Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma is a video collage of film clips, still photographs, on-screen text, and images of the filmmaker and other performers; its theme, Godard professed, is the death of cinema, with his analytical use of video to synthesize images from its history acting as a kind of requiem for the indelible power of film on our collective subconscious. It is effectively an essay on the filmmaker’s disappointment with cinema’s failure to save the world from horror and lead to profound revolutionary change. The full cycle, comprising four chapters (in eight parts) and completed in 1998, set artistic and technological standards for the future of video, a medium that Godard considered more democratic than celluloid and that he had been attracted to and exploring since the early 1970s. Histoire(s) du cinéma, a rarely screened achievement, remains the artist's mostpassionate self-portrait in image and sound.
Gallery label from Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now, November 17, 2011-February 17, 2014.