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Babette Mangoltemangolte


Visual Arts Facility 455

Babette Mangolte was born and raised in France. She discovered Cinema with the New Wave. In 1964 she became one of the first women accepted by "L'Ecole Nationale de la Photographie et de la Cinematographie" in the section "Cinematographie, Class 1965 66." This school, known as "Vaugirard," was funded by Louis Lumiere in 1922. Mangolte worked as an assistant camera on several feature films in the late 60's, and shot her first feature as a Director of Photography in 1970, L'Automne, directed by Marcel Hanoun. Her interest in experimental work led her to visit the U.S. and the New York film scene in 1970. There she discovered dance, performance, and theater and got involved in the Soho art scene of the early 70's. She has lived in New York City since 1972. Mangolte is well-known for her cinematography of Jeanne Dielman (1975), with Delphine Seyrig, and News From Home (1976), directed by Chantal Akerman, and Lives of Performers (1972) and Film about a Woman who... (1973), directed by Yvonne Rainer. She has worked as a cinematographer with Michael Snow, Richard Foreman, Robert Whitman, and has made films for Trisha Brown and Robert Rauschenberg. She worked in England with Sally Potter on The Golddiggers (1981), with Julie Christie. She also worked with Jean Pierre Gorin on Routine Pleasures (1986) and My Crazy Life (1991). In 1975 Mangolte completed her first film, What Maisie Knew, which received the "Prix de la Lumiere" at the Toulon Film Festival in 1975 (Marguerite Duras was president of the jury). The film is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Paris at Centre George Pompidou. Her second film, The Camera:Je, La Camera:I, is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Cold Eye, her third feature, is at the Berlin Cinematheque and the Royal Belgium Cinematheque in Brussels. Her fourth feature, The Sky on Location, was co-produced with Zweites Deutches Fernsehen, West Germany. These films have been selected for major film festivals: Berlin, Edinburgh, and Toronto, and have been shown in all the major showcases in the U.S.: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley; Anthology Film Archives, New York; The Film Center at the Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Film in the Cities, Minneapolis; Boston Film and Video, Boston. Other films by Mangolte include Visible Cities (1991), which premiered at the 1991 Oberhausen Film Festival in Germany, and was acquired by the Berlin Cinematheque in 2000, and Four Pieces by Morris (1993), produced with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Museum. Since the late 1990s Mangolte has had numerous showings of her past films here and abroad and has had two complete film retrospectives. The first retrospective was in 2000 in Germany in three cities Berlin, Hamburg and Munich and was organized by Madeleine Bernstorff and Klaus Volkmer from the Munich Film Archives. The second retrospective was in New York City in September 2004 at Anthology Film Archives. Among the important group shows of the last years are The American Century Show at the Whitney Museum in fall 1999, Screening Manhattan, a week-long event in Vienna (Austria) in 2000 and Fate of Alien Modes at the Secession Museum also in Vienna in 2003 and in Karlsruhe Germany in 2004. Mangolte has finished in 2003 a video documentary about the making of the 1959 Robert Bresson’s Pickpocket entitled Les Modèles de Pickpocket. An early version of the film synopsis under the title Breaking Silence was published in Robert Bresson, edited by James Quandt and republished in a literary magazine Brick (Toronto, Winter, 1998). Les Modèles de Pickpocket opened in New York City in September 2004 and toured all through 2004 and 2005 in the US and abroad. Articles and reviews on Mangolte’s films have been published in Cahiers du Cinema, Camera Obscura, Village Voice, Monthly Film Bulletin, Chicago Reader, and Afterimage. Numerous books on feminist film practice mention Mangolte's contribution as a cinematographer and/or as a filmmaker. Among the most noteworthy are Issues in Feminist Criticism, edited by Patricia Erens, University of Indiana Press, 1990 (essays by Annette Kuhn, Ruby Rich, Teresa de Lauretis); Indiscretions: Avant Garde Film, Video and Feminism, by Patricia Mellencamp, University of Indiana Press, 1990; The Future of an Illusion: Film, Feminism, and Psychoanalysis, by Constance Penley, University of Minnesota Press, 1989. Scott MacDonald, has written about her films in Critical Cinema, UC Press, 1988 and in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment in “Ten (Alternative) Films and Videos on American Nature” (Winter, 1999) and recently in his book The Garden in the Machine (UC Press 2001). Lucinda Furlong analyzes The Sky on Location in “Landscape as Cinema: Projecting America,” Visions of America: Landscape as Metaphor in the Late Twentieth Century, Harry Abrams, 1994. Madeleine Bernstorff wrote on Visible Cities in Frau and Films (Germany). Recently Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote about Les Modèles de Pickpocket in Chicago Reader and a long dossier on Mangolte including an interview, a review of Les Modèles de Pickpocket by Brian Price and an article by Malcolm Turvey on Mangolte’s films “A Neutral… Average Way of Looking at Things” was published in Framework Spring 2004 (Wayne University Press). Mangolte is also a well-known photographer of Dance, Performance, and Theater. Her photographs are published in numerous books and art magazines such as October, Artforum, Performing Arts Journal, The Drama Review, etc. Several of her photographs were included in the Whitney Museum Catalog, The American Century Art and Culture 1950-2000 and in the Tate Modern Century City catalog (2001). In fall 1998, October published Mangolte’s article, “My History: The Intractable,” an essay on photography illustrated by more than 30 photographs. Mangolte is currently at work on sorting out her photo archives as solicitation for prints for shows have increased in the last five years. In 2001 a dance film for 3 screens shot in 1973 but never released Roof Piece (choreography by Trisha Brown) was produced as an installation by the Tate Modern in London and featured in their Century City show (Winter 2001). The Roof Piece installation was included with photographs and Four Pieces by Morris in Art Lies and Videotapes: Exposing Performance a reflexive show on performance curated by Adrian George at Tate Liverpool in Fall 2003. Recently Mangolte wrote a text reflecting on changing technologies “A Matter of Time: Analog versus Digital, the perennial question of shifting technology and its implications for an experimental filmmaker’s odyssey” published in Camera Obscura Camera Lucida: Essays in honor of Annette Michelson (Amsterdam University Press 2002) that has been translated in French (Trafic # 50 Spring 2004) and in German (Frau and Films upcoming Fall 2004). She is currently at work on an article reflecting on the work and writings of Robert Bresson.