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Filmmaker Rose Lowder in Person

Tuesday, November 24, 1987
"Visual Research in Art": Four Films by Rose Lowder

Peruvian-born Rose Lowder lives in Avignon, France where she has founded and programs an experimental film archive. She studied art, including painting and sculpture, both in Lima and in London, and has worked in the British film industry as an editor. Lowder describes her films as being "concerned with visual research in art and in society in general." These films are silent, many of them composed frame-by-frame in the camera. She discusses her films in the following notes: Parcelle (1979, 3 mins): "The French term 'parcelle' refers to a fragment, particle or bit. Filmed frame-by-frame in the camera, the film rests upon the alternate appearance and duration of tiny colored squares and circles placed on a black background. Inserted in series between plain white or colored frames, the particular arrangement of the items on separate frames forms, when projected on the screen, certain visual relationships producing a specific perceptual experience. Champ Provençal (1979, 9 mins): "The film presents in succession, from a single viewpoint, a frame-by-frame construction of a peach orchard with pink blossom (April 1), with green leaves (April 16) and with red-yellow peaches (June 24). Retour d'un repère composé (1981, 59 mins): "[In Retour d'un repère (1979)], the procedure of separating and extracting certain aspects of a scene by adjusting the focus of a series of frames in succession according to various organizational patterns is developed.... While the filmic operations are structured in relation to a limited space (a branch over a duck pond), the filmic process rests on a visual transposition of a pantoun, a verse form taken from literary rhetorics, which characteristically transforms itself gradually and continuously in a precise manner.... A double print version of Retour d'un repère led to the film Retour d'un repère composé. [Here] the same material is presented successively in the form of three slightly different versions: a straight single print, a combined picture printed twice onto the same film strip (the second printing another tone and shifted back one frame), and a combined image printed thrice onto one piece of film likewise. Each version reorganizes a means of approach to the perception of the composed visual image. 'Composed Recurrence' is a rough translation of 'Retour d'un repère composé' except that one loses the aspect concerning 'repère' (a point of reference). Scenes de la vie française: Avignon (1986, c. 15 mins): "One of a series of four films filmed in Arles, Paris, La Ciotat and Avignon over several years. The films originated from the fact that as a filmmaker and film programmer I tend to travel often to certain places. I became intrigued by their familiar changes throughout the seasons. Soon, there being too much material for one film, each town became a film. In Avignon, I attempted to incorporate the transformations by combining on an ordinary printer identical viewpoints filmed at different periods: the market, the main bus stop, rue des Teinturiers from my bathroom window, the Rhône river, a park, a little square."

• All films by Rose Lowder. (Total running time: 86 mins, Silent, Color, 16mm, Prints from filmmaker)