiere: 36th Edinburgh Film Festival
" Introduced by a quote fofrm Isadroa Duncans essay Dance of The Future and proceeds to visualize the woman - first rolling into the heart of the waves, then moving with, against, under them, until her whole body shouts with joy."
- Edinburgh Film Festival
Shot from between 48 and 250 fps, Tides reverses Maya Deren's At Land, with the first shot instead of spewing Deren up onto the beach, instead sweeps Greenfield into the sea to turn words of Neitchze into a cinematic experience of "Far out glitter space and time
. . . joy, deeper than heart's agony. . . for all life wants eternity, wants deep eternity."
VIDEOTAPE FOR A WOMAN AND A MAN (1978)
Camera: Hilary Harris and Pat Saunders. Performers: Ben Dolphin, Amy Greenfield
Premiere: Carnegie Institute
Festival Prize in Video, Atlanta Film/Video Festival
US representative in video, Copenhagen Women's World Congress
" . . . relentlessly examines the possible physical and emotional encounters between a man and a woman . . . the camera eye is, of course, the ultimate voyeur, greedily following and recording every last nuance .. .It is the immediacy of the unforeseen that lends the film its emotional thrust as the unadorned, unimpeded and unrestricted male and female bodies enter into a sensual struggle for self-recognition . . . And through our visual, psychological and kinetic responses, we more than empathize with what unfolds before us. We marvel at and are moved by the poignant spectacle of the human body as an instrument capable of transcending its own reality."
- John Gruen, Dancemagazine