MERCE CUNNINGHAM CENTENNIAL

SALT BEYOĞLU

JULY 11 – AUGUST 3, 2019

Gorsel Image I Merce Cunningham ve Elliot Caplan’ın <i>Points in Space</i> [Uzaydaki Noktalar] (1986) video işinden bir kare; New York’taki Electronic Arts Intermix’in (EAI) izniyle.
Still from Merce Cunningham and Elliot Caplan’s 1986 video work Points in Space; courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) in New York.
One of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century, Cunningham’s film and video works will be screened in the Walk-in Cinema at SALT Beyoğlu between July 11 and August 3, in collaboration with Merce Cunningham Trust and Electronic Arts Intermix.


“You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive.” Merce Cunningham

A dancer, a choreographer, and a teacher who pushed the boundaries of contemporary art, visual arts, performing arts, and music during his seven-decade career… An imaginative film producer who collaborated with directors including Arne Arnbom, Charles Atlas, Elliot Caplan, and Richard Moore to capture and reflect the essence of dance and movement through moving image. SALT is celebrating Merce Cunningham’s centennial with a screening program, which elaborates the works by one of the leading figures of the American avant-garde and the most influential choreographers of the 20th century.

Directed by Arne Arnbom and accompanied by John Cage’s music, the 1964 film Antic Meet consists of a series of vaudeville scenes that overlap. Opening with a quote from Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov on the necessity of absurdities, the film shows Cunningham moving among a group of other dancers as a clown-like figure who tries to adapt to a society whose rules unknown to him.

Produced two years later again in collaboration with Arnbom and Cage, Variations V is a true testament to experiments with “intermedia” in the 1960s, which profoundly informed Cunningham’s choreographic practice. Video is materially integrated into the performance, with projections by Stan VanDerBeek and overlaid TV distortions by Nam June Paik, while sound is triggered by the dancers’ movements and then altered or delayed by the musicians.

Assemblage (1968) features Cunningham dancing with his dance company in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square, a new wave of gentrified urban environments where dilapidated markets or industrial sites were rehabilitated as mall-like retail districts, in November 1968. Directed by former dancer Richard Moore, and both transferred from 16mm and colorized by Charles Atlas after Cunningham’s death, the film’s musical accompaniment is provided by Cage, David Tudor, and Gordon Mumma.

A co-production with the BBC, and co-directed by Cunningham and Elliot Caplan, Points in Space (1986) splits into two parts: the complexities and exhilaration of developing a new dance and making a documentary about it. Taking its title from Einstein’s famous statement, the video work includes interviews with Cunningham and Cage as well as the members of the dance company along with scenes from rehearsals in New York and London.

Caplan’s 35-mm film adaptation of Beach Birds, a dance work originally choreographed for the stage, Beach Birds for Camera begins with Cunningham outlining his approach to dance for the camera, and his vision for how movement behaves and how we see it. In the 1993 film, accompanied by Cage’s music, the center of the proscenium stage is no longer the most important point within the frame, and the viewer is invited to simultaneously explore the activity that takes place in each of its component parts. The camera permits different levels of detail to manifest themselves.

Organized in collaboration with Merce Cunningham Trust and Electronic Arts Intermix, Merce Cunningham Centennial screenings will take place in the Walk-in Cinema at SALT Beyoğlu every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between July 11 and August 3. The program is free and open to all.

JULY 11-13 / JULY 18-20 / JULY 25-27 / AUGUST 1-3

12.00
Antic Meet, 1964
English without subtitles (27 minutes)

12.30 Variations V, 1966
English without subtitles (49 minutes)

13.30 Assemblage, 1968
English without subtitles (58 minutes)

14.30 Points in Space, 1986
English without subtitles (56 minutes)

15.30 Beach Birds for Camera, 1993
English without subtitles (30 minutes)

16.00 Antic Meet, 1964
English without subtitles (27 minutes)

16.30 Variations V, 1966
English without subtitles (49 minutes)

17.30 Assemblage, 1968
English without subtitles (58 minutes)

18.30 Points in Space, 1986
English without subtitles (56 minutes)

19.30 Beach Birds for Camera, 1993
English without subtitles (30 minutes)





In accordance with Article 7 of Law No. 5224 amended on 18.01.2019,
films that have not been assessed and classified by the General Directorate of Cinema, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Republic of Turkey, can only be screened under the classification of 18+ at festivals, special screenings or similar culture and arts events.

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