Date of Lecture: 2000-11-03
A self-taught artist, Gehr has established himself as one the true masters of film form. His graceful style and subtle, poetic sensibility has deeply affected the cinematic avant-garde. Working since the 1960s, he has completed more than 24 films that have been screened internationally, including retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Musée du Cinema in Brussels and the San Francisco Cinematheque. Each film presents a single subject – a highway, a corridor, a tableau, and with a beautiful modernest view, he renders the objects abstractions of themselves.
“Gehr’s films make use of an almost encyclopedic range of spatial experiments in which the camera creates, investigates or records a space, particularly through a series of compositional and, even more, mobile perspectives. But, while these experiments are elegantly formal, they never stop at formal play. Instead, the placing of the camera almost always opens onto issues about how a human being is placed in a larger environment, and ultimately within a world.” – Tom Gunning, Placing The Films of Ernie Gehr.
Gehr has received numerous grants and awards for his work including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Maya Deren Award from the American Film Institute and the Adaline Kent Award Exhibition Award (SFAA). He is currently a faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute.
A selection of Gehr’s films was also screened at Cinematheque Ontario on Wednesday, November 1, 2000 at 6:30pm.