Vertical and Receding Lines1974, 5 min. 30 sec. 16mm silent


As in Bringing Lights Forward, Haxton makes use of negative images and restricted lighting to emphasize the actual flatness of the film image over the illusion of three-dimensionality that it conveys. Five black strings, hanging from a black rod close to the top of the frame and parallel to it, are spaced at fairly regular intervals. A woman comes into the foreground, picks up the five strings one at a time and pushes them each into the background, her image gradually becoming more indistinct as she does so. At the end of this process, only the tops of the strings attached to the black rod are left visible on screen. The woman then returns, picks up one end of another string and attaches it to the floor; she repeats this movement so that the strings are secured at five different points. The final composition of the frame consists of one set of black lines extending downwards vertically from the top, and another set receding at an angle into the background from the bottom. The delineation of these black lines stands out in sharp contrast to the whiteness of the negative ground.

From: Castelli Sonnabend Tapes and Films Catalog