The Unfinished Cinema of Eadweard Muybridge, HD video, 13:18 minutes, 2018
The centerpiece of The Unfinished Cinema of Eadweard Muybridge is a 13:18 minute video 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 Unfinished Cinema of Eadweard Muybridge 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
On the Merced, 2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches
Cascades, 2018, archival print, 20 x 35 inches