Joseph Bernard

Posting #21

Posted on September 13, 2018

Two series of films — Endearments and Intrigues receive Iberian audience

My fifth screening in Spain (September 25, 2018) will be a double program of 12 films. The idea of paired projections (Cineinfinito #67 & #68) was conceived by Filmoteca’s director, Felix Garcia, and will be shown at Zumzeig Cine Cooperativa in the center of Barcelona.

The following layout of text and images was originally produced on Mr. Garcia’s website, Cineinfinito, and later republished by Marco Ortega on his site, Experimental Cinema. I’m sincerely grateful for the continuing support of these distant friends.

 

Cineinfinito #67: Joseph Bernard (II)

CINEINFINITO / Zumzeig Cine Cooperativa

Martes 25 de Septiembre de 2018, 21:30h. Zumzeig Cine Cooperativa

Carrer de Béjar, 53

08014 Barcelona

 

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Programa: (películas seleccionadas por el propio autor)

Endearments:

Icon (1978) Super 8 / sil / 5:32

Fugue (1981) Super 8 / sil / 2:25

Semblance: Frampton Brakhage Relation (1981) Super 8 / sil / 5:21

The Detroit Films (Reel #3) (1985) Super 8 / sil / 4:13

Common Air (1984) Super 8 / sil / 12:27

 

Formato de proyección: HD 2K (Transfers digitales supervisados por el autor)

(Agradecimiento especial a Joseph Bernard)

El artista visual Joseph Bernard nació en Port Chester (Nueva York), y se formó en las Escuelas de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Hartford y del Art Institute de Chicago, donde estudió con el cineasta independiente Stan Brakhage.

Bernard ha dado clases de bellas artes durante 35 años, con el puesto de Profesor emérito, en el College for Creative Studies de Detroit. La sensibilidad hacia el collage experimental es evidente en sus pinturas, películas y fotografías. Entre sus influencias se encuentran la poesía y la música contemporáneas, junto con sus viajes a Provincetown, sur de California, Austin, Nashville y otros lugares.

Sus películas se han proyectado en el Funnel Theatre de Toronto, Institute of Arts de Dretoit, Chicago Filmakers, Universidad de Rutgers, Cinematheque de San Francisco, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Indiana University Cinema, Third Man Records tanto en Nashville como e Detroit y en el MOMA de Nueva York, etc.

Un proyecto en marcha es la restauración y archivo de las más de 100 películas mudas en Super 8 y fotografías que hizo entre mediados de los 70 y mediados de los 80. Joseph Bernard vive con su mujer, Maria Luisa Belmonte, en Troy, Michigan.

Visual artist, Joseph Bernard was born in Port Chester, NY, educated at the University of Hartford Art School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with independent filmmaker, Stan Brakhage.

For 35 years, Professor Emeritus, Bernard taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Experimental collage sensibilites are evident in his paintings, films and photographs. Contemporary poetry and music remain as influences. His work is informed by travels to Provincetown, Southern California, Austin, Nashville and other locales.

His films have been exhibited at Toronto’s Funnel Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Chicago Filmmakers, Rutgers University, San Francisco Cinematheque, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Dartmouth College, Indiana University Cinema, Third Man Records in both Nashville & Detroit and NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, among others.

An ongoing project is the restoration and archiving of his over 100 Super-8 silent films and prints made between the mid-1970’s to mid-80’s. Joseph Bernard and wife, Maria Luisa Belmonte, live in Troy, Michigan. 

***

“Con una mezcla de intuición y amor ciego por el color y la luz empezó una década en la que estuve sumergido obsesivamente en la producción de más de 100 películas mudas caseras en Super 8… No son películas basadas en un guion o en obras de teatro, no cuentan historias y, de hecho, carecen (excepto una) deliberadamente de sonido… son solo algo pura y enfáticamente visual … el movimiento de la luz y el color.” – Joseph Bernard

“Combining intuition with a blind love of color and light, I began a decade obsessively immersed in producing over 100 short, silent, super-8 home movies…These films are not based on the page or the theatre, they don’t tell a story and, in fact, are (all but one) intentionally without sound… just something purely, emphatically visual… the movement of light and color.” – Joseph Bernard

  Icon___image_2

Icon (Icono, 1978)

Además de múltiples tomas de encuadre único, ICON, una película temprana, me permitió la utilización abstracta de letras troqueladas, y la idea de llevar al cine mi sensibilidad y herramientas de pintor. Super 8, muda, experimental.

Beyond much single frame shooting, ICON, an early film, allowed for the use of cropped stencil letters as abstractions and the idea of bringing my painting sensibility and tools to film. Super 8, silent, experimental.

 

Fugue_image3

Fugue (Fuga, 1981)

Bach implícito; reflejos registrados sin montaje, ligeros, aéreos, un poco desenfocados, desde la ventanilla trasera de un coche que vuelve de la playa en un día perfecto de verano. Super 8, muda, no narrativa.

Bach implied; splice-free, light, airy, soft-focus reflections out the back window of a car returning from the beach on a perfect summer’s day. Super 8, silent, non-narritive.

 

Semblance_image4

Semblance: Frampton Brakhage Relation (Semblanza: la relación de Frampton y Brakhage, 1981)

Una analogía simplista de obvias disparidades entre estos dos grandes maestros, confeccionada en la playa de Provincetown. Sin faltas de respeto, con el espíritu de un koan.

A simplistic analogy of obvious disparities between these two masters, concocted on the beach in Provincetown. No disrespect, just koaning around.

  

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The Detroit Films (Reel #3) (Las películas de Detroit- Rollo 3, 1985)

Una “esencia del lugar” algo desenfocada y por tanto muy silenciosa, rodada en Provincetown (CapeCod/ Massachusetts), como para ser recordada más tarde en Detroit.

A soft focus and so very silent “essence of place”, shot in Provincetown (CapeCod/ Massachusetts) so as to be later remembered in Detroit.

 

Common_air_image6

Common Air (Aire común, 1984)

Esta empezó con la idea de encerrar la “nada” en una película, tal vez solo pasajes indescriptibles, evanescentes. Pero parecía como si para afianzar esto tuviera que partir de lo contrario –imágenes de cosas, de las cosas que me rodean. Se transformó en una película sobre la casa, un drama sin historia que parece ahora suspendido en el tiempo, un fragmento de memoria/vida dispersa. Aprecio mucho su profundo sentimiento por los restos del pasado.

This began with the idea of committing ‘nothing’ to film, maybe just unnamable, vaporous passages. But to establish that, it seemed I’d have to counter with the opposite – – images of things and those around me. It grew into a movie of the home, a story-less drama that now feels suspended in time, a piece of memory/ life dispersed. I think much of its deep affection for the past remains.

 

 

Cineinfinito #68: Joseph Bernard (III)

CINEINFINITO / Zumzeig Cine Cooperativa

Martes 25 de Septiembre de 2018, 21:30h. Zumzeig Cine Cooperativa

Carrer de Béjar, 53

08014 Barcelona

 

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Programa:

Intrigues Series:

Intrigues (I) (1981 ) Super 8 / sil / 3:44

Intrigues (II) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 4:25

Intrigues (III) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 5:47

Intrigues (IV) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 2:03

Intrigues (V) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 2:53

Intrigues (VI) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 4:21

Intrigues (VII) (1981) Super 8 / sil / 12:22

 

Formato de proyección: HD 2K (Transfers digitales supervisados por el autor)

(Agradecimiento especial a Joseph Bernard)

El artista visual Joseph Bernard nació en Port Chester (Nueva York), y se formó en las Escuelas de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Hartford y del Art Institute de Chicago, donde estudió con el cineasta independiente Stan Brakhage.

Bernard ha dado clases de bellas artes durante 35 años, con el puesto de Profesor emérito, en el College for Creative Studies de Detroit. La sensibilidad hacia el collage experimental es evidente en sus pinturas, películas y fotografías. Entre sus influencias se encuentran la poesía y la música contemporáneas, junto con sus viajes a Provincetown, sur de California, Austin, Nashville y otros lugares.

Sus películas se han proyectado en el Funnel Theatre de Toronto, Institute of Arts de Dretoit, Chicago Filmakers, Universidad de Rutgers, Cinematheque de San Francisco, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Indiana University Cinema, Third Man Records tanto en Nashville como e Detroit y en el MOMA de Nueva York, etc.

Un proyecto en marcha es la restauración y archivo de las más de 100 películas mudas en Super 8 y fotografías que hizo entre mediados de los 70 y mediados de los 80. Joseph Bernard vive con su mujer, Maria Luisa Belmonte, en Troy, Michigan.

Visual artist, Joseph Bernard was born in Port Chester, NY, educated at the University of Hartford Art School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with independent filmmaker, Stan Brakhage.

For 35 years, Professor Emeritus, Bernard taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Experimental collage sensibilites are evident in his paintings, films and photographs. Contemporary poetry and music remain as influences. His work is informed by travels to Provincetown, Southern California, Austin, Nashville and other locales.

His films have been exhibited at Toronto’s Funnel Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Chicago Filmmakers, Rutgers University, San Francisco Cinematheque, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Dartmouth College, Indiana University Cinema, Third Man Records in both Nashville & Detroit and NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, among others.

An ongoing project is the restoration and archiving of his over 100 Super-8 silent films and prints made between the mid-1970’s to mid-80’s. Joseph Bernard and wife, Maria Luisa Belmonte, live in Troy, Michigan.

***

“Con una mezcla de intuición y amor ciego por el color y la luz empezó una década en la que estuve sumergido obsesivamente en la producción de más de 100 películas mudas caseras en Super 8… No son películas basadas en un guion o en obras de teatro, no cuentan historias y, de hecho, carecen (excepto una) deliberadamente de sonido… son solo algo pura y enfáticamente visual … el movimiento de la luz y el color.” – Joseph Bernard

“Combining intuition with a blind love of color and light, I began a decade obsessively immersed in producing over 100 short, silent, super-8 home movies…These films are not based on the page or the theatre, they don’t tell a story and, in fact, are (all but one) intentionally without sound… just something purely, emphatically visual… the movement of light and color.” – Joseph Bernard

 

Intrigues I-VII (Intrigas, 1981)

La obertura de la serie de siete “Intrigas” está inspirada por las observaciones sobre la palabra “intriga” de Delmore Schwartz. Estas siete obras mías se centran en aspectos de la práctica fílmica.

The opening in a series of seven “Intrigues”, inspired by Delmore Schwartz’s observations on the word. These seven titles of mine center on aspects of filmmaking. 

 2_intrigues_1

2_intrigues_2

2_intrigues_3

2_intrigues_4

2_intrigues_5

2_intrigues_6

2_intrigues_7

 

Traducción de los textos: Javier Oliva

 

  

Posting #19

Posted on May 29, 2017

Activities Past, Present & Upcoming

Following are a number of miscellaneous events that have either just taken place or are about to, in various locations.

Eye_reels_04Film still from “Eye Reels”, 1980

 

My work was recently curated by Duo Strangloscope (Cláudia Cardenas & Rafael Schlichting) into Super-8 film festivals in Curitiba, Brazil and Valparaiso, Chile, 2017.

The spring issue (#3) of Found Footage Magazine, a printed film journal published in Spain (In both English & Spanish; César Ustarroz, Editor-in-Chief) reproduced a film still from “Eye Reels”, 1980.

Light Movement presented “The Outskirts of a Dreamed Map” — a James Edmonds / Petra Graf curated program, in Athens, Greece on May 26, 2017. My film “Drawings on Africa”, 1981, was included. For a full program of the show; click here.

Mike Gubbins, of Nashville, re-edited, added original music, moments of color and digital tiling to my b&w “The Function of Film”, 1982. It can be seen here on YouTube. 

“36 Love Letters to Super-8” is being published as a bi-lingual zine-book in conjunction with the 8th Annual Film Festival in  A Coruña, Spain, May 31 - June 4, 2017. I’m proud to have been invited to write one of those letters.

On June 3, 2017, the Oslo, Norway MUSIKKFEST will feature the work of composer/ musician Simon Gore. Among his compositions is the sound version of “White Film”, 1978, which will be screened that night.

 

 

Drawings_on_africaFilm still from “Drawings on Africa”, 1981

 

 

Posting #18

Posted on April 24, 2017

PRISMATIC MUSIC Series Continues in Berlin

So it seems London wasn’t the final public screening of PRISMATIC MUSIC, as headlined in the last blog. On May 7, 2017, a very special program is planned for the Light Movement series at Spektrum in Berlin. 

 

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James Edmonds, the series director, asked if I could include some films that hadn’t appeared on Vimeo. Inspired by the idea, I decided this show would only have work that wasn’t available on that site. Additionally, half the titles on the program have never been publicly screened until now. 

I’m told the audiences at Spektrum are, “… very open and respecting of visual, experimental film.” This sounds like an eventful union! 

Here’s a link to Light Movement’s site and the evening’s program.

 

 

Posting #16

Posted on October 03, 2016

PRISMATIC MUSIC IN SPAIN!

Following recent group shows in London, England and Curitiba, Brazil, I'd like to share news of my third show in Spain -- a solo in the city of Santander at the Filmoteca De Cantabria. Below is their beautiful theatre. Additional information can be found on the blogs: Cineinfinito #4 and Experimental Cinema. My thanks to both Felix Garcia and Marcos Ortega for their inspired dedication to film and ongoing support of my work.

 

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Posting #15

Posted on September 01, 2016

This interview was conducted by Brittany Danielle Friesner on 3/11/16 at Indiana University Cinema in Bloomington, Indiana.

Click here for video interview

 

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Published on August 30, 2016 by IU Cinema, this YouTube video interview was filmed in March 2016. Bernard's visit also included several other events and a public interview for the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series. For more information about IU Cinema:  http://www.cinema.indiana.edu/ 

 

Posting #14

Posted on June 18, 2016

WFIU Public Radio Interview on "Profiles" with Yael Ksander at Indiana University, 3/11/16

 

Filmmakers Tony Buba and Joseph Bernard

 

Buba_and_bernard2_lowres

Photo: Adam Schwartz/WFIU

Tony Buba (left) and Joseph Bernard

Josh Brewer hosts an interview with documentary filmmaker Tony Buba, and Yaël Ksander speaks with mixed-media artist Joseph Bernard. To hear both 30 minute interviews click hereYaël's interview with Joseph Bernard airs first.

Tony Buba has been producing documentary films since 1972. Many of his films concern issues in his hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. These include Voices from a Steeltown, a series of vignettes of signs of life in the dying mill town, and his first feature-length documentary, Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy, an “exploded documentary.” His 1994 fictional feature film, No Pets, explored the psychological realities of postindustrial working-class life.

Joseph Bernard is a painter, filmmaker, and mixed-media artist. A former student of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage, Bernard’s films are kaleidoscopic abstractions of light and texture. His collage paintings utilize acrylic paint and inks on wood panels, layered with found objects such as hair, seaweed, feathers, onion skin, and crushed cans. Bernard has taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies.

  

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Posting #11

Posted on April 02, 2016

 

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Light and Sound Machine: JOSEPH BERNARD: PRISMATIC MUSIC

Presented by Third Man Records and the Belcourt Theatre - Nashville

Tue, Apr 19 at 8:00pm (Doors at 7:00pm)

Location: The Blue Room at Third Man Records, 623 7th Ave South | Click here to see map
Tickets: $10 / $8 Belcourt Members | Click here to BUY TICKETS
 

Filmmaker Joseph Bernard will present his films in person, followed by a Q&A.

Joseph Bernard, a painter, mixed-media artist and former student of Stan Brakhage, made over 100 works on 8mm film over the course of just one decade (1975-85). Punctuated by an ever-shifting conceptual framework and Bernard's nomadic state of being, the films are kaleidoscopic abstractions of light and texture, as well as personal expressions and a mode of self-inquiry. They dually create an ethereal space while invoking the specific locale of their creation (Detroit, Chicago, New York, and the salty oceanfront of Provincetown, MA). In 1985, Bernard withdrew from filmmaking completely, frustrated by the cost of materials. As Phil Coldiron notes in a recent Cinema Scope feature on Bernard, "American experimental cinema is considerably poorer for both the brevity and obscurity of his career.”

Now, after three decades of purgatory, Bernard's films have been resurrected and are enjoying a second life. The original 8mm masters have been digitally scanned and restored, and are receiving overdue praise and exhibition across the country. Forty of them have been assembled in a stunning Blu-ray retrospective, titled PRISMATIC MUSIC. Bernard has selected several of his works to be exhibited in two thematically distinct programs for Third Man Record's Nashville and Detroit locations. The screenings each offer a unique lineup, prefaced by an introduction from Bernard himself.   - - James Cathcart                            View Trailer: (Joseph Bernard - PRISMATIC MUSIC on YouTube, made by Third Man Records)

 

Three Portraits:   

ANOTHER MIRROR (1977, 5:15 min.)

J.S.B. AT 9 (1978, 2:31 min.)

CREMATORIUM: A COLLABORATIVE SELF-PORTRAIT (1979, 8:17 min.)

Life, Love, Sex & Death:

IMPLICATIONS OF A TOTALITY (1979, 15:03 min.)

Inside the Idea of Film:

RITUAL (1979, 2:42 min.)

SPLICES FOR SHARITS (1980, 5:27 min.)

THE FUNCTION OF FILM (1982, 7:58 min.)

Extended Possibilities:

NIGHT MIX (1982, 10:52 min.)

FILM FOR UNTITLED VIEWER (1983, 2:36 min.)

VARIANT CHANTS (1983, 15:51 min.)

 

Posting #5

Posted on March 15, 2015

After close to three years of collective efforts, I’m proud to announce the impending completion and release of the remarkable, Blu-ray collection; PRISMATIC MUSIC: The Super 8 Films of Joseph Bernard

 

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This 40-film package, with a total running time of 5 hrs. 47 mins., includes a 24-page booklet with essays, film notes, historic documentation and images in color. The set itself is part of a series called, Beneath Detroit, a project by Jeffery Plansker, celebrating under-recognized area artists.

These films date back from the mid 1970’s to mid 80’s and all of them are purely visual and intentionally silent. There’ve been occasional screenings of selected titles, most recently at the 2014 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival. Over 100 works were originally produced and although prints were made in both S-8 & 16mm, none were either in distribution or had been sold. Owning this collection will soon be possible. After the April 15th Premiere Screening & Release Event at the College for Creative Studies, in Detroit, the specifics for purchase will be available on this site.

About the set - - this particular digital 2K version will make the viewing of these films much more accessible in that the Blu-ray Disc (1920x1080p), dual-layer format is “Region/Code-Free”; playable throughout the world. It breathes new life into these small gauge, highly hand-crafted entities. The enclosed booklet’s essays are written by L.A. and NYC filmmakers, a director, a cinematographer and an architect. They provide valuable insight and access to the work. The menu treatment and overall packaging design has been fastidiously fine-tuned. 

Paramount to all of this, of course, is preservation. When film sits on a shelf in unstable conditions, the fragile combination of plastic, chemical emulsion and adhesive splices, (along with added elements of inks, bleach & tape) - - all rolled somewhat tightly against itself on spools - - risks deterioration. Extremes in temperature and humidity rapidly affect film’s properties. Two offers came to the rescue.

A few years ago Jeff Plansker proposed putting a group of my films onto a DVD set, along with a booklet of informational notes about them. Working with limitations in mind, the choosing of which titles would be saved was difficult. Each one was looked at numerous times on a hand-cranked viewer (my projector had been stolen), selections were made, every splice was tested, leaders & trailers replaced, relabeled, then all were cleaned and rejoined onto nineteen 400’ reels & cases. That original footage flew with me to Los Angeles where, at the Cinelicious (Hollywood) lab, all was digitally scanned, color graded shot-by-shot, then electronically filed. 

During the week overseeing this process, the lab’s owner called in Mark Toscano, the Film Preservationist/ archivist/ curator for the Academy Film Archive (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Mark looked at the films and made an offer to allow the totality of my work be perpetually preserved in the climate controlled vaults at the Academy. My original film & prints, while now in ideal safekeeping, are also available for scholarly study. 

With the release of PRISMATIC MUSIC, my old & fragile footage can now be viewed easily, repeatedly and in high definition, well into the future. The next plan is to explore venues to exhibit and distribute the films widely.

 

 

Posting #1; An Introduction

Posted on July 07, 2014

Resized_blog_image_copyPhoto: Jonathan Rajewski

 

This initial blog post is to welcome you to my website and to relay the purpose behind it. 

[To sift remnants of a life... to gather ‘driftings’ and make them stable, clear.]

 

The idea of designing a repository of personal images appealed to me. I had produced a good number of pictures and objects throughout my life, many of them with no documentation; some lost through unrecorded donations, sales and gifts or destroyed either by my hand (to ease in relocating) or by basement studio flooding.    

Then too, for years I produced paintings and bodyprints directly on sheet glass. They were heavy, fragile, highly impractical to ship. Lots of them were fatally damaged along the way. I’ve not been a diligent caretaker of past efforts, but then this “archive” may provide witness to that porous history.

Unfortunately, there are bodies of work that can’t be included because they were never documented or retained; (small sculpture, early paintings, all darkroom work, most graphic prints and drawings), or only sparsely so, like the paintings on glass and bodyprints. Some drawings and works on glass will be added eventually, if possible.

This is the beginning of a large project. So many more old 35mm slides have been scanned, which then have to be digitally formatted, categorized, resized and labeled. So much other work has yet to be photographed. The ongoing documentation process, and all that lies ahead, is quite daunting. Now, as archivist, I’m obliged to attempt cataloging the impossible, or at least make gestures in that direction. At present, that’s the plan.  

The following remnants are evidence of activities that, in fact, provided me an identity.

Paintings - But for a few early examples, these are all acrylic on wood (OSB) panel constructed to float 3/4” from the wall. Most have collage elements included. I hand-built the panels and the backs were treated to the same layers of paint and topcoat as the facing surfaces. This format and practice began when I was an undergraduate and continued until 2010, at which point I quit all painting and gallery involvements. (Note: Apologies for the quality level of early work reproductions; they obviously predate digital clarity.)  

Films - Dating from 1976-1985, these were all Super 8, silent, usually with a great deal of editing. They still occasionally get screenings, the most recent was a program in this year’s 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival. Also this year, 40 of them were accepted into The Academy Film Archive in Hollywood, California for safekeeping and study. In the near future, this very same group of films will be released in a DVD format boxed set titled, Prismatic Music  The Super 8 Films of Joseph Bernard.  

Film Stills - Like selected words pulled from a poem, these single frames offer no (or very little) sense of the whole, yet may resonate with a projected 24th of a second DNA from that entity. Passing quickly from one to another, somewhat like flipping through random slides on a carousal projector, (which, of course, no one does anymore), these images become ‘un-possessed’; they provide a revised context, an incongruity in search of meaning, not unlike the thought process itself. This may have some indicators of my past filmmaking practices. 

Photographs - Another personal pursuit that began long ago and went through several permutations; prints, slides, sandwiched slides, photographic decals and collages. I now  continue to photograph only digitally. Unencumbered by justification, a few subcategories are included on the site and are broadly labeled by location only, without titles, sizes or dates.

I think art comes from the same place as any real discoveries; informed intuition,  without conscious introspection - - at least during the making. Now, much after the fact, this retrospective view allows for a clearer assessment of overlapping activities and their commingled relationships. It can bring order to what’s been achieved, also suggesting where it may lead. After decades of studio solitude, a public unveiling certainly has its anxieties. But then any self-portrait, any personal overview, any regathering of both additions and deletions inevitably gives shape to one’s life map, as it should. I intend to keep changing this website and, as it evolves, certainly welcome your feedback. 

 

Comments or questions:   joseph-bernard@sbcglobal.net