Anthony McCall is, without question, one of the seminal artists of American avant-garde cinema. His films and installations from the seventies such as Line Describing a Cone, Long Film for Four Projectors, and Four Projected Movements, represent an extraordinarily corporeal and sensuous meditation on the medium of film and the politics of the audience’s physical and conceptual relationship to it. All of these works took as their starting point the irreducible, necessary conditions of cinema: projected light, and real, three-dimensional space.
McCall creates “solid light” works – digital videos of meticulously choreographed intersecting lines and curves which are projected in darkened haze-filled rooms, creating three-dimensional sculptural forms constructed from light. When the viewer moves in and out of the projected light beams, they are forced to reconcile their perceived sense of a three dimensional object in space with the actual reality of the mutable properties of light.
Leaving (with Two-Minute Silence), was his first work in thirty years to include sound, which was produced in collaboration with the musician and composer David Grubbs. The piece consists of two, spatially parallel, projected forms. The first form starts as a complete ellipse, which is systematically cut away until nothing is left. The second form starts with nothing and systematically grows into a complete ellipse. The sonic environment operates as a just-audible ‘shroud’ which is built from two opposing sound-spaces: the traffic of the city emerging from one side of the space, the liquid sounds of a city harbor from the other. At one moment during each cycle, the motion freezes and the sound vanishes, to produce a transient moment when time stands still. [Extract : Anthony McCall : Sean Kelly Gallery]