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Mark Lewis

Mark Lewis (b. 1958, Hamilton, Canada) is interested in the history and theory of cinema as well as in the conditions of its production. His films are characterised by their outstanding pictorial quality which often draw connections to the history of painting. Composed in sequences, they are dense in form and references. His work questions how we look at cinema and invites us to re-evaluate our perception of reality through its precise documentation and deconstruction of ostensibly banal scenes.

City (2019), a video comprising two parts, is formed of a long tracking shot that traverses the ruins of São Paolo, Brazil, beginning and ending with two cultural buildings emblematic of the years 1930 and 1950 respectively. Lewis used some 6,000 high-resolution photographs to produce the film which includes simulations of the façade of the Cine Art Palácio (a 1930s cinema building reproduced in its original condition) and the Casa do Povo cultural centre which was built to promote Jewish cultural heritage in the aftermath of the Second World War. In contrast to the conventional seamless digital imagery of scanned and simulated environments, City underlines the fragmentary nature of the images captured by such technologies, creating the impression of a world in decline and ruins. Although apparently ‘reluctant to overdetermine [his] films with deliberate intentionality’, Lewis has drawn attention to the significance of this work: ‘[City] speaks to the dissolving ontological difference between photography and moving image forms. It also speaks to the idea of the end of film, the end of a certain idea of utopian architecture, and perhaps even to the end of the world.’

In Spadina: Reverse Dolly, Zoom, Nude (2005), Lewis establishes cinematic continuity between three separate scenes. The title indicates the place and progress of the film: it is a three-minute single shot, filmed in Spadina Road in the north of Toronto. We follow the transition from a close-up to a wide shot, all with the fluidity of a long dolly shot that is carefully developed. The movement begins with a reverse dolly shot, going from details of leaves on a tree to a wide shot of an urban landscape, then zooms towards a building and ends on an image of a woman taking some fresh air on her balcony.

Artworks

  1. Mark Lewis Brass Rail, 2003

    Film 35 mm transféré sur DVD, couleur, muet
    3 min 50 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2001
    © Photo : Nicolas Lachner

  1. Mark Lewis Brass Rail (Photos Location), 2003

    8 photographies couleur
    50,5 x 61 cm chacune
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2004 - l'artiste
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi

  1. Mark Lewis City, 2019

    Vidéo 4k, couleur, silencieuse
    16 min 48 sec
    Ed. 1/3
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2019
    © Mark Lewis

  1. Mark Lewis Downtown: Tilt, Zoom and Pan, 2005

    Film 35 mm couleur numérisé, muet
    4 min 40 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    © Mark Lewis

  1. Mark Lewis Forte!, 2010

    Film numérisé, couleur, silencieux
    6 min 15 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2015 – Allen & Overy
    © Mark Lewis

  1. Mark Lewis Jay’s Garden, 2001

    Film 35 mm couleur numérisée, muet
    5 min 15 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2002
    © Mark Lewis

  1. Mark Lewis Queensway: Zoom and Pan, 2005

    Film 35 mm couleur numérisé, muet
    3 min
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2006
    © Mark Lewis

  1. Mark Lewis Spadina: Reverse Dolly, Zoom, Nude, 2005

    Film 35 mm couleur numérisé, muet
    2 min 55 sec
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2006
    © Mark Lewis

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