15 Oct 2018
Pantograph Punch: Already a lover of cinema and the sea, Doug Dillaman considers Dr. Erika Balsom's new book and curatorial projects within a wider world of watery imagery on screen.
An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea is the result of Dr. Erika Balsom’s 2017 residency at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre as International Film Curator in Residence. Officially the first publication in the gallery’s STATEMENTS series, Balsom’s book closely follows the form of Len Lye’s Individual Happiness Now. While the two works are very different – Lye’s a manifesto, Balsom’s a five-fingered riff on a motif – they both share a sense of personal idiosyncrasy. Clocking in at 75 pages, including a generous sampling of stills, An Oceanic Feeling covers roughly the same amount of moving-image works, from A Boat Leaving The Harbour (1895) to .TV (2017) to Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) to Kevin Reynolds’ Waterworld (1995). In the closing filmography, Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) nestles next to Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (2015) – perhaps the only time they’ve shared space anywhere.
You can read the full Pantograph Punch article at pantograph-punch.com/post/oceanic-feeling
I: An Oceanic Feeling, the book.
Here, the ocean and the cinema – united by inhuman animus and a penchant for flux – conspire to dislodge man from his pedestal.