Empty Gallery is pleased to present Cinéma Concret, the first-ever immersive installation adaptation of Takashi Makino’s award-winning experimental film of the same title. Originally presented in a traditional screening at the 2016 International Film Festival Rotterdam, the work has since been reformulated by the artist specifically for presentation within the gallery’s unique black-cube setting, including a new score by Dutch experimental musician Rutger Zuydervelt.
Conceptualized as an attempt to transpose the French composer and theorist Pierre Schaeffer’s principles of musique concrete into the visual realm, Cinéma Concret is a striking phenomenological investigation into the complex relationship between representation and abstraction as well as the limits of perception.
The film incorporates both 35mm celluloid film and digital video as sources and is constructed through a progressive accumulation of image-layers, with as many as two hundred layers of footage unfolding across the screen at one time. Shifting walls of video noise, textured vistas of film grain, and scrims of submerged images advance in and out of optical consciousness, all against the soundtrack of an accumulating percussive drone.
The relationship to Schaeffer comes through Makino’s use of concrete imagery drawn from nature – clouds, oceans, forests - as the source material from which to construct his non-representational cinema. As the artist himself has stated, “I wanted to go beyond traditional notions of abstraction to arrive at a concrete abstraction”.
Also on view is a selection of large-scale platinum prints from Makino’s extensive [still in cosmos] series, exploring the historical connection between the 19th-century panorama and cinematic practice.
Takashi Makino (born 1978, live and works in Yokohama, Japan). After graduating from the Cinema Department of Nihon University College of Art in 2001, Makino relocated to London to study under the Quay Brothers. His film No is E won the Terayama Shuji Prize at the Image Forum Festival 2007, and he was prominently featured at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2008, where Elements of Nothing was nominated for the Tiger Award. Since then, Makino has participated in more than 30 international film festivals and video art festivals. His work has recently been shown at Tate Modern, BFI London, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.