Grace Going Awkwardly

1974. Super8 film.

Portable anthropology in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori concerning people’s installing, displacing, transforming, and carting away the objects that define such adaptive architectural places as street markets and parking lots.

I started making films when I was a student in architecture school because cinema suggested techniques that might be adapted for exploring the dynamic and ephemeral dimensions of architectural space.  My MArch thesis in Super8 studied Campo de’ Fiori market in its affair with virtual territories and boundaries and circulation zones—a kind of place that is erected and dismantled in the course of a day, day after day, year after year.  I speculated that filmic structure could be mapped to the structure of architectural space.  I was working with conventions of movie construction that pertain to its discontinuities, distances, edges, and exposure—divested of any narrative or expressionistic connotations—construed simply as analogs for 3-dimensional material-spatial relationships.

It was furthermore a  study of three-dimensional awkwardnesses.  I wanted to associate the camera’s mobility more with the movements of bodies than those of their eyes.  So the editing was concerned with how I could construct this awkwardness in the film without trimming out all the abruptnesses of it into a fluid and easygoing 15 minute dance adagio, and still without having it fall apart in the uneasy disjointedness that I wanted to articulate clip by clip.