This June, Early Monthly Segments returns to the work of Robert Beavers, from whose film we took our name. Originally completed in 1971 and re-edited along with the rest of his oeuvre in the 1990’s, From the Notebook of… is a remarkably elegant document of the process of Beavers’ filmmaking, a work that turns inward to reveal its own structure at the same time as it reflects on the practice of making art in general. Inspired by Paul Valery’s essay on the working methods of Leonardo Da Vinci, From the Notebook of… consists of shots of Beavers’ own notes, instructions and tools, along with locations in Florence that are depicted in Da Vinci’s notebooks. Throughout the film we read Beavers’ instructions to himself and then see them enacted, providing us with a unique self-portrait of the artist at work in the space he inhabits. We are always conscious of the presence of the camera, the lens, and the frame through which we see the artist’s surroundings as they are continually mediated by a system of mattes and coloured filters reframing and tinting the images. The rooms that Beavers films also become metaphorical cameras, the windows lenses and the shutters shutters. In the program notes for a retrospective of his films at the Tate Modern, Beavers remarks that he thinks of filmmaking as architecture. The relationships between form and construction, space and structure are notable here as we see thought become film in a city as famous for invention as it is for beauty.
“From the Notebook of…”, Robert Beavers, 1971/1998, USA/Italy, 16mm, 48 min.
8 pm screening