|Constantin Brancusi, Leda, c. 1933-34|
|Constantin Brancusi, Leda, 1920|
While other of the photographs create dimensionality, shape, textures, and spaces within spaces through the manipulation of light, and still others propel the sculptures into a motion held in tension with the static frames, the films are not as convincing in their experimentation. When Brancusi gets the film camera out in his studio, filming his friends at dinner, and again when he films friends dancing or his travels through Romania from a train, the result is nevertheless interesting for what it does not achieve. The attempt to integrate sculpture, dancer and film movement for example, shows Brancusi the filmmaker in search of a new language, a synergetic art form. However, the three media rest separate Brancusi is unable to create the relationship with the body and film in motion that Maya Deren achieves in A Study in Choreography for the Camera (1945) ten years later.
|Still from Brancusi, La Colonne sans fin de voulangis, 1927|
One of the final pieces in the exhibition is a rare and unusual film by the American avant-garde filmmaker Paul Sharits, Brancusi's Sculptural Ensemble at Tirgu Jiu, (1977-1884). Sharits goes to Romania and documents his visits to the three Brancusi sculptures in rural Tirgu Jiu. Sharits explores the sculptures by moving through the town and allowing the sculptures to come into view from different perspectives, giving a sense of a narrative discovery. The film is aesthetically very beautiful, with its 1970s Kodachrome, and unlike the harshness and confrontation of Sharits' earlier abstract work, the camearwork and editing is lyrical, ultimately producing a film that echoes the infinity of the Endless Column that is one of the three Brancusi sculptures in Tirgu Jiu.