Nostalgia by Holis Frampton 1971 is a 38 minute long film consisting of black and white still images filmed with black and white 16mm film. There is narration over the top read by Micheal Snow.
Frampton works wth the experience of cinematic temporality, he explores the relationship between sound and image. The video shows a collection of images mostly taken by Frampton slowly burning out one at a time on a hotplate. Over the top of this is Frampton’s comments about the photographs. As one image is burning we hear the narrator talking in relation to the next image. The sound and image are on different time schedules, we are listening to a commentary on a photograph we will be seeing in the future and also looking at a photograph we have just heard about. This technique relays a sense of anticipation and memory it causes the viewer to actively engage with ‘past’ and ‘present’ moments.
In nostalgia the time it takes for a photograph to burn out almost becomes the clock in the film. Frampton comments on his own work saying ‘nostalgia is mostly about words and the kind of relationship words can have to images’. This whole process feels to me like a hypnotic account of Frampton’s experiences as a photographer. He plays with the dualities of sound and vision; past and future; memory and temporality and perception and imagination.
The camera work throughout this is quite minimalistic and draws attention to the photographs and narrative without distraction. The video consists of a single static shot composition throughout, whilst only the photographs in the frame change. The burning of the photographs presents an important element. These images are still and can be seen as dead memories, they represent a moment already gone; the burning suggests their removal from the presence.
A sense of imagination is also included within this work as the sound works as a form of anticipation of the event to come, the audience starts to then imagine the upcoming image. This realm of imagination is also brought up again in the end. As the narrator tells the story of the most significant photograph the movie then ends before the image is shown leaving the audience to forcefully imagine what the image was. The aesthetics function to force the viewer to not only reflect on memory but to experience the films own representations of pst , present and future.
Throughout he narration the photographs on the plate begin to warp and move as the emulsion melts, the image then smokes and catches fire. To me the destruction of the image looks like the memory fading the narration has brought the image to life where as the burning and destruction almost looks like its in the past fading away. In relation to my work this is the sense that I would like to portray, the idea behind burning and destroying my images is to almost create the idea of destroyed memory, something that is there but faded and dead. I feel moving images can seem more lifelike due to the continued motion but the idea of creating a movie from still images gives a sense of past times, a memory trapped in the past.
With the images I have created that are already destroyed I would like to create some sort of movie attaching the images together but still holding the motion of dreams and subconscious memory. Like Frampton’s work I think this could work well in almost creating a hypnotic sense of past.