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Claes Söderquist

In Epitaph, landscape has partly taken the place of man. The film can be described as a psychodrama about loss and of the expanding toil of memory. Here a recurring space is strongly reminiscent of the setting of Michael Snow’s structuralist classic Wavelength (1967) – a film that has significantly influenced Söderquist. It constitutes a place for recovery that serves as a foil for the mythical, poetical shards and fragments of memory that are repeated through the film. A man lies naked on a sarcophagus-like concrete foundation, later to be covered by a white piece of cloth; the second part shows a blurred, naked woman looking out towards an area of deforestation. The movie ends with an image of a steppe, creating an anxious framework. Epitaph is, in Söderquist’s own words, a film “about people and things heading for annihilation”.

Keywords Experimental, Landscape, Architecture
Aspect ratio 1.33:1 (4:3)
Prod. format Generic film
Duration 00:27:00
Color BW
Year 1979
In VOD Claes Söderquist: A Retrospective in Eight Parts
Watch at home on Vimeo Rent this work for public screenings

About the artist

Claes Söderquist

Born in 1939. Studied painting at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Works as a curator and film maker. Lives in Stockholm. Chairman of Filmform’s board 1999-2012. Söderquist has curated several comprehensive exhibitions at Moderna Museet in Stockholm: “The Pleasure Dome”, American Experimental Film 1939-1979 (1980 in collaboration with Jonas Mekas), Nordic Film (1983), West German Experimental Film (1985 in collaboration with Birgit Hein) and Swedish Avantgarde Film 1924-1990 (tour in the US in collaboration with Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archives in New York).

Söderquist has also exhibited his own films and video works at the Center of Contemporary Art in Kristianstad (2014) and a solo exhibition of his work was presented at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Stockholm 2013). His films have been screened at Avant (Karlstad 2006), Moderna Museet (Stockholm 2012) and Turbidus Film (Stockholm 2014).

To find out more about Söderquist: OEI #69-70: On Film (2015), Magasinet Walden (2012 i valfiskens buk), Passager (catalogue, two volumes, 2013)