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Free Content Brakhage's sour grapes, or notes on experimental cinema in the art world

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This article examines the place of experimental cinema within the contemporary museum in order to challenge the commonly held assumption that it is somehow opposed to, or at least outside, the art world. Despite possessing a degree of material truth, the perceived separation between experimental cinema and the art world has led to an unfortunate lack of interrogation into the alliances and antagonisms that exist between them, particularly as they have shifted over time. This article insists on the historicity of such relationships and traces how they have changed from the 1970s to a contemporary moment that sees experimental cinema in a closer relationship to the art world than ever before. The integration of experimental fi lm into the museum is a key feature of the preoccupation with all things cinematic that has marked the art of the past two decades, prompting new questions as to the place of experimental fi lm amongst the mediums of art practice. This article assesses not the distance so often thought to exist, but rather the proximity between experimental cinema and the art world in our moment.

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Keywords: artist's cinema; contemporary art; experimental film; gallery; museum

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Carleton University

Publication date: January 23, 2012

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  • The Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) is the first international peer-reviewed scholarly publication devoted to artists' film and video, and its contexts. It offers a forum for debates surrounding all forms of artists' moving image and media artworks: films, video installations, expanded cinema, video performance, experimental documentaries, animations, and other screen-based works made by artists. MIRAJ aims to consolidate artists' moving image as a distinct area of study that bridges a number of disciplines, not limited to, but including art, film, and media.
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