Empty Form, 2008
16mm film, (black & white, sound), projection screen 66 x 90 cm.
A 16mm film projects only a black frame onto a small screen during a recitation in Russian of Kazimir
Malevich’s essay “Художник и кино” (“The Artist and The Cinema”) as the soundtrack. Empty Form
explores the legacy of a history that never existed between abstract art and the cinema through a series of
critical comments penned by Kazimir Malevich in relation to this latter art form, when it was still in its
infancy, back in 1926.
The voiceover, barely audible over the mechanical sound of the projector, comes as a reminder of how a
discourse that initially helped inform the understanding of a medium fades and is reinterpreted as the
conception of that medium expands and accommodates different desires. The viewer is left to imagine what
the reading might be saying and place their own interpretation on its relationship with the black, seemingly
‘empty’ screen. The struggle by which we might try to negotiate an aesthetic born in time and circumstances
beyond ourselves is manifested in a melancholic gesture in which unintelligibility allows for the projection
of a number of diverging (mis)interpretations.