A Visionary Filmmaker on the Aesthetics of Space
BRAKHAGE, Stan (1933-2003). Space as Menace in Canadian Aesthetics: Film and Painting. Photocopy of the 25-page manuscript (typewritten, with holograph corrections) with cover letter (also photocopied) dated May 9, 1989, inscribed in ink to Gerald O’Grady, “For Gerry from Stan.” About fine.
An important essay by the experimental filmmaker, inspired by a visit to an exhibition of paintings by the Group of Seven.
“[T]here is a Canadian attitude towards Space,” he writes “(metaphorical Space in the sense of representation-of-space and actual Space of the flat white canvas and/or motion-picture screen) which is essentially defensive and which, thereby, determines all details of thought and craft to a point of obliteration of any semblance such as might prompt a viewer to believe in Space – i.e., to believe that there is a being-nothing-there where once there was something…”
Delivered originally as a lecture at an art gallery in 1989, this expanded version was photocopied for very limited distribution to friends. A version of the essay was later published in Brakhage’s collection, Telling Time: Essays of a Visionary Filmmaker (2003).
The recipient of the present copy, Gerald O’Grady, was the influential founder of the Center for Media Study at University at Buffalo, menaced to the north by the Canadian void.