The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

See a Rose, Hear a Bomb: Films by Lawrence Jordan

Drawing on a deep knowledge of classical mythology and a wide variety of esoteric philosophies and traditions, yet propelled by his own personalized form of practicing mysticism - the work of filmmaker, collagist, master gardener and alchemist Lawrence Jordan spans over six decades of producing more than 80 films and a multitude of works on paper and assemblage sculpture, and shows no sign of slowing down yet. Jordan has been a ground breaking and influential figure in the avant-garde filmmaking and underground arts communities of the Bay Area since his arrival in the early 1950's: from his founding of the Camera Obscura Film Society (with Bruce Conner), and The Movie (the first film theatre in San Francisco to explicitly focus on avant-garde/experimental film) to his work in helping establish such important and long running institutions as Canyon Cinema and the film department of the San Francisco Art Institute. Jordan's films seem to occupy a realm that hinges on an intuitive attention (in both filmmaker and film viewer) to the collision of chance elements and their potential to unlock deeper currents in the intersecting spheres of the external natural world and the immaterial inner worlds of the mind and what some have called the spirit. With a deep understanding of the literal and metaphorical applications of the collage theory as outlined by Max Ernst (whose books of engraving collages originally inspired the form of animation Jordan has become perhaps most known for) who stated his technique as: "the systematic exploitation of the accidentally or artificially provoked encounter of two or more foreign realities on a seemingly incongruous level - and the spark of poetry that leaps across the gap as these two realities are brought together.” 

The Lab and Black Hole Cinematheque are pleased to present a program that seeks to give a brief sampling of the vast and varied scope of filmmaking styles Jordan has worked in throughout his career. Ranging from two of his newest collage animations, Entr' Acte and Entr' Acte II, to the formation of what he terms his "personal poetic documentaries", in oceanic odyssey of the 1957 film Waterlight, to the inner and outer journeys and portraits of Triptych in Four Parts (1958) and Postcards from San Miguel (1997), to an oscillation between two drastically different forms of collage animation in The Soccer Game (1959) and Finds of the Fortenight (1980), the latter made in collaboration with the artist Jess (Collins). We are also honored to have the night conclude with a live expanded cinema performance from Lawrence Jordan himself and frequent collaborator John Davis.