Artists Space

Film and Video Program
Macho Man, Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault
February 20

February 20, 2014, 7:30pm

Two Cabins, 2009
James Benning, 30min, digital HD

Nightfall, 2011
James Benning, 97min, digital HD

Trees in a dense forest captured at nightfall.
James Benning, still from Nightfall, 2011. Digital HD, 97 min. [Trees in a dense forest captured at nightfall.]

In the summer and fall of 2007, the filmmaker James Benning built a copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden cabin on private land that he owns in the Sierra Nevada just north of Bakersfield, California. The following spring, nearby the Thoreau structure, Benning replicated the small, one-room cabin built by Theodore Kaczynski near Lincoln, Montana, where Kaczynski launched his bombing campaign that targeted individuals who stood for technological progress. Two Cabins pairs views out of the cabins’ windows with field recordings taken at sites of the original constructions. This work is presented with Nightfall, a 97-minute continuous shot of metamorphosing light in tranquil wooded terrain. Pure, radical, and with minimal means, Benning gives us an information-rich image of a wilderness that eludes everyday life for the majority, and an acute experience of something equally elusive - time.