The Emblazoned Apparitions
Internationally acclaimed US-American filmmaker Phil Solomon (1952-2019) created a body of cinematic virtuosity and poetic resonance that profoundly expanded the found footage genre as he explored and exploited material idiosyncrasies of his sources – whether chemically altering the emulsion of Hollywood films and personal home movies or detourning the digital gaming universe. In his analog days, Solomon described himself as an inverse archeologist, throwing “Schmutz” on cultural artifacts to defamiliarize the imagery, creating works that walk a fine line between abstraction and figuration, unfolding an interior emotional vocabulary seamlessly married to meticulously constellated worlds of sound. Made in the wake of a loved one’s illness and passing, REMAINS TO BE SEEN (1989/1994) weaves Super 8 material, home movies, and medical footage to render fragile states of consciousness and poignant retrospective reflection. TWILIGHT PSALM II: WALKING DISTANCE (1993) crackles and coagulates a painterly tactility of deeply personal existential struggle. THE EMBLAZONED APPARITIONS (2013) is a digital/analog hybrid, bidding farewell to the Golden Era of silent cinema while paying double-edged homage to the Industrial Era of its birth. With REHEARSALS FOR RETIREMENT (2007) and LAST DAYS IN A LONELY PLACE (2008) Solomon entered a new dimension, using “cheats” to undermine the Grand Theft Auto gaming universe, rendering simulacra of fatalistic melancholy, worldly estrangement and end times eerily relevant to the apocalyptic mood and realities of our day and age. Finally, TWILIGHT PSALM IV: VALLEY OF THE SHADOW (2013) serves as poignant coda of love and loss. (Eve Heller)
With an introduction by Eve Heller.
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