BLACK RECTANGLE; (2013); Rhayne Vermette; 16mm; TRT: 1.30
Inspired by the slow death of Kasimir Malevich’s painting, Black Square, this film documents a tedious process of dismantling and reassembling 16 mm found footage. The film collage imitates functions of a curtain, while the recorded optical track describes the film’s subsequent destruction during its first projection.
How do you relate these very abstract film images to your other films with images of reality?
This film was initially spurred by an interest in visually representing a loosely defined interest in more cognitive or neurological phenomenons through assembling varying color gradients (something akin to synesthesia)
Is there a reason you specifically made this?
This film is the sheer invention of a maniacal impulse to simply keep busy. So I began cutting out small colored rectangles from found 16mm footage and reassembled them onto clear leader. This was quite a tedious process, yet it kept me quite occupied and content for about 7 months! And by then the collage had many layers!
As a concept, the film is hinged upon abstract artist Kazimir Malevich. He believed that the best works of art emanate from the basis of weight, speed, and direction of movement – rather than aesthetic taste. In the end, I guess this film behaves as some (absolutely literal) cinematic liberation of Malevich’s work Black Square.