Lynne Sachs

Film Strip Tease  

Dedicated to Craig Baldwin’s Other Cinema
Performed live on April 9, 2022 with accompanying video
at 992 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California

Strip it all down and get into the raw material. Let me share with you the images I've excavated from this archaeological hollow.  Nowhere else on earth but here at 992 will you find so much material to send your artist brain a-soaring.

I don't come here to be inspired. I come to make my mind work so hard it's dizzying. The cave below our feet, Craig Baldwin’s film archive, holds us. It contains the way we see ourselves, the way we depict others, it guides us toward what we need to think about. It makes me sick, angry, depressed, humiliated, devastated and so painfully aware.

It's not the Internet. It's not vast, intangible, omniscient, everywhere or nowhere. It's something to hold, has weight, will decay, and destruct. I need to rush, don't stop for even a minute to breathe because if I do it will all be gone, back into the soil.

Since 1989, I've been walking down those stairs, opening those cans, spinning those reels in my search for all that I didn't know I could find but Craig led me toward, with cans and clips under his arms, in his grip. Now in mine.

I leave San Francisco, fly home to New York City and begin the exhilarating process of foisting those images and sounds into my movies. They take me where I never want to go and that's the place I should be. A year or so later, I'll come back to this place.

On this trip, I won't just visit the film cave below. I am here for  the theater above, basking in the glow of the screen where the treasures I found downstairs will dress up for the show, now pulled from their context, liberated from their intention or relevance, allowed to soar as free agents in their renaissance, their new collaged lives.

It's not the images we record with our cameras or the ones others take of us that reveal who we are in the world. The ultimate film striptease of the soul is the dance we play with those images we FIND, or find us, and gravitate towards, the few and the mighty which will puncture our very being, until, at last, we can bleed.

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