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Paper Landscape

Guy Sherwin
1975 (2009)
10mins Colour Silent Super 8
film performance for transparent screen and white paint

Paper Landscape

The filmmaker interacts with film projected onto a transparent screen, playing with the illusion of time and space.

Paper Landscape plays with the illusory space within the screen by working directly with the material of the screen. A live performance is played off against a filmed record of a past event.

It starts with the projector illuminating a transparent polythene screen. Behind the screen stands the performer/filmmaker who applies white paint to the polythene. As a result the film image is revealed; it shows the same performer slowly tearing up a paper screen of the same size, to reveal a landscape. With the live performer gradually walling himself in behind a layer of white paint, the attention of the audience turns increasingly to the image of landscape projected onto this surface, and to the illusory performer who demonstrates the nature of deep space by running into the distance until he has merged with the landscape. Finally the confines of the cinema space are dramatically reaffirmed as the live performer slices the screen and steps through into the space that the audience occupies. G.S.

'The most vivid portrayal of (...) paradoxical space must be Guy Sherwin's film-performance 'Paper Landscape' (1975/2003). Here, for one magical moment, we believe that the filmed protagonist (the artist himself), after slowly tearing away the paper screen obscuring the view, has transgressed the surface of the image and entered the great beyond, running into an English pastoral idyll, only to be shattered when the back-painted projection screen is slashed by the present day artist, bringing us back into our dislocated present.'

Dan Hays PAINTING IN THE LIGHT OF DIGITAL REPRODUCTION Culture Machine. For complete article go to

Video documentation of Paper Landscape performed at Les Voutes Paris 2006 can be found at:

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