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Jack Chambers, The Hart of London
London is out there, just beyond the horizon line…
The good people at the Art Gallery of Ontario recently sent me some literature of their upcoming events and programs. Tucked in to the usual fare is a workshop entitled Was Jack Chambers a Radical? The Films and Silver Paintings.
Chambers is best known as a painter. One of the best examples of his work, The 401 Towards London, No. 1 (pictured above), can be found in the permanent collection at the AGO.
Towards the end of his brief career (he died of cancer at age 47) Chambers turned to film-making. His films bare the trademarks of the lyrical film style that had been predominant within American avant-garde film movement at the time: a heavy reliance on imagistic symbolism, the use of found footage, and a conscious choice to avoid leading narrative queues such as narration, music, suggestive editing or directed action. Instead, there is a preoccupation with a ‘mythopoetic’ lyricism, and the relationship between the violent and the banal in an ever intensifying struggle between nature and modern human existence.