Sunday, September 18, 2011

Larry Jordan & Joseph Cornell

I was very excited when I discovered the animation of Larry Jordan three years ago. Today I noticed a number of his pieces on YouTube including Gymnopedies (1965, with an enigmatic score by Eric Satie) and Hamfat Asar (1965).

And here's another great find, Carousel-Animal Opera filmed by Joseph Cornell in the 1930's and later completed by Larry Jordan in the 1970's.

And speaking of Joseph Cornell, here's a nice slide show of his work, including some altered books which I have never seen before. And here's his strange upside-down, reversed and negative image world of By Night With Torch and Spear with a marvelously haunting sound track!

Here's an interesting bit that I learned on the YouTube site. Made by splicing together stock footage that Cornell had found and collected, the film premiered at the first Surrealist exhibition in New York 1936. Salvador DalĂ­, present at its first screening, was outraged, claiming he had just had the same idea of applying collage to film. He remarked that Cornell should stick to making boxes and stop making films. Traumatized, Cornell rarely showed his films there after.

Larry Jordan was one of a number of young assistants that Cornell hired to help organize his collections. I wonder if the blue predominating in Gymnopedies is a nod to Cornell's Rose Hobart (1936) which was projected through a sheet of blue glass.

And I can't close without mentioning this superb example of bizarre collage animation dating from 1959: Stan Vanderbeek's Science Friction! There's a bit with a television in there that must have inspired Joanna Priestley.


MrCachet said...

I will attempt to get to the films this week, Anita. They sound intriguing!

AnitaNH said...

I was unaware that Joseph Cornell made films. Quite a nice discovery!