Flare Out


Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016 is a collection of essays by Peter Gidal on film, art and aesthetics.

Peter Gidal – Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016
Edited by Mark Webber and Peter Gidal
The Visible Press, April 2016

Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016 is a collection of essays by Peter Gidal that includes “Theory and Definition of Structural/Materialist Film” and other texts on metaphor, narrative, and against sexual representation. Also discussed in their specificity are works by Samuel Beckett, Thérèse Oulton, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol. Throughout, Gidal’s writing attempts a political aesthetics, polemical as well as theoretical. One of the foremost experimental film-makers in Britain since the late 1960s, Peter Gidal was a central figure at the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, and taught advanced film theory at the Royal College of Art. His previous books include Andy Warhol: Films and Paintings (1971), Understanding Beckett (1986) and Materialist Film (1989).

ISBN: 978-0-9928377-1-6

196 x 132 x 27 mm
288 pages, including 16pp of colour images

Square-backed case, debossed cover and spine
Ribbon marker, head and tail bands
Individually shrinkwrapped

Peter Gidal – Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016
Edited by Mark Webber and Peter Gidal
The Visible Press, 2016

“This book is an essential point of access to the questions and considerations through which Peter Gidal has consistently fought for film – and vision itself – as a process of interrogation, displacement and resistance. While rooting the reader in the specifics of Gidal’s call for an active place of seeing, this collection of texts renews the agency of his primary question: ‘What it is to view, how to view the unknown?’”
—– Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

“Radical, spirited, provocative … Inspiring and invaluable, really. In here we find a welcome voice, singularly unpatronising, nuanced yet fearless in the face of the mind-narrowing opacity of ‘everyday life’.”
—– Cerith Wyn Evans

Flare Out confirms that Gidal is undoubtedly one of cinema’s great polemicists. He summons a vast knowledge of philosophy, film and art to interrogate a question that remains pressing today: the vexed relationship between politics and form. Ever provocative and never dull, this collection underlines Gidal’s central importance as a critic of his own work and that of others, while also reminding the reader of what it means to take a stand.”
—– Erika Balsom, King’s College London

“The singular way that Peter Gidal wrestles with language is a continual lesson in philosophy, aesthetics, ideology, and politics. Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016 charts his ongoing struggles with wit, lucidity, and genuine brio.”
—– Jonathan Rosenbaum

“This book is a stunning object – radical as in manifesto and aesthetic as in beautiful at the same time, which is not easy.”
—– Jacqueline Rose, Birkbeck Institute London, author of “Sexuality in the Field of Vision”.

“A marvellous production … almost too beautiful to read.”
—– Malcolm Le Grice, filmmaker/theorist.

“I shall be eternally grateful to Peter Gidal for depriving me of so much.”
—– John Smith, artist/filmmaker and former RCA student

Peter Gidal – Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016
Edited by Mark Webber and Peter Gidal
The Visible Press, 2016

Mark Webber

Peter Gidal

Theory and Definition of Structural/Materialist Film (1975)
Further Footnotes (1976)
Problems ‘relating to’ Warhol’s Still Life 1976 (1978)
The Anti-Narrative (1979)
Technology and Ideology in/through/and Avant-Garde Film: An Instance (1980)
Samuel Beckett’s Ghost Trio (1981)
Against Sexual Representation in Film (1984)
Fugitive Theses re Thérèse Oulton’s Paintings (1984)
Dialogue and Dialectic in Godot (1986)
The Anti-Zoom (A Little Polemic Against Metaphor) (1987)
In Representation or Out? Some Condensed Notes on Aesthetics
and Politics (1988)
Endless Finalities (Richter’s Abstract Paintings) (1993)
The Polemics of Paint (Richter in the Nineties) (1995)
NO EYE: Theoretical Reflections on the Eye, Metaphor and Film/Video (1995)
Once is Never: Warhol’s Saturday Disaster & Blow Job (2001)
Against Metaphor (1998, revised 2005/2015)

Letter to Artforum (1971)
Letter to Screen (1976)
Letter to Afterimage (1976)
Eight Hours or Three Minutes (1971)
Notes on my Film Work (1975)

16 pages of colour and black & white images
including film stills, manuscripts, archive documents,
and paintings by Thérèse Oulton, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol

Peter Gidal Filmography

Peter Gidal Bibliography

Peter Gidal – Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966–2016
Edited by Mark Webber and Peter Gidal
The Visible Press, 2016

Peter Gidal is a renowned writer, theorist and film-maker. He was born in 1946, and studied theatre, psychology and literature at Brandeis University, Massachussets (1964-68) and the University of Munich (1966-67). He was a student of the Royal College of Art from 1968-71 and went on to teach Advanced Film Theory there until 1984. An active member of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative since 1969, he was its cinema programmer from 1971-74. He was a co-founder of the Independent Film-Makers’ Association in 1975, and served on the British Film Institute Production Board from 1978-81. Peter Gidal’s films have been screened widely, and were featured in retrospectives at the London ICA (1983), Paris Centre George Pompidou (1996), and DocPoint Helsinki (2014). He was the recipient of the Prix de la Recherche Toulon (1974), and his most recent film not far at all (2013) won the 2015 L’Âge d’Or Prize at Cinematek Brussels. Books by Peter Gidal include Andy Warhol: Films and Paintings (Studio Vista, 1971), Structural Film Anthology (BFI, 1976), Understanding Beckett: Monologue and Gesture (Macmillan, 1986), Materialist Film (Routledge, 1988) and Andy Warhol: Blow Job (Afterall, 2008). Gidal’s writings have been published extensively in journals such as Studio International, Screen, October and Undercut, and the exhibition catalogues of Gerhard Richter, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thérèse Oulton.

Mark Webber is a film curator based in London, who has been responsible for major screening events or touring programmes hosted by institutions such as Tate Modern, LUX and ICA (London), Whitney Museum (New York), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Kunsthalle Basel, Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage, IFFR Rotterdam and many international festivals, museums and art centres. He was a programmer for the BFI London Film Festival from 2000-12, and is the editor of Two Films by Owen Land and Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos. www.markwebber.org.uk

Peter Gidal Filmography

Jonathan Walley / World Picture Article

Artforum Review

Film Comment Review

Tim Cawkwell on “Flare Out”

Gidal Events Archive

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