Is this burning an ETERNAL FRAME?

|| The Eternal Frame (1975) is a videotaped reenactment of the assassinated of John F. Kennedy’s assassination by Antfarm which seeks to draw attention to the power of the mediated image.

 

Antfarm is a collective of radical artists founded in San Francisco in 1968 by Chip Lord and Doug Michels (1943-2003) that sought to rebel against the conformative style of art in their time and build a community of artists that vigorously experimented with new forms of art.[1]

 

http://kadist.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ant-farm-eternal-flame-2.jpg

 

In an Interview with Chip Lord by Randall Packer over the Third Space Network stream, Chip Lord mentions that John F. Kennedy’s death was the first televised American tragedy ever, and Eternal Frame sought to explore the power of the media to immortalise such a historical moment and ingrain it into the minds of people by converting a real-life event into a processed memory via the media. [2]

 

 

In another interview about The Eternal Frame hosted by Constance Lewallen (2012), Doug Halls states that he resonates with Jean Jacque-Rousseau’s view that something cannot be true until it’s fictionalised, and the interpretation of a memory aberrates as it is constantly reappropriated throughout time, which is possible if an event is immortalised in a digital form. [3]

 

” I think that idea of you kind of grasping to it and extricated into your time, then in the act of doing that, certain truths disappear but other ones begin to emerge.”

– Doug Halls

 

 

Taking the achievements of past post-modern art movements like Constructivism and Futurism to a greater level, Antfarm’s fearless venture into different media and experimenting with different spatial contexts allowed them to successfully added new layers of meanings in their artworks that allowed them to make political and social statements.

 

 

Resources:

[1] Constance Lewallen, Still Subversive After all These Years

[2] Interview with Chip Lord: https://vimeo.com/257224713

[3] The Eternal Frame, hosted by Constance Lewallen: https://vimeo.com/53734504

  1 comment for “Is this burning an ETERNAL FRAME?

  1. March 1, 2018 at 11:06 am

    A very philosophical research critique! I feel this statement is very thought provoking:

    Eternal Frame sought to explore the power of the media to immortalise such a historical moment and ingrain it into the minds of people by converting a real-life event into a processed memory via the media.

    I think even Ant Farm has difficulty explaining the meaning of the work. But this statement speaks to the idea of how the event lives on through the mediated image, just like 9/11. These kind of iconic images are burned into our consciousness, thus memorialized, never to be forgotten. The Zapruder Film, which the Enternal Frame was based on, did exactly that, such that the artwork made critique of that phenomenon through its re-enactment. I thought your essay captured that idea very nicely. My only critique of your essay is that it may have strengthened it by adding more detail about the event itself, how it was staged, the fact that it was done in Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination, and interestingly the reaction of the bystanders in Dallas, many of whom were there when it really happened. How haunting is that!

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar