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Leighton Pierce: Familial Time Defamiliarized
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
Los Angeles, CA
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Leighton Pierce: Familial Time Defamiliarized
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents:
Leighton Pierce: Familial Time Defamiliarized
With filmmaker Leighton Pierce in person!

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028

Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.  Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or by cash or check at the door.  

Filmforum is delighted to host artist Leighton Pierce, here from New York, for the first of two different screenings in Los Angeles.  Pierce is one of the leading practitioners of experimental film and video in the United States today, and hasn't screened in Los Angeles in a number of years.

Freed from the constraints of traditional narrative, it is that process of creating an image in the mind of the viewer--the psychological filling-in of the imagined space, not the actual photograph of a space--that Pierce engages. Through the use of rich cascading imagery against the counterpoint of the soundtrack, Pierce disintegrates the film plane, allowing viewers to embody the perceptions of the video solidly within themselves. This video encourages a different kind of viewing and listeningone in which listening and looking inward matters as much as looking outward.

Note that Leighton Pierce will have another, different screening at REDCAT on Monday April 8.  See http://www.redcat.org/event/leighton-pierce for more details

Special Thanks to Cal Arts, REDCAT, Steve Anker, and Bérénice Reynaud.

Screening (in 4 sets, with introductions by Pierce)


Thursday (1990, 16mm film, 4.5 minutes)
Shot between 11:00 and 1:00 over a series of Thursdays while my infant son slept, this piece has something to do with the sensory pleasure of momentary solitude in a domestic setting.

Glass (1998, 16mm film, 7 minutes)
A not-so-still life in the backyard with children, water, fire and a few other basic elements. While the ultimate effect is poetic and transformative, it is simultaneously a study in the laws of optics - an exploration of refraction, diffraction, diffusion, reflection and absorption.
"A window pane is a paradox of sorts, as it unifies two opposing functions. On the one hand it separates the 'inside' from the 'outside' while the two spaces still remain visually connected. Glass, like water, can also flow, and both substances also share the qualities of transparency, refraction, and reflection. It is in this last quality that 'inside' and 'outside' can merge into one image. The accompanying crystal clear soundtrack, which ranges from a groaning swing to a crackling fire, very effectively contrasts the diffuse qualities of GLASS."
- from the Impakt Festival Catalogue 1998,


Wood (1980, SD video file, 8 minutes)
Looking outward, this is a segment from a series revolving around the relationship between my son (10 yrs old) and daughter (4 yrs old). Their relationship is too complicated and too dynamic to understand. That I know. This piece doesn't try to explain anything other than the fact of an overlapping acoustic environment and proximate activities.
Looking inward, WOOD is also a reflection on the many overlapping rhythms of the body.

The Back Steps (1981, SDvideo file, 5 minutes)
A small moment from a children's Halloween party is taken as material for an exploration of folded time.

Water Seeking its Level (2002, SD video file, 4 minutes)
Dad and daughter at the water race of an abandoned monastery. The scene pivots on her words:"Daddy,Look." He IS looking while he waits for the resolution of the moment-- water through her fingers.


Evaporation (2002, SD video file, 11 minutes)
Dissipation, dissolution, changing states. It is easy to apply these concepts to something like water; much more difficult when considering emotion and family relationships.

Viscera (2004-05, SD video file, 11 min)
Evoking a small fraction of the emotional complexities of life, Pierce works with the question of absence and what of a person remains in the memory and imagination when that person is absent. Constructed in three parts, this flowing video explores absence and how absence transforms and influences perception, memory, and imagination.


Sitting (2010, HD video file, 4 minutes)
A woman offers herself as the source of an image to a female painter. A man photographs them both. What is at stake when one submits to the gaze of another? And, what is received from that offering?

Using fluid visceral imagery and a spacious soundtrack, this short video illuminates the consciousness of both the act representation and the act of seeing oneself represented. Pivoting on the perceptual tension between experience and understanding, Pierce traverses the realm of the "looker" and the "looked at."

Orphan on Halloween (2012, HD video file, 2012, 3 minutes)
Halloween 2010, the sludge band ORPHAN plays at a party.  This is the experience cut to their song "Alcoholica."

River Trees (2011, video file, silent, 3 minutes)
A segment from Peripheral Induction.

Retrograde Premonition (2010, video file, 5 min)
"Retrograde Premonition" looks and sounds like floating mindthe vicissitudes of thought, feeling, and the senses. Not limited by the portrayal of actual events, this video works to encourage a roaming consciousness through images and sounds that may or may not be present.

Pierce shoots these videos with a digital still camera handheld at long exposures and then weaves the stills into video shots. Each individual image bears the mark of time from motion blura blur that may in fact contradict the apparent motion of the frame. He composes the entire soundscape once picture editing is complete.

Works in Progress (~7 min)

Leighton Pierce uses film, video, and sound to create experiences in transformative time. He creates multi-channel site-specific installations as well as single channel works. Pierce studied ceramics and music composition, especially jazz and electronic music, before making films. In fact, his first move into filmmaking came about from his frustration with the lack of a visual component to taped music. It is a continuation of this early interest in music and the construction of emotional experiences in time that continue to guide his work. Perhaps partly due to this background in ceramics and music, Pierce executes all aspects of his works himself including the conception, the cinematography, the editing, and of course the sound design and composition. While widely recognized for his stunning cinematography, he considers his editing and sound design to be the core of his art.

His award-winning short films and videos have been exhibited in major art museums and film festivals throughout the world including The Sundance Film Festival, The Whitney Biennial , The San Francisco, New York, and Rotterdam Film Festivals. He has had numerous retrospectives at venues such as, The New Zealand Film Festival, Lincoln Center, The Cinémathèque française, Festival Nemo, and Pompidou Center in Paris, and at The Lisboa Bienal of Contemporary Art. Pierce's multi-channel video installations have been shown at The Exploratorium in San Francisco, Museé d'art contemporaine in Montréal, Boudin College Art Museum, The Sheldon Art Museum and LaViolaBank gallery in NY. A landmark 13 channel, 5500 sq. ft. video installation, Warm Occlusion, was presented in 2006 at the University of Iowa Museum of Art. Pierce has received numerous fellowships including from the Rockefeller Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, and The Camargo Foundation. He is currently Acting Dean of the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation.  2013 is our 38th year
Memberships available, $70 single, $105 dual, or $50 single student
Contact us at lafilmforum@yahoo.com.  www.lafilmforum.org
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
United States


Arts > Visual
Film > Movies

Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Los Angeles Filmforum
On BPT Since: Nov 17, 2009
Los Angeles Filmforum

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