David Gatten: Texts of LightJanuary 21, 22
David Gatten’s filmmaking practice is unique in American cinema. His passion for historical documents, rare books, and arcane or outmoded manuals has resulted in a body of finely crafted work that explores the intersection of the printed word and the moving image in unusual ways. Using traditional research methods (reading old books) and nontraditional film technique (boiling old books), he manages to connect categories of knowledge in unexpected ways. Known for his ongoing Byrd family chronicle, an account of the 18th-century Virginia family, Gatten’s appearances at the National Gallery’s midcareer retrospective offer a rare opportunity to discuss in person his handcrafted experimental 16 mm processes. Organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, with special thanks to Chris Stults.