Miles Rufelds /  ‘No Long Shadows’

Miles Rufelds /  ‘No Long Shadows’

Miles Rufelds /  ‘No Long Shadows’

On view January 24 – February 28th, 2020
Artist Mini-Residency: January 9 to 23, 2020

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 8pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 7pm

 ‘No Long Shadows’ is a new parafictional* exhibition by Miles Rufelds, produced in collaboration with the Monstera Foundation, and presented in collaboration with PAVED Arts. 

Developed over the course of two residencies and two years, ‘No Long Shadows’ digs into the little-known history of an ill-fated 1959 film festival, prospectively titled No Long Shadows, that was to be co-presented by experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage and military-chemical giant DuPont. 

DuPont’s then-president Crawford Greenewalt, inspired by the National Film Board of Canada’s contemporaneous work, and specifically the experimental animated films of Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart, proposed the festival as a corporate promotion – a showcase of cameraless, animated films, to be produced and screened exclusively on the chemical company’s new, underperforming polyester film stock “Cronar”. But before the festival came to pass, Brakhage and DuPont had a rapid falling out, Brakhage quit, and No Long Shadows was canceled. 

Whatever confrontation the parties had, Greenewalt is said to have never moved past it. In 1965, DuPont officially halted research into cinematic film products. In 2003, Stan Brakhage died, after years of battling a rare form of bladder cancer. 

The works in ‘No Long Shadows’ have emerged in response to the Monstera Foundation’s investigative research into the political, economic, and aesthetic circumstances surrounding this festival-that-never-happened, and into DuPont’s potential involvement in Brakhage’s death. Together with the Foundation’s researchers, Rufelds’ works follow the Festival’s narrative threads, tracing them into an associative net connecting the Golden Age of American Illustration to the Manhattan Project, to the invention of synthetic colours, to many the present world’s most contaminated landscapes. 

‘No Long Shadows’ confronts a set of unwelcome material genealogies still confounding contemporary art today; long shadows shrouding sensory technologies with the threat of danger, aesthetic imagination with military funding, and the possibilities of artistic expression with calculated seams of influence.

*Parafiction: art in which real and fictional information is blended or confused

 

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