(Part of my Artist research. K. S )
Man Ray ( 1890–1976 ) US Photographer, painter, object maker, avant garde film- maker, essayist, poet, philosopher, born Emmanuel Radnitzky . He was a leading figure in the New York and European Dada movements, he is best known for Violon d'Ingres (1924), his photograph in which he made the back of a female nude resemble a violin. Man Ray was an extraordinary man with extraordinary talents. One of the primary leaders of the American modernist movement, he single-handedly pioneered some of the 20th century's most important arts innovations. AMERICAN MASTERS explores the creative and personal passions of this inspiring genius in Man Ray - Prophet of the Avant-Garde. Narrated by Stockard Channing, the film traces Ray's remarkable legacy from his humble beginnings in New York City to his distinctive achievements in Paris and, finally, to his impact upon future generations across the spectrum of creative arts.
'The Return to Reason',1923
Wonderful Order In Chaos
One of the first Dadaist experimental film 'The Return to Reason, 1923, white specks and shapes gyrating over a black background, a light-striped torso, a gyrating eggcrate. One of the first Dadaist films. 'The Return to Reason' was the first film to be made by the celebrated surrealist artist, Man Ray. The American-born artist made the film soon after he moved to Paris in the early 1920s to found the Dada movement.
For Dada, war meant the loss of reason, but the images that Ray’s film comprises—visual sensations of one sort or another—shift the emphasis to who has “returned to reason,” the film is 3 minutes but includes some astonishing and evocative images. The early segments of the film iillustrates a technique which Man Ray pioneered in static photography, the rayograph, In film, an object is placed between a light source and photo-sensitive - sensual film, in contrast to traditional photography where photographic film captures light reflected off an object. For film Man Ray sought to extend the rayograph technique to a moving image. He sprinkled salt and pepper on one piece of film, pins on another, illuminated the film for a few seconds, then developed the film. The resulting images resemble a seriously weird drugs trip.
Film maker added additional sequences to make the film of sufficient length to have an impact. These include night shots of lights at a fairground and a section in which a paper mobile appears to dance with its shadow. For the final few seconds of the film, Man Ray shot some hallucinatory images of the nude torso of his model, Kiki of Montparnasse, illuminated in striped light, Geometric designs and real objects yield to a human form: a naked woman’s torso, indoors, in bright daylight. Her round belly and breasts are the ground on which figures—shadows—generated by the natural light dance, assuming the curvature of her shape. The woman is introduced as a dancer in a title; or are the shadows thus being described? Regardless, their combination is incredibly sensual.
Man Ray - 'The Return to Reason',1923