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Split Diopter: At the Seam of Art and Cinema15:31

The exhibition "Split Diopter" was developed out of a series of conversations between its three curators—Jan Tumlir (Art Theorist/SCI-Arc Art History Faculty), Reza Monahan (Artist/SCI-Arc Channel Producer/Director), and Marcus Herse (Artist/Chapman University Studio Art Faculty)—concerning the relations of fine art and cinema. The principal question they sought to engage with their show is: how do advancements in technical optics impact creative practices? This question was further elaborated in consultation with a range of artists that work with moving-image media.

Their input was factored into a documentary video that comprised one part of the exhibition. The other part consisted of an installation of artworks that together functioned as an “extruded film,” in the curators’ words. The machine for producing the “waking dream” of cinema was dismantled into its constituent elements—still frame, action sequence, mise-en-scene, prop, soundtrack, poster, etc.—each of which was assigned to an individual work of art. Navigating this array of objects in the space of the gallery, viewers were enjoined to imagine their own filmic narrative, while also reflecting on its material means of construction.

Split Diopter featured the works of Uta Barth, Matthew Brannon, John Divola, Lawrence English, Alex Israel, Hedi El-Kholti, and Julianne O’Brien with the Dance School of Chapman University, as well as video contributions from Stan Douglas, William E. Jones, Lynne Marsh, Patti Podesta, Jeffrey Stuker, and Liam Young. The exhibition was mounted at the Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University, February 7 – March 16, 2022.

Crew Credits:

Creator and Executive Producer - Hernán Díaz Alonso
Producers - Marcelyn Gow/Reza Monahan
Segment Producer - Jan Tumlir
Director - Reza Monahan
Director of Photography - Sean Morris
B Camera - Armeen Monahan
C Camera - Robert Moreno
Sound Engineer - Orville Allen

Story Producer - Cal Crawford
Editors - Cal Crawford/Reza Monahan

Soundtrack by Lawrence English

Image Credits:

A man high jumping
Wellcome Library, London
CC BY 4.0

A galloping horse and rider
Wellcome Library, London
CC BY 4.0

An ostrich walking
Wellcome Library, London
CC BY 4.0

Muybridge race horse animated
Eadweard Muybridge, Animation by User Waugsberg
Public domain

An ostrich walking animated
Eadweard Muybridge
Public domain

Film Clip Credits:

"Last Year at Marienbad" 1961
Terra Film
Cormoran Films

"Blow Out" 1981
Filmways Pictures
Geria Productions

"Three Crowns of the Sailor" 1983
Films A2
Institut National de l’Audiovisuel

"The Thing" 1982
Universal Pictures
Turman-Foster Company

"The Andromeda Strain" 1971
Universal Pictures
Robert Wise Productions

"Jaws" 1975
Universal Pictures
Zanuck/Brown Productions

"Come and See" 1985

"Excalibur" 1981
Cinema ’84
Orion Pictures

"A Dangerous Method" 2011
Recorded Picture Company
Lago Film
Prospero Pictures

"Jurassic Park" 1993
Universal Pictures
Amblin Entertainment

Special thanks to Ghazal Khezri and Won Ju Lim

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