Bookshelf (Dual channel digital video, 38 min, BW. 2019)


(installation view at Menil Collection, Houston)

SYNOPSIS

Bookshelf is a dual-channel installation film tracking the construction of a wall-sized bookshelf. Like my other films, which portray usually unseen landscapes, Bookshelf is also an engagement with landscape. Yet this landscape is private, intimate, and interior.

In one sense the film is formally conservative. The building of a bookshelf is covered from a variety of angles, including a master shot, editing is used to compress time, and the shelf starts deconstructed and ends completed, books stacked. But that is only one channel. The second channel plays the same film, but in reverse. The reverse action reveals, in the opening minutes, what the shelf will look like when complete. With the end of the film already given away, process is emphasized. The process, which is the film, is an exercise in love, communication and fatigue. It reveals a certain landscape of domesticity - banal, quiet, durational.


CREDITS

Director CUYLER BALLENGER
Sound Design SUSAN ROSENMAN
Featuring RACHEL BALLENGER, CUYLER BALLENGER

HD Video, BW, 2018
TRT 38:28



SCREENINGS

2018
Aurora Picture Show / Menil Collection collaboration. Houston, TX





ABOUT
Cuyler Ballenger is an American independent artist and filmmaker. He is a minimalist filmmaker whose work is rooted in documentary practice and characterized by industrial and domestic landscapes. He was born and raised in Novato, California.