The titles include An American Dream, Real and Unreal, Still Life, Light and Shadow, Captive Audience, Closed Circuit, The Shapes of Things, Summer Storm, City, Lago di Garda and Acceleration. You can check them all out by clicking on the image above, or the individual links for each title. I’ve been working on these films for the past couple of years, but all were released in 2016. They range in length from a half an hour to three minutes, and cover a number of different topics and approaches. They’re ”cinepoems” in the tradition of Man Ray, gathering widely disparate images together into an often conflicting, sometimes coherent whole.
Of An American Dream, critic Peter Monaghan noted that “to create his meditation on nightmarish turns in American public, personal, and psychic life, Wheeler Winston Dixon went to a vast store of archival footage: the public domain. He created his 34-minute film, An American Dream, entirely with public domain stock footage and an electronic music track. The film’s theme is the rise of late-stage American capitalism, and the decline of personal interaction amidst increasing attachment to money, violence, and consumerism. For An American Dream, he plunders in particular the banal imagery of advertising and industrial films, and deploys them in a pained lament.”
Of the much more optimistic Still Life, critic Jorge Orduna wrote that “the world turns. The oceans give and take their power. The trees grow, the sun rises and sets, and we all go through it daily, and yet we don’t think about it. In this collection of images, you’re forced to think about it, even if it’s only for a brief time. For 30 minutes, you see both the stillness and motion of life. Watching the film without interruption, with headphones on, you feel as though you’re in your own cocoon, and by the end, you’ll have a new appreciation for the world around you.”
I have a show coming up this Fall at the Amos Eno Gallery in New York, but you can see the films now, right here on Vimeo. But they do look better on a large screen. So if you’ve got a video projector lying around the house, try one of the longer ones, like An American Dream, Real and Unreal, Still Life, or The Shapes of Things, and see what you think. Those are perhaps my favorites of the group of films, and The Shapes of Things, especially, looks fabulous when projected in a theatrical setting. So get a blanket, some lawn chairs, and set it up in the backyard, or on the rooftop – after all, they’re free – something else I like about them.