The Guests (Dir. Ken Jacobs, 2013)
Date: October 09, 2018
Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S. Main St, Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Ken Jacobs in person!
Ken Jacobs has been concerned with the exploration of stereoscopic phenomena since the mid 1960s. He has experimented with a number of 3D techniques, and has developed ways to infuse his 2D work with heightened illusions of depth. The Guests, which has existed previously as a slide installation and an anaglyph video, will be presented tonight in its final incarnation: as a digital 3D spectacle. Continuing the work started with Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son, Ken Jacobs revisits an early Lumière Brothers film, Entree d’une noce à l’église (1896). As we watch the congregation mounting the steps of a Parisian church, our attention is drawn to the smallest of details: from the grain of the image to the facial gestures of the long-dead guests to the city landscape behind them. Ken Jacobs does more than extend the time (and space) of the original footage: he invites us to see in a way that we have never seen before. (Bozar Centre for Fine Arts)
Cinema's master inter- and reinventionist [has] found yet another way to make the medium new, employing a logarithim to rework a thirty-second fragment of a 1897 Lumière actualité into a seventy-three minute 3-D movie wherein space regularly inverts itself. Kinda has to be seen to be believed.
J. Hoberman, Artforum
A sort of cinematic equivalent of a literary explication de texte—an exercise in which a single, brief work is made to expand, undulate, deepen, and shift shape simply by virtue of being looked at unblinkingly and at length.
Max Nelson, Reverse Shot
Forges new space in this century-plus old [Lumiére brother's] work, re-birthing cinema, and re-contextualizing the ontology of moving pictures. The Guests is yet another journey towards a future that requires us to first travel to the past.
Adam Cook, MUBI Notebook
Subjecting the latter half of the Lumière brothers’ film to his own inimitable sorcery, Jacobs more or less demolishes the spatiotemporal integrity of the original. The advances of digital 3D have finally allowed him to take this fascination to new depths.
Tony Pipolo, Artforum
Viewing this antique footage with a 21st century makeover––creating an innovative link between the beginning and "end" of cinema––makes for a challenging, but extremely satisfying visual treasure hunt where these jolly, dolled-up figures begin to take on all manner of ghostly forms.
David Jenkins, Little White Lies