One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Tuesday 3rd July, 2018

18.00 – 20.00: Evening Screening (K – 1.56)

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

A lecture with moving images – Mark-Paul Meyer (Senior Curator, EYE Filmmuseum, The Netherlands)

The focus in this program is on the re-use of film materials that are often found in the corners and attics of the archive. In many cases these materials have long been ignored or neglected and in many archives these materials would even be disposed. A clear example of this practice are the unidentified fragments, the snips and crumbs that nobody can recognize anymore and that lost their context of the original film. The Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam started to look at these fragments in the early 1990s and developed a policy to preserve the most interesting and most beautiful fragments in a series called “Bits & Pieces”. 25 years later Eye holds now an estimated 14 hours of preserved and recently also digitized Bits and Pieces. Often these Bits & Pieces are a perfect starting point for further research for filmmakers and artists.

This program will present a selection of Bits & Pieces and show how film makers and artists worked with this collection of short fragments, referring in particular to Film Ist 7-12 (2002) by Gustav Deutsch.

In film archives commissioned films, scientific films, working materials and also private films are often not very much foregrounded. However, also in these collections fascinating images are found, such as scientific films that experiment with early color technologies. Films from the archive will be From the Realm of Crystals (1927, J.C. Mol) and images of early X-Ray experiments.

Visual artists often show a particular interest in these materials. Christop Girardet made in 2013 Fabric, based on the left overs of a 1950s fashion commercial, and the Swiss/Dutch artist Alexandra Navratil, recently completed a new work in which she focused on images of ‘material transformation’. She made a fascinating work based on images of bubbling oil wells, streaming lava and moving blood cells.

The program will be concluded with a smashing clip from the video collection of the VJ Peter Rubin. Rubin was an American film maker who came to the Netherlands in the 1970s and became one of the pioneering artists in the Dutch VJ scene, When he died in 2015, his archive of films and hundreds of VHS video tapes was donated to Eye. Many of these video tapes are unique works and fascinating documents of sub culture dance events in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mark Paul Meyer

Mark Paul Meyer is senior curator “Expanded Cinema” at the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. He has been working as curator in the archive (former Nederlands Filmmuseum) for more than twenty-five years. He studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and photography at the Fotoacademie in Amsterdam. His specializations and research include film restoration, silent cinema, experimental cinema, expanded cinema, the relations between film and other art forms and the material aspects of film and photography. He is a staff member of the MA course Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image at the University of Amsterdam. He is co-editor of the book Restoration of Motion Picture Film (Oxford 2000).