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The Visible Press is an independent imprint for books on cinema and writings by filmmakers. Our first book, Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos, edited by Mark Webber with a foreword by P. Adams Sitney, was published in September 2014. A collection of essays by Peter Gidal, Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016, was published in April 2016. Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema will be released in September 2017.

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Two Recent Publications

The Visible Press recommends two recent publications that should be of interest to readers of our Gregory Markopoulos book “Film as Film” :-

Robert Beavers
Edited by Rebekah Rutkoff
Published by the Austrian Film Museum, 2017
ISBN: 9783901644696

This first monograph on the films of Robert Beavers is another beautifully designed book in the FilmmuseumSynemaPublikationen series from the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna. It comprises eleven newly commissioned essays by authorities such as P. Adams Sitney, Haden Guest, Susan Oxtoby and Kristin M. Jones, reprints of historical articles by Jonas Mekas, René Micha and Tom Chomont, and the filmmaker’s own rarely seen writings. A wealth of film stills are included alongside a bibliography and annotated filmography. Gregory Markopoulos’ first text on Robert Beavers, “10th of July, 1967”, which opens the chapter on Beavers in Film as Film, is also featured.

After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation
By Erika Balsom
Published by Columbia University Press, 2017
ISBN: 9780231176934

Erika Balsom’s new book After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation explores the problematics of reproducibility in film and moving image art by analysing various models of distribution and collecting. Of particular interest is a chapter on Gregory Markopoulos and his unique approach to distribution and exhibition. The author’s research of documents in the Temenos Archive has uncovered new details on the motives and aspirations that drove the filmmaker to follow a singular path.

John Waters’ Bedside Reading

In a New York Times interview to promote his new book “Make Trouble“, filmmaker John Waters has confessed that he keeps his copy of Gregory Markopoulos’ “Film as Film” by his bedside.

What books are currently on your night stand?

American Rust,” by Philipp Meyer, because his last historical novel, “The Son,” was such an amazingly well-written, violently beautiful page-turner that I have to read what came before. “Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos” (obscure, yes, but I remember his underground films fondly from the Jonas Mekas/Film Comment days). And the ultimate bedside book — “The Making of Americans,” by Gertrude Stein. I enormously respect its impenetrability. Maybe this is the best novel ever written, because you can’t read it. Not even two pages. I know, I’ve tried for the last 10 years.

As published in The New York Times Saturday Book Review, 23 April 2017.

*** Please note that “Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos” is almost out of print. Order a copy now whilst the book is still available new at the original publication price. ***

Artforum Review

The new (April 2017) issue of Artforum features a great article on Peter Gidal’s “Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016” and “Shoot Shoot Shoot“, the LUX publication on the first decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative.

Noam M. Elcott‘s review of these two related books ends with the following summary:

“In tone and substance, many of the essays in Flare Out testify to Gidal’s ‘ultra-left’ politics, polemics that were widely criticized and eventually abandoned by most LFMC adherents for their seemingly intractable dogmatism. And yet many of his arguments seem all too timely today. What was once dismissed as a puritanical asceticism at odds with rudimentary aesthetic pleasure seems sensible now, even compulsory, given our ascendant patriarchal politics. [… ] Infamously, Gidal advocated for a moratorium on representations of women on-screen. Perhaps we consider ourselves too enlightened to brook, or the feminist project too far advanced to warrant, such blunt statements – even in the months dominated by the venom of Trump, the vitriol of Bernie Bros, and the broadcast and social media that enabled both. But Gidal’s unfashionably radical feminism deserved more than a second look in the current climate of fashionably virulent patriarchy.”

(Noam M Elcott, “Structural Integrity”, Artforum, March 2017.)

Jonathan Walley on Gidal

Jonathan Walley has constructed an extraordinary response to Peter Gidal’s “Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016” using text and images. The article is available online at World Picture Journal and can also be downloaded as a pdf.

The current issue 12 of World Picture (Winter 2017) was guest edited by film artist Luis Recoder and is structured around the theme of “Orthodox.” It opens with a new translation of Theodor Adorno’s “Freud in the Present” and features contributions by Brian L. Frye, Sandra Gibson, Laurence A. Rickels, Kiarina Kordela, Alexander García Düttmann and others.

Peter Gidal’s films Coda I and Coda II (both 2013) can also be streamed online through the journal’s website.

Walley writes: “Color plates in the middle of the book begin with reproductions from Gidal’s notebooks, handwriting scrawled on—of all things—graph paper; as if Gidal wanted some visual reminder of the structures he works against. The grid is an almost comically inapt backdrop to his purposely, persistently disordered, Sisyphusian (constantly starting again, re-trying) prose. Graph/draft paper: his writing retains a sense of the draft, the free-write, the process of working out rather than the completed object—the text—that is supposed to result.”