“Effective magic is transcendent nature.” — George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), Middlemarch

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS is a screening series curated by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, conceived around themes explored in their collaborative film, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013). The screening series is organized for EXPO 1: New York by Aily Nash in conjunction with the EXPO Cinema and the EXPO Colony.

Alone With the Moon by Peter Burr
2012, 14 min, video, United States
You are on a train and you are in a well and you are lying beneath the nighttime sky and as your eyes open and close, you find yourself learning not what looking feels like (as Bridget Riley painted) but what feeling looks like.  There is no landscape without a body and no vision without a self.  Your Self is black and white, inside and outside – an optical illusion in an infinite bardo plane. –BR

Klipperty Klöpp by Andrew Kotting
1984, 12 min, Super 8 to video, United Kingdom
“A post punk piece of pagan sensibility, complete with beastiality buggery and boundless energy. Maniacal film making at its best. He takes his horse with him everywhere.” — AK

Weather Diary 3 by George Kuchar
1988, 25 min, video, United States
“Shot in 8mm video and edited entirely in the camera, this picture deals with meteorological and sexual desire on the Plains. It’s the only movie in the series where I interact with storm chasers. I’m a storm squatter as I never learned how to drive a car. The young meteorology student who pays me a visit was someone I met in Wisconsin at a screening of my films/videos a few years before. This was his first visit to Oklahoma to chase tornadoes, but the storm season proved to be a dry one. His presence lubricated me on a more personal level, and our friendship helped to sweeten the sourness that happens when nature doesn’t “put out”.’ — George Kuchar, 1942–2011

Still in Cosmos by Takashi Makino
2009, 18 min, HD, Japan
Any claim to the contrary, that video does not constitute a world unto itself, is tossed to the elements herein. This ecosystem is a theater, that star is a projector beaming light through the trees.  This is not a metaphor.  Jim O’Rourke, Chris Corsano and Darin Gray’s music is the wind in our leaves, the bird call and cracking of ice. — BR