Between 1945–46, the pioneering experimental filmmaker Marie Menken made her first solo film: a four-minute, black-and-white work entitled Visual Variations on Noguchi. In Isamu Noguchi’s New York studio, Menken moved quickly between and around his sculptures, rapidly manipulating a 16mm Bolex camera to achieve radical shifts of perspective. With this frenetic film, Menken pioneered a new and highly influential hand-held filmic strategy and simultaneously produced a riotous and disorienting portrait of Noguchi’s work in motion. In 1953, composer Lucia Dlugoszewski, a friend of both Menken and Noguchi, produced an equally jarring score for the film which pieces together a haunting collage of discordant sounds. With this film projected in its original format, alongside a selection of Noguchi’s related sculptures, A Glorious Bewilderment: Marie Menken’s “Visual Variations on Noguchi” will explore the interplay and affinities between these three artists’ practices and celebrate Menken’s invitation to bring the full force of our moving bodies to Noguchi’s work.
Presented by The Noguchi Museum, the show will run until February 4th, 2024.