Shut Out the Sun

Rental Format(s): Digital File

Shut Out the Sun was created, in part, with archival film footage that Marin County resident, Louise Boyd shot in the Norwegian Arctic in 1928 - footage I obtained through the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington. Interwoven with Boyd's16mm and 35mm footage is super-8mm footage that I shot on a trip I made to the Norwegian Arctic 60 years after Boyd's.

Shut Out the Sun was commissioned by Lisa Mezzacappa as a component for her "panoramic song cycle for improvisers," Glorious Ravage. Glorious Ravage premiered in L.A. in 2015 and between then and 2017 was presented in San Francisco and New York.

I was initially attracted to research the Arctic explorer (and Marin heiress) Louise Arner Boyd when Lisa [Mezzacappa] sent me a link to a film Boyd shot during one of her expeditions. The existence of archival footage contemporaneous to her voyages in the early 20th century piqued my interest, as did my view of her as a woman who sought control over her own destiny. Having the privilege of making my own research trip to the Norwegian Arctic Region in 1987 was eager to see what Boyd had shot 60 years prior to my own trip. To my delight, the textures of film materials separated by many decades, reverberated with inherent resemblances. Her thousands of feet of film and more than 700 photographs of the Arctic region are garnering increased interest today, as scientists compare the conditions she recorded with ongoing alterations influenced by climate change.

"At the Louise Arner Boyd archive in Marin, boxes and boxes of expedition materials, shopping and equipment lists, photos, correspondence with scientists and ship captains, and receipts detailing some serious expenditures, paint a picture of a methodical, charismatic, and indefatigable woman who went after what she wanted."
-- Lisa Mezzacappa

Music by Lisa Mezzacappa.

Archival footage by Louise Arner Boyd provided courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. Research assistance and access to the Boyd Archive provided by Jocelyn Moss, Museum Librarian at the Marin History Museum.

Selected Screenings and Exhibitions:
New Time: Art & Feminisms in the 21st Century, Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, 2021
Roulette, Brooklyn, NY, 2017
RedCat, Los Angeles, CA, 2015
Brava Theater, San Francisco, 2015

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Digital File $40.00  

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