April 26, 2003

Rivers and Tides

Becky saw a review of this film in the paper on Friday and forwarded it to me at work. I read ten words of it and fired back a "when are we going?"

I've been a fan of Andy Goldsworthy's work for a number of years. He goes out into nature and makes art out of what he finds, then records the results in photographs. His works range from egg-shaped obelisks made from stacked stones to autumn leaves laboriously arranged in lines revealing their subtle gradations of color to structures laboriously contrived from sticks, often with a dark hole at their center.

The movie is a documentary filmed by Thomas Riedelsheimer showing the construction (and destruction) of many different works interleaved with interview footage. Riedelsheimer has done us a huge service by making this film. Inherent in Goldsworthy's art is its ephemeral nature. Piles of rock are upset, leaves blow away, stick assemblages are lifted and dismantled by a rising tide. The pieces are integral to the places where they are made, and part of the art is how the place interacts with Goldsworthy's strange imposition of human order on the more natural order it began with. Goldsworthy's still photographs give his pieces an illusion of stability and permanence. Even when multiple photos show a gradual change in a piece, the frozen moment is all we see. Riedelsheimer's motion picture reveals the fragility of the pieces, and draws out the fourth dimension of the work, revealing an even more complex depth to Goldsworthy's vision.

Verdict: 3-1/2 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at April 26, 2003 06:26 PM
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