Relative Swings I-III

Dóra Maurer Hungarian

Not on view

Dóra Maurer, a Hungarian artist who spent the years between 1967 and the early 1990s shuttling between Budapest and Vienna, is one of the foremost artists of her generation. Maurer’s work, which runs the gamut from videos, films, and performances to drawings, prints, installations, and paintings, mines the Constructivist tradition as it developed in the USSR and Europe, likewise the tradition of hard-edge abstract painting in the US after World War II. Optics, mathematics, and planar geometry play an important role in her practice as do serial- and rule-based procedures. Relative Swings I-III is a masterpiece of conceptual cinema produced with support from the groundbreaking Balázs Béla Studio (BBS), founded in Hungary in 1959 and named after the leading film critic and theorist Balázs Béla (Hungarian, 1884–1949). BBS was intended to support the production of experimental cinema in Hungary after World War II. Maurer took advantage of the resources therein to create Relative Swings I-III, part of the "Series on the Language of Film" inaugurated by Gábor Bódy in 1973. Relative Swings follows a set of predetermined procedures and explores the various permutations of a given set of variables. In this case, there are four variables: camera, light source, motion, and motionless. In the tradition of constructivist film and photography, moreover, Relative Swings ‘lays bare the device,’ making evident its means and methods of creation. Relative Swings is really two sets of films: one set made with a camera trained on a light source, and a second set made with a camera trained on the camera that is trained on the light source. Originally, Maurer planned to project the films on two different 16mm projectors, but soon thereafter, in 1973, she decided to combine the two films into one 35mm film montage.

Relative Swings I-III, Dóra Maurer (Hungarian, born 1937), Single-channel digital video, transferred from 35mm film, black-and-white, sound, 11 min.

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