Early and Late

— A Lunch with...Anthony McCall

Friday 3 June 2016, 1:30 pm — 5:17 am

Anthony McCall, Circulation Figures, 1972 - 2011, Installation view, Serralves Foundation, Portugal, 2011.

Since 1972 I have made a series of ‘solid light’ installations, from Line Describing a Cone in 1973, to Coming About in 2016. Within the series there are two distinct groups of works: one from the nineteen-seventies, made on 16mm film and horizontally oriented; the other, from 2000 to the present, made digitally, and in various orientations –horizontal, vertical and diagonal.

Most of these works are continuous, three-dimensional installations, projected in a darkened gallery or museum space, for an audience of visitors that come and go in their own time. It has been useful to me to think of them as occupying a zone somewhere between cinema, sculpture and drawing.

The twenty-year period between 1980 and 2000 was the period when the use of digital technology gathered speed; when “cinema” ceased to carry a capital ‘C’’ gradually fracturing into different shards and practices; and when art museums and other art world institutions like Biennials, expanded and proliferated. It was also the period when I made no new work.

Some of the differences between the early and late work have proved fertile. For instance, I have re-made early films (ie Line Describing a Cone 2.0) while retaining the original version in the world, which complicates the status of each; I’ve completed early performance works that resisted completion prior to the computer (like Circulation Figures); and I have lifted live performance ideas from the early seventies, like my progressively changing 36-point grid central to the “Fire” series and re-cast a similar grid into a programmable present (Eclipse, 2012).

My talk will review both the early and later works, and discuss this back and forth between the two periods.

©Anthony McCall, 2016