In Pat O’Neill’s dizzying 1989 masterpiece Water and Power, he combines techniques of collage, time-lapse, and superimposition to depict an ongoing clash between industry and nature. Operating in a ‘city symphony mode’ that would extend elsewhere from Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera to Thom Andersen’s Los Angeles Plays Itself, this is a deeply personal experimental documentary that continues to feel utterly current but also utterly unlike anything we have seen either before or since – “it is surely the greatest of contemporary ‘city symphonies'”- Paul Arthur.
Water and Power will be preceded by Saugus Series (19 mins, 1974) an earlier abstract work that combines several formalist techniques. Both works screen from recently restored prints.
aemi is an Arts Council-funded organisation that supports and exhibits moving image work by artists & experimental filmmakers. For more information visit www.aemi.ie.