The tenth series of Light Reading continues with a dialogue between experimental French, New York based filmmaker Babette Mangolte and curator Fleur van Muiswinkel. Mangolte will present “The Sky on Location” (1982) a film shot in the American West.
Sky on Location (1982)
Ever since the romantic period of the eighteenth and nineteenth century man has been investigating the sublime of untamed nature. In "The Sky on Location" Mangolte explores the historical, social and aesthetic qualities of the Western American landscape. While travelling from North to South and from season to season, she seeks to capture the vastness of the landscape, its ever changing colours, rhythm and character. Moving through this unknown land leads her to wonder about the historical and social legacy that this landscape is so strongly connected to.
"The film attempts to construct a geography of the land from North to South, East to West and season-to-season through colours instead of maps. The Sky on Location explores the concept of wilderness, which was unknown to me when I was raised in France before coming to the US. The film captures the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting and shows how the scale and vastness of the unknown has been slowly colonized and tamed."
The French-born, New York based experimental filmmaker and photographer Babette Mangolte was one of the first women accepted into the cinematography programme at L’ Ecole Nationale de la Photographie et de la Cinématographie in Paris, founded by Louis Lumiére, in 1964. She is known for her experimental film work originated in the 1970s focusing on subjectivity and in the 1980s on an examination of landscape. She chronicled with her photographs the minimal dance and experimental theatrical scene of New York from the 1970s onto the mid 1980s. Among the films directed by Mangolte are "What Maisie Knew" (1976), "The Camera: Je, La Camera: I" (1977), "The Cold Eye, My Darling Be Careful" (1980), "Four Pieces by Morris" (1993), "The Models of Pickpocket" (2003) and "Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramovic" (2007). Mangolte recently showed a photo installation "How to look…" at the last Whitney Biennial 2010 and her two film screens installation "Presence" was made for the 5th Berlin Biennale in 2008. Currently her work is shown in an exhibition organised by Lynne Cook and Douglas Crimp "Mixed Use, Manhattan: Photography and Related Practices 1970s to the present" in Museo Nacional Centro de Arte, Reine Sofia, Madrid, Spain.
Fleur van Muiswinkel is a freelance curator based in Amsterdam and London. She worked together with Mangolte during Mangolte’s residency at Office for Contemporary Art, Norway in May 2009. They showed the film installation "Presence" which was made for the 5th Berlin Biennale, organized a workshop and two film screening events. Since 2005 Van Muiswinkel completed several curatorial projects. Recent projects in London include; “Life at 176”, 176 / Zabludowicz Collection, January 2010. In May she was invited to co-curate part of the exhibition “MULBERRY TREE PRESS” at SE8 Gallery and in June she curated the photography show “Untitled 2010” at the Pigeon Wing. Van Muiswinkel is currently working in Amsterdam while continuing her curatorial studies at Goldsmiths University, London.