Robert Beavers: My Hand Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure
October 13, 2009 - October 20, 2009
The films of Robert Beavers are exceptional for their visual beauty, aural texture, and depth of emotional expression. Born in 1949 in Brookline, Massachusetts, Beavers began to make films in the mid-sixties in New York City. By the end of that decade, he had relocated to Europe with fellow American filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos, who would be his lifelong companion until Markopoulos’s death in 1992. The majority of Beavers’s films were shot in the seventies and eighties in Italy, Switzerland, and Greece. Between 1994 and 2002, the artist involved himself in re-editing the images and creating new soundtracks for his eighteen-film cycle entitled My Hand Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure. Beavers’s films occupy a noble place within the history of avant-garde film, positioned at the intersection of structural and lyrical filmmaking traditions. They seem to embody the ideals of the Renaissance in their fascination with perception, psychology, literature, the natural world, architectural space, musical phrasing, and aesthetic beauty. The act of making things by hand is central to Beavers’s cinema, as are the notions of self-reflexivity and portraiture.
PFA is honored to host this long-awaited presentation of Robert Beavers’s film cycle and to welcome him as an artist in residence. Celebrated film historian P. Adams Sitney, who has written eloquently on this important body of work, will join Beavers in conversation on October 13.
Senior Film Curator
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco Cinematheque will host Robert Beavers with his films October 8 through 10. For more information about those screenings, visit www.sfcinema.org.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
7:30 p.m. Program 1
Robert Beavers (1967–2001). Robert Beavers and P. Adams Sitney in conversation. The first five films in Beavers’s extraordinary cycle encompass elements of self-portraiture, eroticism, and charged allusion. (96 mins plus conversation and intermission)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
7:00 p.m. Program 2
Robert Beavers (1970–2001). Robert Beavers in person. In nuanced and structurally self-reflexive works, Beavers contemplates the world around him and reflects on the nature and processes of art. (110 mins plus intermission)
Sunday, October 18, 2009
2:00 p.m. Program 3
Robert Beavers (1972–99). Robert Beavers in person. Four films create connections between varied times and places, and between old-world artisanal practices and the craft of filmmaking. (107 mins plus intermission)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
7:30 p.m. Program 4
Robert Beavers (1983–2001). Robert Beavers in person. The concluding program in the cycle offers images of ineffable beauty and unspoken eloquence. (96 mins plus intermission)
This series is presented with the generous support of the San Francisco Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Consulate General of Switzerland. PFA also wishes to thank its collaborative partners, SFMOMA and San Francisco Cinematheque.