Lawrence Jordan – Canyon Cinema Salon 4/23/2014

Solar Sight III

Canyon Cinema Foundation is honored to spend an evening Wednesday April 23rd with Canyon founder, magician and visual alchemist Lawrence Jordan.

The Canyon Cinema Salon is a FREE public event at New Nothing Cinema (16 Sherman Street in SOMA). Doors open at 7pm for a brief reception and doors close promptly at 7:30pm to begin the show.

About Lawrence Jordan

Known principally as a maverick spirit in the world of avant-garde American cinema, Lawrence Jordan played an important role in the late 1950s and early 1960s San Francisco art scene. Jordan has made over fifty experimental films, including a number of fanciful, filmic animations made from collaged cut outs of Victorian engravings. The animations extend dreamlike imagery of collaged landscape into a cinematic realm of transformation and free form symbolism. Jordan seeks to delve into the deep structures and Jungian connotations of the mythological images his films reference. His alchemical approach to imagery creates what he has called the “theater of the mind, which you construct. That is the Underworld… the realm of the imagination. You have to have a place to work with images.”

Jordan founded the film department of the San Francisco Art institute in 1969 and taught there for over thirty years. He made his own box assemblages in Cornell’s lyrically evocative style since the mid-1960s. Many feature ingenious mechanical and kinetic effects. He continues to make films and box collages at his home and studio in Petaluma where he has lived since 1978.

For more information on Lawrence and his continued involvement with Canyon through the years please (re)visit this extensive 2010 interview with Doniphan Blair.

The Program

Lawrence will discuss and screen OrbSolar Sight II and III and provide a live animation demonstration. Consider this a visit to his virtual studio in San Francisco – this evening is not to be missed!

Solar Sight II (2012) 10 minutes | color | sound | 16mm

Many of the approaches to the cut-out material are the same as in part I, however II is a much different film. It is more meditative. It has a somewhat slower pace. I tried to let the cut-outs float more gracefully. Again, John Davis’ music forms an integral part of the meditation. I have used that word ‘meditation’ because that is how some very astute friends of mine described it to me on first viewing.

The approach is partly planned, partly improvised under the camera. There has been little or no editing outside the camera for many years in my animation. All effects are done in camera.

Solar Sight III (2013) 16 minutes | color | sound | 16mm

In Solar Sight III I have continued the dream-like form of disparate animated scenes, each with its own “romantic-with-an-edge” slightly surreal flavour. Scenes are sometimes run-on, sometimes separated by brief periods of darkness to relax, as in breathing, the viewing eye. There are no fancy superimpositions now, nor excessive visual trickery–only a comparatively straight forward presentation of the improbable images, which have formed themselves in my improbable mind.

Orb (1973) 5 min. | color | sound | 16mm

Animation. A compact, full-color cut-out animation as ephemeral as the colors swimming on the surface of a soap bubble. The eternal round shape, the orb – sun, moon, symbol of the whole self – balloons its inimitable and joyous course through scene after scene of celestial delight, fixing at last as the mystical globe encasing the lovers whose course it has paralleled throughout the film.

Live animation demonstration. Ever wonder how Lawrence Jordan makes his films? Come and see for yourself!

Check out Lawrence Jordan’s films available through Canyon here.

For more information about Lawrence Jordan’s work please visit his website.