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Measuring Change

April 16, 2016

Measuring Change

(Dir. James Benning, 2016)

James Benning in conversation with film critic Neil Young (The Hollywood Reporter) following the screening!


7:00 PM


7:30 PM


Art Share L.A.
801 E. 4th Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

Towards the end of 2015, James Benning made one of his occasional expeditions to Utah, to the place where Robert Smithson's colossal land-sculpture Spiral Jetty (1970) extends out into the Great Salt Lake. The water-level was low, leaving the vast bulk of the Jetty exposed in the crisp air. His film measuring change captures two thirty-minute periods of that particular day, in the unblinking, unmoving takes that have become his trademark––beginning at 8:57am and 3:12pm respectively. A belated digital companion piece to his 16mm masterpiece casting a glance (2007), this new film hypnotically contemplates Smithson's art-work in relation to its wider environment and to the humans who walk on and around its gargantuan coils.

~ Join us for a post-screening reception at Angel City Brewery (216 S. Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA. 90012).

James  Benning’s movies pose an idealistic challenge, a spur to unattainably  pure observation...Harking back to the actualities of early, pre-story  cinema, it extends their direct gaze––exploring the properties of both  the world and our perceptual apparatus, typically with a static  camera––into increasingly extreme duration.

Nick Bradshaw, Sight & Sound

Revisiting  and recycling can produce complex temporal schemes that combine the  historical time of a place or object with the time spent by Benning in  observation, exploring the capacity of film, as a time-based medium, to  reconstruct or even retrieve the past time registered by landscapes and  artifacts.

- Ailson Butler, LOLA

Hogarth  spoke of art that leads the eye “on a wanton kind of chase,” and  Benning’s roads carve oblique or sinuous paths into fields, plains,  deserts, and forests.

- David Bordwell, Observations on Film Art

Like  Smithson, [Benning] can now lay claim to a rare and excitingly  "dangerous” quality in his art: to confront oneself with Benning's films  can lead to a permanent change in the way one perceives the world.

- Austrian Film Museum

The  different phases of Benning’s career inform his more recent work...which  looks at and listens to the world with an acuity grounded in firm  convictions that duration and a rigorous formal aesthetic can give way  to films that allow us to see differently and to read the inscription of  the political into the places that surround us.

- Harvard Film Archive

(Available to download after screening date)

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