Friday, March 23, 2012

Picasso and Braque go to the Movies

by Drew Martin
I just watched an excellent documentary called Picasso And Braque Go To The Movies (click left to see the trailer). It is about the influence of movies on cubism and how cinema and cubism took over and restructured vision to modern principles.

The documentary explains that photography started as a still art (because of the long exposures that were required) but once it became instant, the ability to analyze motion was quickly met with the ability to synthesize movement through film. While cubism is most often thought of a still art governed by geometry, this documentary frames cubism as a complement to cinema that should be viewed more akin to the splicing, editing, and fragmentation of the human form and environment with a temporal experience that we find in film.

Pictured here is Loie Fuller whose serpentine dance was a popular film subject and who moved Max Jacob to exclaim "Rodin is Nothing." This documentary is loaded with clips of the movies, which would have been watched by the cubists at a time when the movie projectors would have been present in the same space as the audience, clicking away as animated machines, spinning reels of film.