Light Thief and Shadow Bandit: Andrew Noren

Occasioned by Andrew Noren's in-person appearance next Tuesday, when we will premiere two new digital works, tonight we showcase his extraordinary explorations of light and texture in two of the artist's rarely shown earlier film works. The Lighted Field (1987, 62 mins) and Imaginary Light (1994, 31 mins) are part of The Adventures of the Exquisite Corpse, an open-ended work about which Noren has said, “I work only with the elements around me, the forms and substances of my daily existence, invention rooted in what is there....The Lovers, light and shadow, and their offspring, space and time, are my themes; working with their particularities is my passion and delight....I'm a light thief and shadow bandit, I deal in retinal phantoms.” J. Hoberman writes that Noren is “intoxicated by the effect of light on film emulsion, the stuff itself...(the) erotics of seeing, of sensual shadow-play and light-frenzied closeups. The Lighted shot in austere, high-contrast black and white. The mode is contemplative (but) his camera dematerializes the world into a pure rush of energy.” Imaginary Light is a gorgeous study of the play of light revealed in the filmmaker's home and garden. As Scott MacDonald has remarked, “If one thinks of the movie camera as an instrument with which a filmmaker can compose and perform visual music, Noren may well be the most accomplished visual master musician we have.”

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