Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Karen Yasinsky: Perpetual Motion
Friday, October 19, 2018, 8:00 pm
At the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles
Los Angeles premieres, with Karen Yasinsky in person!
In collaboration with the CalArts Experimental Animation Visiting Artist program, Filmforum is proud to co-host the return of Karen Yasinsky to Los Angeles with a compelling program combining new premieres and a film-in-progress with a memorable assortment of Yasinsky’s work, curated by the artist.
For the past fifteen years, Karen Yasinsky has been making animated films like no one else in the world, mining complex emotional and formal territory that resists distillation or resolution. Variously employing drawn animation, stop motion, and manipulated found footage, Yasinsky works somewhere between the subconsciously intuitive and the consciously intellectual, perhaps deciding that her role as an artist (mirroring our roles as humans) isn’t to try to answer complex emotional questions with simple responses, but rather with equally complex uncertainties.
Her deceptively simple arrangements of confusing, even troubling material, engage in an emotional alchemy, yielding new and deliberately conflicted, unresolved compounds which are bewitching, unsettling, and resolutely mysterious. Humor and humanity teeter on the edge of darkness, and Yasinsky’s frequently quite beautiful animation, laborious and formally diverse, often references other works by Vigo, Tarkovsky, or Bresson, themselves masters of the ambiguous and complex emotionality that also marks Yasinsky’s work. (Mark Toscano)
“Recent films by Karen Yasinsky evidence an interest in the fragment, using puppetry, animation, cinematic quotation and hints of narrative to trigger emotive positions of discomfort and empathy. Audition evokes a lonely haze of distance through the persistence of repetition. The assembled images comprising After Hours contrast violence with precarious grace and dance delicately between delirious heights and abject depths of experience. Marie—a rotoscoped animation based on Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar—is a brief assaultive animation commemorating its character’s fall from grace while Life Is an Opinion, Fire a Fact, oscillates from despair to serenity while contemplating suicide as depicted by Bresson and Tarkovsky.” (Steve Polta, 2014)
Karen Yasinsky is an artist working primarily with animation and drawing. Her video installations and drawings have been shown in many venues internationally including the Mori Art Museium, Tokyo, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art, NY, UCLA Hammer Museum, L.A. and Kunst Werke, Berlin. Her animations have been screened worldwide at various venues and film festivals including Museum of Modern Art, the New York Film Festival’s Views from the Avant Garde and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Baker Award and is a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin and the American Academy in Rome. She teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Film/Media Studies.
Tickets: $10 general; $6 for students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at https://yasinsky.bpt.me or at the door.
For more information: www.lafilmforum.org or 323-377-7238.
Green, Green (a prelude)
2017, 1 min. Los Angeles premiere!
Portrait of Victoria Legrand. Work-in-progress
THE BALTHAZAR FILMS
I Choose Darkness
2009, 8.5 min.
A meditation on character of Marie in Au Hasard Balthazar by Robert Bresson.
Enough to Drive You Mad
2009, 2.5 min.
The starting point was a still and from there, pure automatism.
2010, 6 min.
I went back to the character of Marie but looking to work with the generation of emotion through form rather than narrative.
This Room is White
2011, 4 min.
The woman is moving, attending to things, the man watches. Fun products scroll across the screen as a break. We switch lives. The young girl now watches. Actually she has always been watching, bemused. Obvious things go unnoticed but not by her.
Life is an Opinion, Fire A Fact
2012, 10 min.
The point was to go from acts of despair towards some suggestion of serenity. What goes on when we watch horrific events and specifically the horror of suicide that we only watch on tv or film? The act just shows the result but not the ideas and feelings that lead to it. The first image shows a woman who just jumped to her death (from A Gentle Woman by Robert Bresson). The animated scene of self immolation is shot in reverse so narrative buildup of tension is denied. The character places himself atop a statue of Marcus Aurelius from whom the quote, Life is an Opinion, comes. We end in a place, through sound or image, that suggests diverse definitions of serenity (an opinion).
2013-14, 9 min.
After Hours originated with thoughts on senseless violence, cultural observation and hypnotism. My meditations on these involve anxiety and a sense of expectation which helped form the structure. Many of the images are repurposed, related but unhinged from their original context.
The Perpetual Motion of My Love For You
2016, 9 min. Los Angeles premiere!
A collage film slipping between narrative starts of images and sounds: May Sarton's snapshots, a resplendent Liz Taylor, internal and external awkwardnesses and a short respite of peace.
2017, 6.5 min. Los Angeles premiere!
A character created over the time of animating the cobweb and thinking about Mississippi Mud by Bix Beiderbecke.
2012, 4 min.
The starting point for Audition was the movement of the stripper across the stage in the red light. I rotoscoped the scene and each frame is hand drawn pixels. Once I realized that the sound attached to the source scene was the impetus for the remembered image, the rest of the video revealed itself. Music by Bo Harwood.
Program and individual film notes by Karen Yasinsky.
Special thanks to Melissa Ferrari and Jordan Wong.
This program is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2018 is our 43rd year.
Memberships available, $70 single, $115 dual, or $50 single student
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