Thursday, October 19, 2017

Oporto apresenta #47


The Vinegar Syndrome
Three contaminated films by Ed Emshwiller

- Totem (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 16’, 1963) 
- Chrysalis (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 22’, 1973)
- A Film With Three Dancers (16mm cellulose acetate film, color, sound, 19’, 1971)

To date, there is no serious study of the origin of William S. Burroughs' decaying voice. One might think that his monochordic tone was due to a risky life of rampant drug abuse and bad alcohol. But if we listen carefully, we can find the cause of this abnormal tone in his own words. 

For years, Burroughs argued that language is an opportunistic virus that comes from outer space, which inhabits the human larynx and controls all actions of the subject. The more we hear the strange flow of Burroughs’ hypnotic voice spreading his sour humour, the more it is evident that he is infected by a hedonistic being, lodged in his deep throat, melted into his vocal chords, forcing him to live under alien desire.

Acetate films are also subject to extraneous contamination. The first reports on this life form that feeds on images came in 1948 from the National Archives of India, and since then there has been a worldwide struggle to contain this epidemic. The first symptom of infection is a strong smell of vinegar, as the film releases acetic acid when under attack. Then the acid eats away the color, initiating an irreversible process of decay that ends in the complete vanish of the image.
Recently, Oporto acquired three films by the iconic filmmaker and Science Fiction illustrator Ed Emshwiller (also known as Emsh). Unfortunately, they all suffer from Vinegar Syndrome. Knowing that the deterioration process is fast and cannot be reversed, we will screen the reels before insulation in a cold film archive. To prevent further contamination, the projector will be cleaned and disinfected after the session.

On Mother- Vinagre and its offspring æ


Saturday,  Oct 21, 10.30 pm
Oporto entrance: Calçada Salvador Correia de Sá 42 , 2F, Lisbon
http://oportolisboa.blogspot.pt/

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