A Cinematic Artist : the Films of Man Ray by Knowles, Kim; Man Ray, 1890-1976

By Knowles, Kim; Man Ray, 1890-1976

The yank artist guy Ray used to be the most influential figures of the ancient avant-garde, contributing considerably to the improvement of either Dadaism and Surrealism. when his pioneering paintings in images guaranteed him foreign acclaim, his task in different components, significantly movie, is to this present day either unknown and undervalued.
through the Nineteen Twenties guy Ray made 4 brief experimental movies and collaborated on a bunch of alternative tasks with humans similar to Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, René Clair and Hans Richter. those works, besides a sequence of cinematic essays and residential videos made throughout the Twenties and Nineteen Thirties, signify crucial contribution to the advance of another mode of filmmaking within the early 20th century. This publication explores guy Ray’s cinematic interactions from the point of view of his interdisciplinary creative sensibility, growing hyperlinks among movie, images, portray, poetry, track, structure, dance and sculpture. by means of exposing his preoccupation with shape, and his ambiguous courting with the politics and aesthetics of the Dada and Surrealist pursuits, the writer paints an intimate and intricate portrait of guy Ray the filmmaker

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68 This publication was announced a few months earlier in the Dada journals Le Coeur à barbe and Les Feuilles libres, firmly situating the new photographic method within Dada aesthetics. 69 An analogy was thus made between the process of ‘écriture automatique’ and Man Ray’s technique of producing traces and imprints of objects in his rayographs. His initial discovery of the process, the details of which are now widely known, is itself hailed by commentators as the ultimate chance event. Whilst developing prints in his darkroom, he had accidentally placed a couple of objects on a sheet of photosensitive paper.

Here, the blank screen, the perceivable bits of dust and debris, and the reactions of the audience all become part of the half-hour long performance. As mentioned earlier, the context has the ef fect of framing and defining the content, and it is for this reason that Le Retour’s connection with the last Dada soirée should not be completely overlooked. Nonetheless, it is important to shift the emphasis onto the actual content of the film if we are to understand how the complex relationship with Dada is expressed on a visual level.

Eisenstein places the attraction in opposition to the ‘trick’, which he describes in terms of pure spectacle, where the artist draws attention to his or her creative talent. Although Eisenstein’s formulation would seem to stand in opposition to Gunning’s appropriation of it, the avant-garde film as represented by Le Retour marks out a middle ground between the political attraction and the pure spectacle of the trick – a dichotomy that, interestingly, seems to mirror the way Man Ray fuses Dada with his more formal concerns.

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