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Pleasure Dome and LIFT are pleased to present Alex MacKenzie’s most recent expanded cinema performance works featuring 16mm analytic projectors with hand processed imagery. The scope and materiality of both emulsion and environment are explored using elements as wide ranging as photograms, alternative film chemistry and live manipulation.
Intertidal (55 min., 2012) is inspired both by Ed Ricketts, the American marine biologist and philosopher known for his pioneering study of intertidal ecology, and the mesmerizing science films of Jean Painlevé. The work presents a submersive exploration of the tidal zones and marine life off the shores of B.C. Using camera and non-camera approaches, Intertidal speaks to the fragility of both the film medium and the marine environment explored. Travelling as far west as Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island and north to the tip of Naikoon on Haida Gwaii, this route purposefully emulates that which Ricketts and his close friend author John Steinbeck intended to revisit prior to Ricketts’ untimely death in 1948. At once personal, political, visual and ecological, the work gives equal weight to representation and abstraction.
Opening the programme, Logbook (25 min., 2011) utilizes black and white film emulsions handmade and painted onto raw celluloid in rendering traces of past life and moments passed on a remote island mountain in the Pacific Northwest. Filmed with a 1923 Cine-Kodak Model A—the first hand-cranked 16mm camera produced by Kodak—frames are slowed, frozen, reversed and reprised in a study and interplay of surface and subject, where fleeting images crackle, tear and fold in on themselves to invoke the very silver nitrate of which they are made.
Alex MacKenzie is an experimental film artist working primarily with analogue film equipment and hand processed imagery. He creates works of expanded cinema, light projection installation and projector performance. MacKenzie’s work has screened nationally and internationally since 1998. He was the Founder and Curator of the Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images from 1995 to 1997 and the Blinding Light!! Cinema from 1998 to 2003. Alex co-edited Damp: Contemporary Vancouver Media Art (2008) and interviewed David Rimmer for Loop, Print, Fade + Flicker: David Rimmer’s Moving Images (2009).