The Unfinished Cinema of Eadweard Muybridge

 

Little Harry, HD video, 13 min, 2018

 

The centerpiece of The Unfinished Cinema of Eadweard Muybridge is a 13-minute video titled Little Harry  in which figures, animated from Muybridge’s motion sequences, populate Carleton Watkins’s transcendental landscapes, in effect completing the cinematic project Muybridge had embarked on before the advent of film technology.

The idea for Little Harry was inspired by a passage from Rebecca Solnit’s book, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (Bloomsbury 2003):

“On the morning of October 16, 1885, Blanche Eplar lies down and rises, kneels and prays, pours water from a pitcher, and ascends stairs with a lamp for the camera. It’s a sequence that seems to begin with awakening and end with departing. Were these animated together they would present far more sophisticated narratives than say the first films of the Lumiere brothers…”

Two series of digital prints fulfill the project’s conceit of transforming the artistic and technological competition between Watkins and Muybridge into a collaboration by digitally merging their Yosemite views.

 

Looking Down Yosemite Valley, 2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches

 

Cape Horn Near Celila/ Bridal Veil Falls,  2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches

 

Rocky Ford, 2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches

Sylvan Bar, 2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches


 

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