Black on White Tape 1974-75, B&W 9min. 16mm, silent
Black on White Tape begins with the camera pointing down at the floor where a roll of white tape is laid on top of a roll of black tape. Haxton enters the frame, picks up the white tape,and beginning at the lower left of the frame, tapes a line up along the left frame. He draws a line on the right,and then horizontal lines at the bottom and top, making a trapezoid. The re-iteration of horizontal and vertical frame lines inside the picture emphasizes the flatness of the projected image against the three-dimensionality of the experience of the room interior. There appears to be perceptual distortion: the top horizontal is wider than the bottom one, destroying the conventional perspective of spatial representation and reinforcing the flatness of the frame. This equivocation between flatness and spatiality is intensified by a cut to negative. The first half of the film is repeated in reverse. Haxton enters and takes the white roll (or what would be the black roll in positive image) and draws tape lines inside the frame over the previous tape. This trapezoid sits on the flat surface even more obdurately than before because the negative image has fewer associations with every-day space. From: Castelli Sonnabend Tapes and Films Catalog.