A tribute to art and technology, early film, and contemporary video art, Moving Silently is a festival of ideas. How does technology assist in giving birth to new art forms? What is the connection between historical and contemporary moving images? Can video cameras, being as widely accessible as crayons, be the most democratic tool of art production of our time? These questions were posed in the free entry international call for artists with a few other conditions that determined the format of the show: a series of black and white silent video art shorts, with no limitation in theme or topic.
Moving Silently. Empress Theatre July 20, 2019
Of all the submissions, twenty-five artists from around the world were selected, and the show produced by Ephemereye and released to the present public acclaim. Emerging and established artists from France, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Finland, South Korea, and the United States presented their work for this screening exhibition.*
Matteo Campulla, Out to lunch, 2018
The show premiered in the historical Essanay Silent Film Museum – where Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp films were produced – , and the silent films program is on weekly. Just as in the good old days, the accompaniment was provided by a single pianist, Judy Rosenberg, who rose to the challenge and contemporaneously responded to the unknown visuals with a brilliant set of musical vignettes. The specificity of video art is that is focuses on the visual narrative rather than storytelling, and turns the accompanying musical performance almost into a first response of the viewer to the image on the screen. It both produces and assists the show, thus playing the dual role of the artist and the public.
The next screening of Moving Silently is being transformed in scope and scale. Not only more work has been added to the original show, and a few more people to the artists group, but it will also be paired up with another event, the screening of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), a digitally remastered oeuvre of the Silent Film Era.
The echo of the dystopian landscape of the class struggle set in the Bauhaus, Cubist and Futurist aesthetic reverberates to the present day’s events and adds more questions to the relationship between humanity, technology and society.
The musical score for the film is composed by Richard Marriott, and performed by his Club Foot Modern Machines, which undoubtedly will be a feast for the lovers of early film. Richard composed for film, television, dance, theater, opera, installations and video games. He is the founder and artistic director of the Club Foot Orchestra, an important modern ensemble for live music performance with silent films.**
To our delight, Richard Marriott and his ensemble will be accompanying our Moving Silently show responding to the artist’s work on the screen. All that in the historic Empress Theatre in Vallejo, designed by a local architect William A. Jones, and built in 1911, just less than a couple of decades before Fritz Lang produced his masterpiece. Currently, the Empress is a home of Vallejo Film Club, and a stage for performing artists, and musicians. So, come to the Empress on the 20th of July, and enjoy the show!
* Participating artists: Adrian Regnier Chavez, Eija Temiseva, Ilaria Pezone, Lorenzo Papanti, Gala Mirissa, Pierre Ajavon, Yoon Suokwon, Anabela Costa, Andrew McDonald, Mladen Stropnik, Vanja Karas, Tony Buchen & Jeralyn Goodwin, India Roper-Evans, John Longenbaugh, Ann Grim, Crystel Egal, Karolin Schwab, Katherine Sweetman, Veronica Shimanovskaya, Lydia Gyurina, Natalia Jezova, Robert Ladislas Derr, Marc Dixon & Dennis Gaines, Matteo Campulla, Tina Sulc, Laura Cohen, Susana Sanroman, Joanne Alvis, and Sandrine Deumier.
** Participating musicians: Richard Marriott - Winds & Electronics, Alisa Rose - Violin, Gino Robair - Percussion, Kymry Esainko - Piano & Keyboards, Matt Heckert - Machines, Kal Spelletch - Machines, Shannon O’Hare & Obtanium Works - Machines