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Poster for RPM Fest presents Mary Helena Clark: Figure Minus Fact

RPM Fest presents Mary Helena Clark: Figure Minus Fact

Coming on April 12

Run Time: 75 min.

Post Screening Q&A with Mary Helena Clark & Malic Amalya 

RPM and The Brattle Theatre are thrilled to co-present a program of experimental short pieces by artist Mary Helena Clark. 

Mary Helena Clark is a multi-faceted artist working in film, video, and installation based art in Queens, New York. This collection of six short films can be classified as trance-like or transparent, where Clark explores narrative figures of speech, the materiality of film, and artifacts ranging from the trompe l’oeil painting technique to CGI models. Using the language of collage, her work investigates dissociative states through cinema, bringing together disparate subjects and styles that suggest an exterior logic or code. Clark’s films blend conventions of narrative, language, and genre to shift subjectivities and push the limits of the embodied camera.

Sound Over Water
2009, 4 minutes (digital)
Blue sky and blue sea meet on emulsion.

Orpheus (outtakes)
2012, 6 minutes (digital)
Using footage from Cocteau’s Orphée, Clark optically prints an interstitial space where the ghosts of cinema lurk beyond and within the frames. (Andrea Picard)

The Dragon is the Frame
2014, 14 minutes (digital)
An experimental detective film made in remembrance: keeping a diary, footnotes of film history, and the puzzle of depression. (MHC)

The Glass Note
2018, 9.5 minutes (digital)
In The Glass Note, a collage of sound, image, and text explore cinema’s inherent ventriloquism. Across surface and form, the video reflects on voice, embodiment, and fetish through the commingling of sound and image. (MHC)

Figure Minus Fact
2020, 13 minutes (digital)
Night, like mourning, remakes space through absence: forms at the threshold of perception heighten sound and touch. When someone dies there is a pull towards the concrete and tangible, but disbelief creates a world of unreliable objects.
Figure Minus Fact draws and redraws coordinates between spaces, senses, and objects, groping in the dark, desiring to see something that’s not there. Spaces become evidentiary yet deceptive in a subjectless portrait of loss. (MHC)

2022, 19 minutes (digital)
Pivoting between two stories of women and their relationships with objects—a Swedish woman’s marriage to the Berlin Wall, and a suffragette’s hatcheting of Velásquez’s The Toilet of Venus—Mary Helena Clark’s Exhibition is a maze-like tour through images and artifacts, a dense cryptography of the forms and objects that hold us in. (Leo Goldsmith)

Malic Amalya is an Assistant Professor of Experimental Media and 16mm Filmmaking at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Malic holds an MFA in Moving Image from the University of Illinois, Chicago; a MA in History and Theory of Contemporary Art from the San Francisco Art Institute; and a BA from Hampshire College. 

Please visit for more information.

Revolutions per Minute Festival (RPM Fest) is dedicated to short-form poetic, personal, experimental film, essay film, animation, documentary, video and audiovisual performance, and is co-hosted by Art and Art History Department and Cinema Studies at UMass-Boston, Brattle Theatre in Cambridge & Harvard FAS CAMLab.

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