The Films of James Nares
With Guest Artist James Nares
Artist James Nares will present thirteen of his short film and video motion studies shot in his studio, in the streets and environs of New York from the 1970s to the present. The 63-minute program includes thirteen short works, from Roof, Game, and Poles made in 1976 through To Make a Prairie (2010).
“In 1974, artist James Nares came to New York from his native England and jumped right into the downtown scene. It was the beginning of the punk era, and the possibilities were endless. He joined a band, played at CBGB’s, continued his painting career, opened art spaces with his friends. And he made films.
Nares was part of the celebrated No Wave movement of cross-pollinating filmmakers, musicians and artists. But his style is entirely his own. This is true punk cinema: DIY, super-8mm, no-budget, and aimed straight for the gut. But these are also resolutely art films, with surprising moments of rough yet lyrical beauty. In Pendulum, Nares converts a city block into a space for a large copper ball to swing back and forth, suggesting both play and danger. In other films, the artist explores political commitment, or his own body, or the tactile beauty of tools and art materials. But no matter what’s going on in front of the camera, the real subject of many of these films is 1970s New York. Made in the oddly deserted streets and abandoned lofts of Tribeca, they show a messy, vital, haunted urban landscape almost unthinkable today” (Film Love, Atlanta).
Nares continues to make mesmerizing videos, now in higher definition, usually exhibited in galleries, like his paintings. This is a rare opportunity to see a wide range of his moving images.