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Light Reading
Early and recent work by Peter Gidal

Hall, Peter Gidal

The Royal Collage of Art, London
13 February 2003 | 7.30pm

Acknowledged throughout Britain, Europe and the United States as a leading experimental avant-garde filmmaker, Peter Gidal is equally well-known for his theoretical writings on film including the publications: Andy Warhol, films and paintings (1971), Structural Film Anthology (1976) and Materialist Film (1989). Gidal's films confront the viewer with the assumptions about, and identification with conventional representation. Gidal's first and in some ways most notorious expansion of his ideas came in the "Theory and Definition of Structural/Materialist Film" (1974). Here he attacks all the major forms of cinema including classic films, documentaries, drama, political films and even experimental films in the 'visionary' mode."For Gidal film is very clearly an art in a 'moment to moment state of tension with its representational content and with the viewer'. The construct or 'shape' of the film is not primary, but rather 'the film is a record (not a representation, nor a reproduction) of its own making'. It asserts its real duration and its coming 'into presence' through 'the mental activation of the viewer'. More radically than any other theories of time, Gidal proposed film as a contemporary art which politically needs to share nothing with cinema. Far from being polysemic of mixed medium, Gidal's vision asserts that its properties were as specific as those of painting or sculpture." (Al Rees, 1985)


Visionary film: circa '67
Reverberations #3:Peter Gidal
Light Reading

Political film
Structural film
• Al Rees


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