DRESDEN DYNAMO, Lis Rhodes, 1971-2, 16mm, 10 mins
LIGHT READING, Lis Rhodes, 1978, 16mm, 20 mins
PICTURES ON PINK PAPER, Lis Rhodes, 1982, digital projection, 35 mins
plus readings from Rhodes’ “Telling Invents Told” by Mary Helena Clark
Light Industry presents an evening devoted to Lis Rhodes, occasioned by “Telling Invents Told”, a new collection of her writings published by The Visible Press and edited by María Palacios Cruz. Rhodes was one of the key figures to emerge from the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative in the 1970s, where she and her contemporaries helped advance a radically reflexive approach to film aesthetics, investigating the medium and its mechanics in fundamentally material terms. Consider, for instance, an early effort like DRESDEN DYNAMO, in which vibrant graphic patterning within the 16mm frame is also read by the optical track, allowing the viewer to see the work’s sounds, to hear its images. Yet for Rhodes formal experimentation has always been animated by a feminist consciousness. “The grammar of looking and the grammar of language,” she has explained, “are both a set of power relationships,” and both are explored in LIGHT READING, a turning point in her filmography. Here a Steinian voiceover is laid down beside tangles of text printed on celluloid as well as a series of photographs—among them a blood-stained bed—which are repeated, reframed, and sometimes torn to pieces; the site of female subjectivity is analyzed like a crime scene.
GME distributes her film DRESDEN DYNAMO (1971) on the compilation DVD SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT: BRITISH AVANT GARDE FILMS OF THE 1960S AND 1970S to the North American university market.