Close Up

17 March 2017: Shirley Clarke's Late Shorts


"A tour-de-force synthesis of theatre and video, Tongues is the collective title of a two-part collaboration by Shirley Clarke, distinguished actor/director Joseph Chaikin, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Sam Shepard. Both one-act monologues integrate the distinctive styles of these three artists: Shepard's innovative, stream-of-consciousness language; Chaikin's kinetic and exacting performance, which unifies the pieces; and Clarke's dynamic, expressive choreography of image, sound and text. The cadences and inflections of Shepard's jazz-related narrative voice and Chaikin's dramatic expression of a multitude of personalities are heightened by Clarke's syncopated use of digital effects, slow motion, and editing techniques to distort and manipulate the image." - Electronic Arts Intermix

24 Frames per Second, 1977, 4 min, Colour, Digital
Four Journeys into Mystic Time, 1979, 60 min, Colour, Digital
Savage/love, 1981, 26 min, Colour, Digital
Tongues, 1982, 20 min, Colour, Digital 

A selection of Clarke's pioneering and influential work with video, from the 1970s and 1980s. With the new medium of video still in its infancy, Clarke immediately recognised and began to explore its progressive possibilities. Based in the penthouse of the infamous Hotel Chelsea, she formed the TeePee Video Space Troupe collective of visual artists, and developed a powerful fusion of live performance and video. Highlights include Tongues and Savage/Love, Clarke’s trailblazing collaborations with actor/director Joseph Chaikin and acclaimed playwright/actor Sam Shepard.

Part of our retrospective on Shirley Clarke, generously supported by Milestone Films: