This exhibition of work by film and video pioneer Gunvor Nelson spans four decades and offers a rare opportunity to experience the accumulated impact of Nelson’s artistic vision. Her poetically expansive life’s work—created in both San Francisco, her home and workplace for over 30 years, and her native Sweden, where she has resettled—has consistently, often courageously, privileged her subjective gaze and individual experience. Nelson relentlessly refuses predictability (and succeeds) in her search for a true relation between project and form. Among the most experimental of artists, Nelson illuminates such elusive and intimate subjects as childhood, aging, displacement, memory, women’s roles, death, and the symbolic forces of nature and water via a potent exploration of the possibilities of sound and moving image. Her ephemeral, dreamlike images are simultaneously tactile and almost tangible, while her imaginative use of language and traces of music add considerably to the emotional impact of her works. Filmic collage and dynamic editing create tension and contrast. The unique characteristics of Nelson’s works form less a definable style than a sustained aesthetic.

Organized by Jytte Jensen, Curator, Department of Film.

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