Anthology Film Archives


April 1 – April 2


Compared by critic J. Hoberman to Loie Fuller, Maya Deren, and Yvonne Rainer, Ericka Beckman made her initial mark in the late-1970s with a number of technically complicated, intellectually stimulating Super-8 movies. An MFA graduate of CalArts, where she studied under John Baldessari, Beckman quickly realized that her ideas were better expressed in terms of cinema than other plastic or conceptually-oriented forms. She moved to NYC and soon fell in with artists in the burgeoning SoHo community, as well as the developing artist-operated gallery and exhibition spaces. Her highly inventive films tapped into the resources of this vibrant community and were imbued with the new wave style and musical sensibility of the period. Beckman began teaching at the Massachusetts College of Art in the late 80s and has mentored many truly devoted students.

Intrigued by learning processes and influenced by the theories of Swiss developmental psychology theorist Jean Piaget, in the late 1970s Beckman produced her powerful “Piaget trilogy”, including the works WE IMITATE; WE BREAK-UP (1978), THE BROKEN RULE (1979), and OUT OF HAND (1981). These films were screened in the realms of art galleries, media centers, and cinematheques. Widely written about at the time, and included in the Whitney Biennial and other high-profile shows, the films have since nearly disappeared. Anthology is proud to reintroduce these long-dormant works in revelatory new Super-8-to-16mm blow-up prints. In addition to these early classics we also offer up another intriguing program of older and more recent 16mm works.

Special thanks to Bill Brand (BB Optics), Bill Seery & Kelly Spivey (Mercer Media), and The Moving Image Archiving Program at NYU.

The PIAGET TRILOGY screening on Friday, April 1 will be followed by a Q&A with Beckman and film scholar Vera Dika.

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