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Tony Conrad

Greene Naftali
508 West 26th Street, 8th floor, 212-463-7770
January 18 - February 17, 2007
Reception: Thursday, January 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

An exhibition of “Yellow Movies” by Tony Conrad, a legendary New York underground filmmaker, composer, and artist. This exhibition marks Conrad’s first solo show at the gallery and is a re-presentation of the original one-night “screening” of this same body of work at Millennium in 1973.

Using house paint applied to large irregular sheets of seamless paper in the shape of movie screens, Conrad’s “Yellow Movies” are the slow process of the paint yellowing over years and decades—films which can outlast a viewer’s lifetime. Perceived as a cultural intervention, this work was an attempt to disrupt the progression of experimental cinema by taking the definition of “film” to an absurd extreme and wrenching it away from its technological necessities. Now, presenting these seminal works 30 years later, the issues they raise are even more expansive, occupying an unusual territory in between painting, film, and installation.

In seeking to dismantle the authoritarian boundaries of film culture during 1972-74 I turned to extended duration as a conceptual armature. The Yellow Movies were a solution to the problem of how to produce films that could run for a lifetime. Only by assaulting and occupying the arena of industrial film-material manufacturing (occupied by Kodak, Fuji, Orwo, etc.) could a movie experience be generated that would change almost imperceptibly slowly-“a movie” that would be very slightly, yet measurably sensitive to light. The emulsion that served this purpose was cheap house paint-or, in the case of the video version, day-glo silkscreen ink.

—Tony Conrad, 2005
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