These works are neither avant garde cinema or traditional ethnography. I report on groups or environments of which I’m already a part. They include portraits and documents, landscapes and stories. They take the form of films, videos, photos, and recordings that tell something about a person or group of people: how they live and how they relate to each other. They’re at once removed and engaged, observing and participating, impersonal and extremely personal.
Truth and fiction are outdated concepts; their outer polarity masking an inner unity. Contemporary post-Situationist society takes the illusion of social structure as the starting point in its navigation of psychological space. As accepted truths break apart, fictions coalesce into lived experience. Depending who you talk to, secular magic can be virtually anything, but I take it as the creation of a space between truth and fiction where the impossible is experientially encountered in our lives.
Ruin as Metaphor
Tales of non-telling. These works subvert or ignore the boundaries of contemporary narrative, integrating storytelling and visual artworks in different permutations. Each has a deep investment in its story, while simultaneously transforming common notions of narrative form.
Cinema of Absence
Ross Lipman’s films and cinematic performances combine a technical mastery of diverse media with a rigorous sparse aesthetic to create sound/light environments that are at once ethereal and riveting. Looking back to classical notions of form and forward to new technology, these works utilize carefully controlled sensations of absence to point outwards to the fullness of lived experience. Spanning collage work in the 1980’s, narrative portraiture in the ‘90’s, and his current video and pictorial essays, Lipman’s oeuvre both utilizes and challenges conventional notions of the boundaries of cinematic art.