Marc Bauer

The Astronaut, 2013
Animated film, b/w, 16mm, 45 sec. loop
Ed. of 3 (+ 1 AP)

Marc Bauer used technique of oil paint on Plexiglas for this 45-second 16mm film. The film is an ascension from the oceanic abyss toward the surface of a star. The upward motion goes from the ocean’s depths to its surface, from the ocean’s surface to a lakeside stretch, before the screen is covered with a constellation of black paint droplets that, reversed in negative, reveals the immensity of a cosmic sky viewed from the hilly terrain of a star dominated by two moons, immediately fading back into the oceanic depths, etc. The film, which is as wobbly and awkward as an old amateur shot, uses nearly no figurative elements, except for the contours of the landscape, and of the more elaborate drawing of the cosmic expanse. The work’s power lies in its accumulation of effects, the same effects that enable motion in The Architect, creating space and exploring it, while simultaneously destroying it the very next second: scratches, erasures, brushstrokes, ridges, cross-outs, watering-downs, removals of freshly applied pictorial matter, relationships between greasiness and dryness, etc. A single Plexiglas plate was used for this film, which is as much about the conquest of space in its broader sense (exploratory voyages, great discoveries, unknown lands, spatial conquest, etc.) as an inquiry into the surface of the cinematic image, being another space, another conquest.