Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.
Fernand Léger «Ballet méchanique» | Still with Kiki of Montparnasse
Fernand Léger, «Ballet méchanique», 1924
Still with Kiki of Montparnasse | ©


Categories: Film

Keywords: Body | Painting

Source text:

Glöde, Marc «The Empire Strikes Back»

United States

 Fernand Léger
«Ballet méchanique»

Collaborating with Dudley Murphy, who acquired a fair amount of filmmaking experience in California, Léger arranged several images shot at various times one beside the other, adhering to a list of disconnected motifs. The intellectual work was completed on the editing table. The number of individual images determined how long an individual motif was seen on the projection screen, and how intensely, in relation to the others, it effected the viewers’ retina.[...] During the course of this swift sequence of consecutive images, showing abstract forms and everyday objects, the human form as well became a pivotal element of the film. In the beginning, positioned on a swing, Dudley Murphy’s wife, Katherine Hawley, causes a cacophonous rush of more than fifty figurations—each shown in two to three individual images. The slow, paced, and monotonous rhythm of her swinging movement creates a moment of peace before seeing the succeeding rush of straw hats, triangles, circles, numerals, upside-down chairs, funnels, and bottles.
(Source: Judi Freeman, «Léger und das Volk. Die Vergegenständlichung der Figur und die Kristallisation eines filmischen Blickes», in: Fernand Léger 1911–1924. Der Rhythmus des modernen Lebens, Dorothy Kosinski (ed.), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Kunstmuseum Basel, Prestel, Munich/New York, 1994, pp. 235f.)