Stan Brakhage’s The Art of Vision
Introduced by Thomas Beard, co-founder of Light Industry
Dir. Stan Brakhage. 1961–1965, 270 mins. 16mm print preserved by the Academy Film Archive. The Art of Vision is the rarely screened magnum opus by Stan Brakhage, an expanded version of his “cosmological epic” Dog Star Man. That film was made with multilayered superimpositions; in The Art of Vision, each layer is shown separately. At its core, we see the filmmaker as a woodsman scaling a snow-covered mountain, and images of wife and child. Brakhage turns the film to poetry with a wide array of radical techniques. At the time he was creating these monumental films, Brakhage was writing his treatise Metaphors on Vision, in which he asks “Imagine an eye unruled by man-made laws of perspective, an eye unprejudiced by compositional logic, an eye which does not respond to the name of everything but which must know each object encountered in life through an adventure of perception. How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of ‘Green’?” On the occasion of a definitive new edition of Metaphors on Vision published by Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry, the Museum presents this special screening of The Art of Vision. The program will be introduced by Thomas Beard, co-founder of Light Industry and one of the co-publishers of the book, which will be available in the Museum Store.