“Movies arise out of magic.” Stanley Cavell
Light Magic explores one of the earliest photographic processes discovered at the birth of the photographic medium, the photogram. This technique combines science and art in order to record the process of transformation. Images created through this technique are traces of light that passes through each object leaving its mark on the film surface. Photograms bring both the maker and the viewer closer to the object, thus revealing the essence that neither the naked eye could see, nor the camera lens could capture.
“While traditional narratives and moving images representational of the human form will likely always dominate our filmgoing experience, it is a mysterious reality that co-existing with this traditional exposed ‘light’ are its variations somewhere just outside our viewfinder. This seems to be the kind of light that Pruska-Oldenhof seeks to capture in Light Magic. She uses the cameraless photogram technique to create ‘a luminous dance,’ strangely hypnotic and suggestive. Sound and image relate an unconventional narrative but to a receptive viewer, perhaps also an intriguing change of form and point of reference.” (Marcus Robinson, LIFT Newsletter, Mar./Apr. 2001)
Light Magic was one of the fifteen films commissioned by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. The subject and the aesthetic of this film are a response to the statement “Self & Celluloid: The Future.” It was the recipient of the Images Festival’s Steam Whistle Homebrew Award for Best Work by an Emerging Toronto Artist (2002).
Light Magic is distributed by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (cfmdc.org/node/833) and the Collectif Jeune Cinéma (cjcinema.org/pages/fiche.php?film=505). It also appears on the CFMDC compilation DVD Made By Hand: Experimental Works for Educational Environments (cfmdc.org/node/2433).
Los Angeles Film Forum. “Images of Nature, or The Nature of the Image: Canadian Artists at Work,” Curated by Irina Leimbacher, Los Angeles, U.S. (2011); Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, U.S. (2011); California Institute of the Arts. Valencia, U.S. (2011); TIFF Bell Lightbox. Toronto. (2011).
10th Festival des Cinéma Différent de Paris, Paris France (2008)
Diagonal Film Archive, “Films by Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof,” Seoul, South Korea (2008)
Royal Ontario Museum, “Animals and Insects,” Toronto (2007)
Museum der Moderne, kamera los. das fotogramm exhibition. Salzburg, Austria. (2007)
Kurpfalzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg, “Das Echo der Dinge im Zelluloid” a screening in conjunction with the exhibition Schads Photogramme – Metamorphosen des Zufalls. Heidelberg, Germany (2007)
ZKM (Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie) Karlsruhe “Das Photogramm. Schicksal, Spur und Schatten: an Interdisciplinary Symposium” Karlsruhe, Germany. (2006)
Canadian Film Institute: CAFÉeX, “Light of Desire: The Films of Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof,” Ottawa (2006)
Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University. “A Bug’s Life: A Film Screening Under the Stars.” Sherbrooke (Lennoxville) (2006)
Eyedrum, “Available Light: The Use of Light in Artists' Films,” Atlanta, US. (2005)
Musée de la civilisation, “Filles Ex(périmentales)” curated by Philippe Gendreau (2004)
Centre for Art Tapes, Halifax (2004)
Cable Car Cinema, "The Animal Show, Part 2: Four Legs vs. More Legs", the fourth event in the Magic Lantern Series curated by Ben Russell and Carrie Collier, Providence, U.S. (2004)
San Francisco Cinematheque “Haptic Refractions: A Cameraless Evening,” curated by Irina Leimbacher and Steve Polta, San Francisco, U.S. (2003)
Chicago Filmmakers “Low-Tech and Handmade Films,” Chicago, U.S. (2003)
Kino Ponrepo “Cells and Sentences” a program of Canadian short experimental films, Prague, Czech Republic (2002)
Images Festival of Independent Film and Video, Toronto (2002)
Winnipeg Film Group, Winnipeg (2002)
Atlantic Filmmakers Co-op, Halifax (2002)
Main Film, Montreal (2002)
filmwerkplaats, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2001)
Telluride International Experimental Cinema Exposition, Telluride, United States (2001)
Artist Television Access Centre, “Photoautotroph” an interdisciplinary exhibition in San Francisco, United States (2001)
The New York Kunsthalle “Experimental Film and Video Series” curated by Mark McElhatten, New York, United States (2001)
Festival International du Nouveau Cinéma et des Nouveaux Médias, Montreal (2001)
Cinematheque Ontario, “Self & Celluloid: The Future,” celebrating LIFT’s 20th Anniversary, Toronto (2001)