REPORT, 1963 - 1967

Basel 2019
Paula Cooper Gallery, Kohn Gallery
Film, 16mm to 35mm blow-up, black-and-white, sound; 13’; edition of 6 + 2 AP
Pioneering experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner first emerged on the Californian scene with his found art assemblages in the late 1950s. He continued to work in sculpture, painting, and collage, but it was his assemblage film that would become his lasting trademark. His monumental film, REPORT (1963–1967), was recently digitally restored in 2017. Conner deconstructs the repetitive imagery and messages from media coverage of the Kennedy assassination, fabricating an image track out of the fragments of the paltry documentary footage. The film is divided into two unequal parts, a longer, first section that Conner has called ‘the death of Kennedy’ and an ‘epilogue’ that imaginatively unpacks the Kennedy myth. It is also an astounding exposé of the media’s modes of creating meaning, of constructing messages, and ultimately of controlling information. REPORT presents an uncanny premonition of our current crisis of ‘fake news’ and the power of social media.