Holly Fisher – Deafening Silence (trailer)

Included with her experimental documentary Deafening Silence (2012) is a series of short film/video works. created on a multi-layered timeline between 2012 – 2018, via the recycling of her 8mm & 16mm film, iPhone, and other primary sources as her…

Holly Fisher - Deafening Silence (trailer)

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Included with her experimental documentary Deafening Silence (2012) is a series of short film/video works. created on a multi-layered timeline between 2012 – 2018, via the recycling of her 8mm & 16mm film, iPhone, and other primary sources as her point of departure. Perception is the common ground within this otherwise radical departure from her long-form essay films Everywhere at Once, Deafening Silence and A Question of Sunlight. Each new work here loops back to the cyclic and layered optical printing experiments with structure, including her multiple projection project Ghost Dance originally performed by Fisher in the early 80s.

Deafening Silence is a fusion of beauty and terror, observation and anger, roving visuals and intimate stories that are funny, contemplative, or horrific – a subjective, layered depiction of Burma under brutal military dictatorship. My first trip was legal, shooting video as a fake tour guide doing research. The next was on foot, under-cover with ethnic Karen guerrillas, to film internal exiles surviving in a free-fire jungle war zone. Colonial archival imagery and clips from YouTube are woven within this tapestry of fragments, often in ironic counterpoint, and always to pierce the chokehold of censorship. This is a living history of a country arrested in time, a hybrid documentary focusing on ethnic genocide but with constant poetic resonance and a rich multiplicity of references to history and popular culture.” – Hank Heifetz and Holly Fisher

“… this doc deserves to go places. Big places. Using footage from two trips she took to Burma (one as a legitimate tourist and one covertly and illegally), news reports, YouTube videos, interviews, and more, she crafts a nonfiction tone poem that feels more like Apocalypse Now than any doc I can think of. …There are frequent moments of joy and grace, both small and large, captured in Deafening Silence. It’s those small heartbeats, the candle in the wind of love against hate, right against might, that holds the truly unshakeable hope for the future.” – Dan Schindel, film critic, blogger

Ghostdance for a New Century (1980-2015) – Digital update of an old two-channel film. Here, the screen is a dish on which elements concentrate in the center. Its inset frames and their glimmering sprocket holes recall panes of stained glass, inlaid atop each other in an impossible cathedral, producing stirring combinations of consecrated light. Composer/cellist Ha-Yang Kim performs her original score, LENS – Maxwell Paparella, Screen Slate

Bedeviled (aka SIMOOM) – Dragon bones and snakes embracing; skeletons in underwear, flying shoes and bug-eyed aliens are among the characters that comprise the annual NYC Halloween Parade — filmed and transformed into a subjective extra-terrestrial dreamscape. Fragmented, cyclic, and in continual flux, b e d e v i l e d is a collage in motion, grounded within a visible construct of open and ever-shifting frames. – Holly Fisher

bartok on 57th street (s o f t s h o e di-stilled) A re-imagining of my S.8-sourced 16mm film s o f t s h o e (1987) – expanded here from the optically printed original work to a weave of picture made possible via an (avid) video multi-track timeline. This work is a self-contained film/video hybrid variation, for projection but especially for continuous looping for wall exhibition with my digital print project pulled from the same film. The print project “Softshoe Di-stilled” is one of deconstruction, while “bartok” is a filmmaker’s sketchbook unbound, in search of new ground. Odds are good I will continue to expand this work… – Holly Fisher

Ghost Dance (1980) takes the viewer on a spiraling descent into Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly, from the rim at the top to the Navajo ruins on the mud-caked canyon floor. A systemic looping technique via JK Optical Printer creates images that are stretched, recycled, and interwoven, altering one’s perceptions of time and space in relation to the immediate “present.” The film is made from a single roll of regular 8mm film, filmed with a camera found in the back seat of a taxi. After initial exposure (shot in single and “spurt frame” clusters while descending the canyon) the film was accidentally “cooked” in the glove box of the car, giving it a deep reddish tone not unlike the Canyon de Chelly at twilight. I instructed the lab not to slit the film (as was the norm with 8mm) in order to gain access to multiple frames within the 16mm gate of my JK Optical Printer for re-filming. Roughly two years later, I re-filmed the entire 3 minute strand–unslit, using a 16mm gate in my JK printer, and keeping a pretty strict pattern of looped and repetitive sequencing. – Holly Fisher

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