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Listen now to the audio portrait of our spring concert series, Site : Sound. 

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Yvonne Rainer: Kristina Talking Pictures



In this remarkable and historic document, presented here exclusively by Clocktower Radio, Yvonne Rainer introduces a "soundtrack" for her 16mm film, Kristina Talking Pictures, which was about to premier.

Minus the “pictures,” this 1976 recording is a “vocally and magnetically” annotated radio experiment, completely dictated by the director Rainer for WBAI-FM listeners. In what some may find as a challenging investigation into the limits of radio and sound, the segment can be observed as a reflection of the era's efforts to merge artistic disciplines.

Rainer's film has been likened to the works of Jean-Luc Godard and Virginia Woolf. It has been celebrated for its brevity; shifting correlations between words and images. The latter of which makes this experiment even more revolutionary. It surpasses the expectation that even a film that is substantiated as a visual spectacle can also bypass sight as an intermediary and, instead, crafting sound around those pictures with both audio effects and comments on the positioning of the camera.

Some have augmented a plot from Kristina Talking Pictures in an attempt to bestow a formal language unto an abstract thought. One could say that the film is about a female lion tamer who came to New York to become a choreographer and falls in love with a sailor. Beyond this framework, however, the work examines oppression through a collage of ideas and discussions. Actors share roles and perspectives are morphed through letters and interviews in the work, making one able to make the claim that the film is plotless. It is instead a study on the shifting correlations of persona and performer, illusions, realities, ambiguity; the word versus the image, and so forth.

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Yvonne Rainer (b. 1934), is an American dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker. Her work is often regarded as both minimalist and experimental; a reaction to her mentor, Merce Cunningham. Many have sited her early dance elements of repetition, patterning, tasks, and games as fundamental to contemporary dance technique. Some of Rainer choreographed works include; Three Satie Spoons (1961), Street Action (1970), and Two People on Bed/Table (1974). Additionally; her films include: Journeys From Berlin/1971 (1980), A Film About a Woman Who... (1974), The Man Who Envied Women (1985), and MURDER and murder (1996).
 

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A unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas for WBAI-FM, New York's Pacifica station. It features reading, lectures, and performances by such cultural and literary icons as Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others. Ruas is the author of Conversations with American Writers, a Fulbright scholar, and a distinguished French translator. He is also a contributor to ARTNews and Art in America. This series is produced in partnership with Charles Ruas, The Pacifica Radio Archives, The Yale Beinecke Library, The Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Collection, and numerous restorers, archivists and collectors.
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