: Cinema on Stage
: Cinema on Stage
Explores emergence of proscenium stage as an aesthetic and conceptual locus of Expanded Cinema production in mid-60s New York, and the particular staging of the psychological dynamics of cinematic projection and reception made possible by this shift. The first section explores the evolution of Robert Whitman’s Prune.Flat. (1965) out of the artists imagistic reformulation of classical theatre within his early Happenings. While these early works dealt implicitly with psychological dynamics of projection and spectatorship, Prune.Flat. was his first theatrical work to explicitly engage the apparatus of cinema. Mixing live performance and cinematic projection, Whitman creates complex imbrications of on-screen and off-screen space illustrating the strong degree of spectatial complicity with the artiface of cinema. The second section details Stan VanDerBeek’s turn away from a successful practice in animated film towards a novel domain of Expanded Cinema performance. While the artist’s Movie-Drome has been the near-exclusive focus of scholarship in this domain, this section contends that the artist’s “Movie-Mural” for the John Cage / Merce Cunningham production Variations V was the most significant moment in the artist’s transition to Expanded Cinema, illustrating the crucial role played by his former Black Mountain College teachers in the genesis of his collaborative vision.
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