One line of tradition that has shaped 16-mm filmmaking to this day is found footage film. Bruce Conner, its main proponent, was a pioneer, just like John Heartfield was for photomontage. That said, credit must be given to the large Bruce Conner exhibition and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s first comprehensive retrospective, titled “It’s All True” (2016), for showing that a great deal more is waiting to be discovered in Conner’s work: for example, his input for the emergence of music videos, as eloquently evidenced by clips such as LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS (Beatles version) or MONGOLOID. In a letter to Paula Kirkeby, Conner wrote in 2000: “My work is described as beautiful, horrible, hogwash, genius, maundering, precise, quaint, avant-garde, historical, hackneyed, masterful, trivial, intense, mystical, virtuosic, bewildering, absorbing, concise, absurd, amusing, innovative, nostalgic, contemporary, iconoclastic, sophisticated, trash, masterpieces, etc. It’s all true”.
The program suggests that Conner’s work is about truthfulness – an experience that is inconceivable without analog film.