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Published in Time Out London, 4 August 2008
A bevy of Belgian women smoking shows Akerman the filmic anthropologist at her finest: making art out of the way cinema handles the female subject…
Published in The Independent, 24 July 2008
Entering the main gallery is a mesmeric and moving experience. Text flickers across two curved screens to the strains of melancholy classical music. Fragile and ephemeral, the French words blur, as the viewer walks between the screens, then enlarge and dissolve like ghosts to become barely legible in the flickering light.
Published in The Guardian, 15 July 2008
One of the pleasures of Akerman’s work - and this is especially true of the earliest of the three pieces in the London show, her 1972 Hôtel Monterey - is the idea that something is about to happen, or is happening just out of sight. The camera crawls unlit corridors and shadowy corners in the New York hotel. It lingers outside doors, waits for the elevator and hovers at windows. Back and forth the camera goes, a silent walker, a leading character in a movie without a plot.
Published in The Boston Globe, 22 June 2008
Since 1995, video artist Chantal Akerman has carved out a niche combining a sensual cinematic sensibility with formal aspects of video installation, including multiple screens, large-scale projections, and dissociated audio. Her glacial approach in “Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space,” a hypnotic show at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, takes some getting used to, but the rewards are great.
Published in The New York Times, 13 June 2008
Chantal Akerman is a hero of the avant-garde cinema. Her most famous film, “Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai de Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles” (1975), devotes more than three hours to observing a woman’s domestic routines before climaxing in, as accounts regularly put it, “an act of shocking violence.”
Published in The Boston Globe, 8 June 2008
In defiance of the frenetic, fast-cut pace of MTV (which has leaked into almost every other form of popular moving imagery today) Akerman clings to a style of shooting that is unapologetically glacial. She favors long lateral takes from moving vehicles and extended frontal takes from a static camera. Her approach takes some getting used to, but the rewards are great.
Published in ArtForum, October 2005
The combination of real time with the rudimentary, sometimes out-of-focus, black-and-white double image evokes Warhol’s double-screen talkies of the mid-’60s. No Warhol film, however, not even the recently restored Mrs. Warhol (a 1966 portrait of the artist’s mother), has the stunning intimacy of this home movie, not to mention the weight and necessity of bearing witness to an unspeakable history.
Published in Artforum International, April 2004 ( XLII No. 8 p. 123-127 )
Published in Film Waves, Winter-Spring 2001 ( Issue 14 )
Published in Independent, April 2001
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