Joseph Bernard

Posting #20

Posted on August 15, 2018

Solo at Rubicon Cinema

Season Opening at the Rubicon Cinema in Akron, OH

Film_still__crematoriumFilm still from "Crematorium: A Collaborative Self-Portrait", 1979

SEASON 4, EVENT 1

For a Season 4 opener, Rubicon Cinema is proud to present acclaimed filmmaker and visual artist JOSEPH BERNARD. The filmmaker will be present at the screening, introduce his work, and hold a Q&A.

Don't miss this unique opportunity!

When: Saturday, September 8, 8 pm

Where: Rubicon Cinema at the Blue Sky Studio, 943 Dopler Street, Akron OH 44303

 

JOSEPH BERNARD

Born in Port Chester, NY, Bernard was educated at the University of Hartford Art School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with Stan Brakhage. 

Now Professor Emeritus, Bernard taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies for 35 years. Experimental collage sensibilities are evident in his paintings, films and photographs. Contemporary poetry and music remain strong 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.

 

PROGRAM (prepared by J.B. for Rubicon Cinema)

Icon, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1978, 05:32 min

Exterior - Detroit snow storm; interior - intimate details of stencil letters through much single-frame shooting. Together they transition Bernard's painting tools and sensibilities into this early abstract film.

Crematorium: A Collaborative Self-Portrait, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1979, 08:16 min

Shot at a Bohemian crematorium outside Chicago, this ‘self-viewing at work’ film makes metaphoric reference to both the location and process of cremation as a ‘recording’ of the deed itself. 

Eye Reels, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1980, 16:17 min

An entangled meld of Celtic-flavored abstractions, home movies and an Irish dance fest, edited throughout with those very moves in mind. Fast shots and dense patterning echo those found in embroidery, lace, stone and metal work. They grow from the same language – in both calligraphy and sound. The tapestry-like interweave becomes the very fabric of this film.

Semblance: Frampton Brakhage Relation, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1981, 05:21 min

A simplistic analogy of obvious disparities of these two masters that the filmmaker concocted on the beach. A wonderful koan appears to join at mid-point.

Her Moves, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, b&w, 1985, 19:35 min

Interwoven footage of 12 female characters engaged in specific, physical activities – each filmed separately, throughout numerous east coast and Detroit locations, then edited into a collective dance of sorts. 

Full Circle (It’s Always Been Around), digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1994, 14:56 min

Based on the title and a premise from Bernard's undergraduate thesis, this film is built on the experience of the first viewing of Brakhage’s Mothlight and the impact it had on the filmmaker. Tagged at the end with "4 SB," this film is an expression of sincere affection and regard. 

 

“To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perception.”

– Robert Irwin

 

Bring your own beer, wine or snack.

Admission is free but we ask you to consider a $5-$10 donation.

Rubicon Cinema contact: rubiconakron@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rubiconakron

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.

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 #17

Posted on March 03, 2017

PRISMATIC MUSIC series of screenings closes in London

The final program of PRISMATIC MUSIC is scheduled for March 30, 2017 at CLOSE UP FILM CENTRE in London, England. This show is under the auspices of Brand New Blinkers; co-founded by Jack Wormell and Andy Sowerby. 

 

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Over the past two years, these solo screenings have generated a positive response to the small, silent works in this Blu-ray collection. The scheduling and presentations have been uniquely curated for each venue with running times ranging between 70-90 minutes.

I’m grateful to the programmers in England, Spain and numerous American cities who’ve made these screenings possible, and of course to Jeffery Plansker, who brought this project into existence.

 

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

 

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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 #13

Posted on May 07, 2016

Third Man Records, here in Detroit, hosted a second screening of PRISMATIC MUSIC.

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Following the films on April 28, 2016, Greg Baise and I provided a Q&A, along with the audience.

 

Posting #12

Posted on April 24, 2016

 Light and Sound Machine: JOSEPH BERNARD: PRISMATIC MUSIC

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Presented by Third Man Records and the Belcourt Theatre 

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - Films at 8:00pm sharp (Doors at 7:00pm) - Tickets: $10

 

Third Man Records  |  Cass Corridor  |  441 W. Canfield, Detroit 

View Trailer (from Nashville show)

 

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 #9

Posted on February 27, 2016

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                                  Text from poster:

Visual artist Joseph Bernard was born in Port Chester, N.Y., later educated at Hartford Art School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage. For 35 years, Professor Emeritus Bernard taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Abstract “collage” sensibilities 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, and other locales. His films have been exhibited at Toronto’s Funnel Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Chicago Filmmakers, San Francisco Cinematheque, Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. This series is sponsored by The Media School, Underground Film Series, and IU Cinema.

Posting #8

Posted on February 24, 2016

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Posting #6

Posted on May 14, 2015

PRISMATIC MUSIC: THE SUPER 8 FILMS OF JOSEPH BERNARD, the 40-film Blu-ray set, is now available in the United States through Amazon and outside of the United States through eBay.

 

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All technical and historic information about the disc & booklet is already on the previous posting (#5) - - so here I’d like to thank everyone at CCS for the euphoric celebration and premiere of my films’ digital reincarnation. 

That gathering of friends, former students and colleagues was enormously gratifying. The events over those two evenings, beginning with Jeff Plansker’s live jazz & cocktails party at the Scarab Club benefiting the CCS Galleries, then the next night’s beautifully projected program of films, followed by a perfect dinner at Selden Standard graciously hosted by Michelle Perron and Rick Rogers, attended by a full complement of friends. Not a moment could have been improved upon!

Another pleasurable occurrence, an old friend, Bill Gubbins drove up from Nashville to see the films and be part of the festivities. We hadn’t seen each other for 33 years. Bill is an exceptional, idiosyncratic photographer and noted publishing editor on the contemporary music scene, among his other exploratory activities. He appears in two of my better films (one of them is dedicated to him), and I appear in several of his photographs. All this happened back in the early 1980‘s. Two of the above portraits (JB & camera, 1982) are his. To be fair to him, both images have been cropped and manipulated far from the originals for publication purposes. 

While recently in Nashville, we were introduced by Bill to some of his acquaintances at Jack White’s Third Man Records, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, area galleries and a few fine restaurants. Our road trip continued on to Columbus where, through the help of Caroline Koebel, we met with faculty and curatorial staff of the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University. We talked broadly about independent film, its history and practitioners, the release of PRISMATIC MUSIC and academic venues that might provide programming possibilities.

Now that the digital version of the films has a public ‘storefront’ through Amazon and eBay, the mission will be to find audiences interested in something so singular as non-narrative, silent Super 8 films made almost 40 years ago with an obsessive commitment to light, color and movement.