Eyeballing, a film program curated by Lisa Oppenheim and Mike Sperlinger, features films by Rosalind Nashashibi, Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler, and Karl Kels. The program includes three films which are connected through a shared perspective of the Manhattan streetscape. Each film presents the camera as a means of a poetic and critical examination of city life. It is through this method that the city becomes a symphony, a stage, and a space that returns our gaze, rather than one which monitors our actions.
Eyeballing (2005), by London-based artist Rosalind Nashashibi (b. 1973, England) anthropomorphizes everyday objects and architecture of an urban landscape, such as toothbrushes and manhole covers. These situations, usually featuring eyes, a nose, and mouth, engage the viewer through the artist’s camera lens. Emphasis is drawn on their voyeurism through polarizing footage of New York City police officers standing around a station house doorway.
Manhatta (1921) is by American photographer Paul Strand (b. 1890, New York – d. 1976, Paris) and artist Charles Sheeler (b. 1883, Pennsylvania – d. 1965 New York). The film is a City Symphony film; a predominately silent era genre of documentary filmmaking that was both structured by and composed of images of everyday life in different urban centers.
Sidewalk (2008) by Karl Kels (b. 1960, Germany) was made while the Berlin-based artist was in working in residency in Lower Manhattan. The film consists of shots from his window onto the sidewalk below through different seasons, climate conditions, and traffic events. The static position of the camera produces a counterpoint to the changes of weather and urban life occurring within the frame.
Photos by Austin Kennedy.
Lisa Oppenheim (b.1975, New York) lives and works in New York. She has exhibited widely including recent solo exhibitions and screenings at the Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (2014); Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (2014); The Approach, London (2013); 21er Haus, Vienna (2012); Art Basel 42, Basel (2011); and Performa 11, New York (2011).
Mike Sperlinger is Assistant Director of LUX, London, an international arts agency for the support and promotion of artists working with the moving image. As a freelance writer and curator, he has written for magazines and journals, including Frieze, Art Monthly, Radical Philosophy, and Afterall. Sperlinger is the editor of two books: Afterthought: New Writing on Conceptual Art (Rachmaninoffs, 2005) and Kinomuseum: Towards An Artists’ Cinema (Kuzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2008).
High Line Channel is presented by Friends of the High Line and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. High Line Art Commissions are made possible by Donald R. Mullen, Jr., with additional support from Vital Projects Fund, Inc. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.