Anthology Film Archives


May 7 – June 2

If there’s one central element that would seem to be intrinsic and indispensable to any reasonable definition of the cinema it would be the presence of imagery, whether photographed, animated, or generated through more experimental methods such as hand-painting, scratching, collaging, and so on. Nevertheless, throughout the history of the medium, artists have challenged even this seemingly core tenet of the art form by producing works that subvert or entirely dispense with the image, by expanding the definition of the kinds of experience that can be shared within the space of the cinema, or by provocatively defining as “cinema” performances that might seem a thing apart.

These subversions of the idea of a medium of “moving images” have taken many forms: works that emphasize spoken dialogue or sound collages; films whose visual tracks consist primarily of written text; projector performances that showcase or manipulate light and darkness; flicker films; pure color studies; films that punctuate long stretches of darkness with near-subliminal bursts of imagery; and so on and so forth.

This ongoing series represents an extended, in-depth, and multi-chapter exploration of the various ways that filmmakers and artists have experimented with the possibilities of an “imageless” cinema (or have played with the idea of “emptiness” or visual subtraction in a more general sense). The series began in April, and continues in May with films by Coleen Fitzgibbon, Margaret Honda, Takahiko Iimura, Andrew Lampert, Charmaine Lee, Maurice Lemaître, George Maciunas, João César Monteiro, Luther Price, and many others. Further programs will take place in June, including a very rare presentation of Louise Lawler’s A MOVIE WILL BE SHOWN WITHOUT THE PICTURE (1979), works by Morgan Fisher, Hollis Frampton, and Malcolm Le Grice, projector performances, and more.

In addition, Microscope Gallery will participate by presenting a number of expanded cinema works or pieces that are specially designed for a gallery space; for more info visit:

Programmed by Jed Rapfogel, in collaboration with Bradley Eros and John Klacsmann. Special thanks to Elle Burchill & Andrea Monti (Microscope Gallery); Gilad Baram; Coleen Fitzgibbon; Ed Halter; Margaret Honda; Adam Kaplan; Andrew Lampert; Charmaine Lee; Keith Sanborn; Miguel Armas (Light Cone); Théo Deliyannis (Collectif Jeune Cinéma); Andrew Steel Hart (NOS Lusomundo); Edda Manriquez & Brian Drischell (Academy Film Archive); MM Serra (Film-Makers’ Coop); Tom Sveen & Qing Jin (Cinema Guild); and Gerald Weber (Sixpack Film).

< Back to Series