Skip to main content
Lux Online Home Themes Artists Work Education Education Tours Help Search
Luxonline
Trickery and Illusion: The Magic of Cinema
Sarah Wood
Trickery and Illusion: The Magic of Cinema

Or look at Michel Curran’s 1998 video Footnote where a man with a horn on his head runs repeatedly into the camera in a rhythmic act of abandonment. He is at once fairytale and real: a unicorn and a ridiculous man with a horn on his head. The ritual of his action is absurd and meaningful as Curran’s film plays with attempts to make a new reality come true through belief and action. As the horned man hits the camera for the last time he fails to break though the third wall of the screen and the fantasy collapses as nothing changes.

The acting out of ritual is played for very different effect in Breda Beban’s 2003 film Walk of Three Chairs where Beban repeats a ritual she recalls seeing her grandfather perform. Beban’s contemporary performance creates a new dynamic as she attempts to sing ‘Who Doesn't Know How to Suffer Doesn't Know How to Love’ as she travels downstream, making something new of tradition with her song. In a neat symmetry she imbues the new ritual she makes with meaning by locating it in a place of significance (the supposed site of the border between the Balkans and Europe). The resulting film of the performance is just part of the ritualised call to the universe. The film becomes part of the performance: at once a record of an incantation and the incantation itself.

Still from Walk of Three Chairs by Breda Beban, 2003
| page 10 of 11 | < previous page | next page >
Go to top of                             page
Home Themes Artists Work Education Education Tours Help Search