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What drawings can do that films can't

By Silke Panse


This essay constitutes part of my research at the interface between fine art and film. I am interested in how practices from each discipline change works from the other. The essay discusses a practice of drawing film which the artist Anna Lucas developed for herself and the gallery visitor (as temporary artist) at her exhibition The Delinquent Silhouette (2006). The viewers made drawings of movies on carbon copy paper while watching them. They could only see their drawing after the copy paper was removed – a kind of 'blind' drawing. When we watch a movie in the cinema, we have to submit to the temporality of the film. Through the blind movie drawings, the viewer resists this imposed temporality. Drawing the film liberates the viewer from the passive and linear mode of viewing for not only does she produce an original of her own through the process of copying, but also the viewing experience of the film changes. In the act of trying to draw film, shapes become more important than the narrative, which is in essence impossible to draw because it constantly moves on. As we try to imagine what we have drawn and where, alongside the action of the film, it becomes cumulatively more difficult to draw everything (or anything) that moves past on the screen figuratively. The focus turns inward as we try to capture our own emotions or those of the characters, and we cannot but fail to represent our suspense or their passions. This essay developed out of my research on Werner Herzog's documentaries. It was part of my keynote address 'Land of Science and Artness: Translation, Documentary and the Copy' at the symposium 'Land of Silence and Darkness: Four Days of Talk and Action Connecting Movies, Blindness, Drawing, Perception and Neuroscience,' University of Oxford, 2009

Topics: NC Drawing Design Illustration
Publisher: University of Oxford
Year: 2009
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Provided by: UCA Research Online
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