To make the film Rose Hobart (1936), Joseph Cornell cut up a 16mm print of the black-and-white Hollywood film East of Borneo (1931). He removed the soundtrack and discarded the plot, keeping only shots of the characters expressing emotions and those focused on the film’s star, Rose Hobart, which he reordered and interspersed with footage from other sources. The resulting film is projected at a slowed-down speed through a deep blue glass filter. For its presentation in Dreamlands, artist Josiah McElheny, whose work is also included in this exhibition, created a replica of Cornell’s original glass filter, now in the collection of Anthology Film Archives.
Installation view of Rose Hobart, 1936, 16mm film, black-and-white, silent, 20 min, by Joseph Cornell Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 (October 28, 2016-February 5, 2017) Whitney Museum of American Art, N.Y. Courtesy of the Richard Feigen Gallery.