Reforming the Past

For his performance Reforming the Past, James Benning turns towards his own film North on Evers, shot in 1991. After seeing Andy Warhol's Screen Tests again, Benning re-filmed all of the 59 portraits that occur in North on Evers with his HD camera, reframed them and slowed them down 8 times. This silent film, his most recent work, will be accompanied by a live reading by Benning of the handwritten text that ran through the bottom of the frame in the original film, comprised of his travel diary from a road trip through the USA. It is an exploration of the relationship between image, text and sound paying special attention to the landscape of American life. Claudia Slana decribes this his filmic endeavors as follows: “To understand the filmic image not as a direct representation of reality but instead as an “illusion of reality”, as a “pattern of meaning” that is subject to continious transformation through the involvement of the viewer.”
by James Benning USA 2009 80’

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