ICC Report

Screening of SUZUKI Ryoji's Film,
Experience in Material No. 35--Clairiere. Creux. Vide.

September 18 and 25, October 2, 9, 16 and 23, 1998
ICC Theater

How possible is an encounter between architecture and moving pictures? Answering that question, and revealing what architecture and moving pictures have in common, is one of the missions SUZUKI Ryoji sought to carry out in Experience in Material No. 35--Clairiere. Creux. Vide, a 15-minute work in 16 mm film he made in 1992. One of his analytic techniques for making that encounter a reality was to tackle a material memory shared between architecture and moving pictures.

The ICC special exhibition entitled "The Library of Babel"--Characters/Books/Media included SUZUKI's [Experience in Material No. 39, BIBLIOTECA]. In this work SUZUKI dares to make BORGES's library--boundless, inchoate--visible. The resulting structure is what SUZUKI calls a "void model." A void model adds to the three dimensions of space--the x, y and z axes--a fourth dimension, t, or motion, making it an approximation to moving pictures. Through motion, the structure acquires the coherence it had lacked. SUZUKI's model of the library, one of an infinite number of fragments, is built with a sloping surface to generate the effect of boundless, spiraling motion. Thus he has a structure with motion; substitute time for motion and the result is a moving picture, a structure that encompasses the realization that all time equals memory.

Let us assume an identity, "moving picture equals structure," and scan time, from before structures existed until after they have ceased to exist. Scanning, SUZUKI presents fragmentary images: the foundations of a structure, not yet completed, or perhaps an abandoned cave; a model that takes as its motif structures in the 15th-century Florentine painter Fra ANGELICO's [The Last Judgment]; a model that suggests a city of the future, the remains of a vanished city, or a city somewhere not of this world. These fragmentary images are offered to us for dissection within pre-formed visual perceptions provided by iconic memory fragments--the Odessa Steps, Casa Malaparte--to achieve the architecture-moving picture encounter.


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