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Alumni News

Weaving Celluloid Magic

October 11, 2011

Christinne Muschi for The Globe and MailSix of Richard Kerr’s beautiful film weavings will hang in the Toronto International Film Festival’s headquarters as a unique tribute to the magic of celluloid.
The Montreal-based experimental filmmaker and professor at Concordia University first began incorporating film in his art almost 20 years ago. "I was looking at some old 35-mm film I had and I started putting parts of it on a piece of plexiglass,” recalls Richard. It struck me how beautiful the images looked on the glass through the light."

He recently returned to his celluloid weaves in part to spotlight what is fast becoming a disappearing artistic tool. "I see this as some kind of rescue mission," says the ’78 Media Arts grad. "These films are artifacts. My kids haven't even seen film with sprockets in it. So much is being done digitally now, film is going to disappear in about 10 years, I'd imagine."

The process of creating the innovative pieces involves weaving pieces of film together and mounting them over a light box. Several of Kerr's celluloid weaves were on display at the POP Montreal Festival in late September, part of a tribute to Canadian media icon Marshall McLuhan. A video installation of a lecture by McLuhan that Richard attended while he was a student in 1975 accompanied the weaves.

"The weavings really tie in to the spirit of what McLuhan was about," says Richard. "They're about hybrid and collage, and they're stream-of-consciousness. And they operate on both high and low levels. A kid or an art critic both get them. They're smart and fun."

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