James Benning in person for Q&A!
Since switching from his beloved 16mm to various digital formats, with all the financial freedom and creative possibilities that change affords, James Benning has been on an especially prolific streak. These three new short works are characteristically provocative in their political intonations, conceptual rigor and reflexive beauty. HF is Benning’s tribute in miniature to legendary filmmaker Hollis Frampton, known for his materialist dissection of the cinema apparatus and adventurous considerations of memory and time. Signs is a sobering continuation of Benning’s career-long interest with the written word as image, text as vision: a silent parade of stills showing dozens of cardboard signs asking for money, food, and kindness. A stretch of highway blanketed by snow becomes the stage for one accident after another in US 41, perhaps Benning’s first disaster movie, or a comedy of (automotive and meteorological) errors. Returning Benning to his favorite subject of the American character as reflected in our landscape, US 41 is an almost transcendental contemplation of mortality by way of traffic camera footage and Bob Dylan.
James Benning | USA | 2014 | Digital Projection | 56m
James Benning | USA | 2014 | Digital Projection | 11m
James Benning | USA | 2014 | Digital Projection | 18m