Robert Todd’s work, Undergrowth appears as part of Between Species at UVP Everson from February 11 – March 26, 2016.
About the Work
16mm film transferred to digital video
Total Run Time: 12:16
From the artist’s statement:
“A blind predator dreams through its prey’s eyes.”
The obvious predator is a Barred owl, but the film uses this a vehicle to consider the active role of the camera in image “capture”. The prey is undefined, but suggested as a compendium of natural figures that the camera “captures”.
The film establishes visual (textural) similes between the environment and the predator, and a kenetic dialogue between the camera and its objects/subjects: gliding through the underbelly of the world, tunneling under the natural flora of a semi-urban setting, the camera establishes a presence within the Ground of Nature, counterpoint to an examination of the Figure of the Owl, whose head turns in slow drifting arcs that mimic the dance of the nature-seeing/seeking camera.
The owl’s blindness is revealed in extreme close-ups of the creature’s cataract-encrusted eyes. Its blind state creates a stumbling block to an easy decoding of the nature-seeking footage as a representation of its own outer-directed sight, calling into question the nature of this perspective, and consequently the nature of that which is “capturing” the owl.
About the Artist
A lyrical filmmaker as well as a sound and visual artist, Robert Todd continually produces short works that resist categorization. In the past twenty years he has produced a large body of short-to-medium format films that have been exhibited internationally at a wide variety of venues and festivals including the Media City Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Le Rencontres Internationale, Black Maria Film Festival, Nouveau Cinema in Montreal, Cinematheque Ontario, the Harvard Film Archive, Pacific Film Archive, the Paris Biennial, Slamdance Film Festival, and others. His films have won numerous festival prizes, grants, and artist’s awards. He teaches film production at Emerson College in Boston.
For more information: roberttoddfilms.com
Return to Between Species: group show