Premiered last year, the film captures the interaction between humans, nature, and architecture at German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House
Multidisciplinary artist Rob Mazurek has collaborated with Los Angeles-based artist and film maker Lee Anne Schmitt on a new film concerning Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. First premiered last year at CineMarfa Film Festival in Texas, it'll screen next at the Warhol in Pittsburgh in conjunction with Carnegie Museum of Art on 20 & 30 September, and again on 1 October in Warsaw as part of the Avant Art Festival. The film and soundtrack sets a precedent to capture the “interaction between humans, nature, and architecture at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's iconic Farnsworth House.”
A masterpiece of architecture, Farnsworth House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, with The Farnsworth Scores honing in on the building's transparent walls to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior perspectives in sight and sound.
“I was quite obsessed with this house and imagined this project 7-8 years ago,” explains Mazurek over email. “The Farnsworth House is in very close proximity to my family's house, and I would frequent it quite often and began researching the house and its surroundings. We decided to try for the Graham Foundation grant which would give us support to realize the project.”
Schmitt acted as director and photographer for the project, with co-direction, actor and sound design coming from Mazurek. Britt Mazurek worked as grant writer, producer and in production.
“Lee Anne's spot on direction along with camera operator Ki Jin Kim's beautiful camera work wove extraordinary shots that showed the rigorous quality of the house, the deterioration and encroaching nature and magical refraction and reflection from many interesting angles,” continues Mazurek. “The sound track is made almost entirely from recorded sound in and around the house, both natural and then later on morphed and filtered and then placed. The silences are metaphors for the physical glass. The panes of glass are meant to keep elements out, like wind, rain, cold and at times, sound. It is also meant to bring sunshine in, the seasons, the faint sound of the rush of the river, birds and storms. You can not pass through this physical membrane but you can see through it. There is this give and take with the physical structure of the glass and what its purpose actually is, and we found this fascinating to work with in both sound and vision.”
Was there anything that was particularly challenging? “The most challenging aspect was to discover all these elements at play (reflection, refraction, silence, shifting weather, the sound inside the house, outside the house, human made sound, natural sound, frequencies of the various glass panes, how the glass responds etc...) and then how to actually structure the film.
“Lee Anne works wonders with celluloid film, and her edits were excellent and inspiring. The physical film itself is a kind of barrier, refracting/reflecting surface, multiple windows... figuring out the balance of all these ideas/elements and how to place the silences (the glass panes) within the riot of colour, angles, shadings, magic, movement, non-movement and sounds was the challenge.”
In other news, Mazurek also has a new book out. Based on the 2015 exhibition of Marfa Loops Shouts And Hollers, the catalogue documents the exhibition of the artist's works, and features 39 original paintings and objects, and 70 minutes of audio.