Friday, August 10, 2007

Rebecca Baron

Rebecca Baron

Baron is known for her award-winning lyrical essay films, which explore the construction of history, with a particular interest in still photography and its relationship to the moving image. Her first film to focus on still photography, The Idea of North (1995), reconstructs the history of Solomon Andrée's 1897 failed attempt to reach the North Pole by hot air balloon through photographic images recovered from under the ice, thirty-three years after his team's disappearance. okay bye-bye (1998) reflects on the Vietnam War, U.S. involvement in Cambodia, and Baron's own experience of living in Southern California. A combination of historical research, media analysis, epistolary narrative and personal meditation, it takes shape around Super 8 footage of an unidentified Cambodian man—footage Baron found on a Southern California sidewalk—as well as iconic and vernacular photographs from the Vietnam era.

Both films use still photography as a springboard for what Baron calls "private research," an associative process that combinesofficial and personal accounts of events, refusing a totalizing historical narrative and emphasizing the role of chance in human experience.

She is also at work on collaborative projects with Doug Goodwin on the history of the cyanotype and with Dorit Margreiter on simulations of poverty.


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