It’s not often you get the chance to sit in on a Q&A hosted by ex Falmouth School of Art student, Laura Smith. Or get the opportunity to listen to cubist inspired filmmaking Manon de Boer talk about her work. But on this valentines eve, our evening was made more unique by the realisation that it was also Laura’s last day as the curator of the Tate St Ives.
Manon’s career began as a sculptor and photographer and transcended into filmmaker while capturing her friends on super-8 film. She has since filmed on 35mm for Presto and 16mm, popular for low-budget motion pictures, for film Dissonant. Her best-known films include a series of portraits, in which the film medium itself is continuously interrogated.
Her work is appreciated internationally and has been featured at the Venice Biennale (2007), Berlin Biennale (2008), Sao Paulo Bienal (2010) and Documenta 13 (2012). Her work has also been screened at film festivals in Hong Kong, Marseille, Rotterdam and Vienna.
Two films were shown at the Falmouth School of Art screening: Dissonant, which records every movement of dancer Cynthia Loemij and Presto, Perfect Sound, which focuses on composer and violinist, George Van Dam, as he performs the Béla Bartok’s sonata.
Both films were intense and concentrated on the sound rather than the image. This is particularly evident in Dissonant when the screen turns black during the one minute that is needed to change the 16mm film roll.
Presto was a perfect reflection of creative concentration, enhanced by the editing as the film captures the best of his six performances. The fractured image serves to intensify the sound.
She is now developing a new piece of work which will be launched in Cornwall on May 5th this year for the Groundwork programme.