Courtesy of Anthony McCall
It is common for art to challenge realities and bring new light to familiar issues. Even a medium as ingrained in our society as film can be manipulated into something new.
Video will do just this at the screening of “Expanded Cinema,” scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater and Performance Space.
“Expanded Cinema,” as it has come to be described today, plays with the idea of how video is shown and perceived. The term generally refers to film projects that stray from the conventional projection practices common to audiences in modern-day movie theatres.
“It’s kind of taking the projector out of the booth and using it in a way where the projection can be sculptural or there can be multiple projectors at the same time,” said Chris Stults, associate curator of Film/Video at the Wexner Center.
Historically, though, expanded cinema has held different meanings.
“In the ’60s it had more of a sense of opening up one’s mind, much more of a psychedelic sense,” Stults said. “We’re going to have work that fits both of these meanings within the show.”
The event will begin in the Film/Video Theater, where the first three of four films will be shown, including Andy Warhol’s “Outer and Inner Space,” which will be “the main draw for a lot of people,” Stults said. The film, which features 1960s it-girl Edie Sedgwick, consists of two projections shown side-by-side, a difficult task for the Wexner Center’s staff, Stults said.
“It’s tricky – we’ll have to reconfigure our booth and setup,” Stults said. “It’s not something that’s easily done or often seen.”
The event will then move to the Wexner Center’s Performance Space where the final film, Anthony McCall’s “Line Describing a Cone,” which consists of a white circle that is gradually drawn on the screen, will transform the space into an interactive installation piece.
“‘Line Describing a Cone’ is really one of the most important works, not just of this genre, but within film and art history,” Stults said. “You couldn’t really teach a class on film and video and not show this.”
During the film, a fog machine will encompass the room in a haze, making particles in the air visible and creating a beam of light in which audience members can interact. Throughout the half-hour film, the projected beam of light will grow from a fine line to a much larger cone.
“The film is very much exploring not only projection space and film space, but the space between them,” said Matt Swift, academic adviser for Ohio State’s film studies program. “It was a major breakthrough in avant-garde experimental cinema. It follows a mid-19th century movement toward structuralism, which not only explores traditional film medium, but how the major components of cinema, like light projection and the actual image, change the space.”
After the final film, a reception will be held in the Wexner Center’s Heirloom cafÃ© where guests can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, which are included with the ticket, and a cash bar. Visitors will also have the chance to speak with Wexner Center staff about the cinematic features they experienced.
In order to give each audience member ample time to view and interact with the final installation, ticket sales for the event will be capped at 100. Tickets, which can be purchased online or at the Wexner Center’s front desk, are priced at $10 for students and $12 for the general public. Tickets are still available, said Karen Simonian, director of media and public relations at the Wexner Center.