HANAFUDA / JASPER JOHNS
by Katy Martin
1978-81, digital transfer (from super-8mm film), 35 minutes
— DIGITAL RESTORATION in 2019 by BB Optics - new!
— Included in the exhibition, Big as Life: A History of 8mm Film in America, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York
— The soundtrack interview has been published by The Walker Art Center, MOMA and others
HANAFUDA observes the artist, Jasper Johns, and the master Japanese silkscreen printers at Simca Print Artists, as they created three different images from Johns USUYUKI and CICADA series. For me, the camera was a pretext for an in-depth apprenticeship. The finished film recapitulates my process of learning, gleaned over time, as I observed Johns and the printers at work. What I wanted to know was how one generates a work of art and, for that matter, what is art, what work is involved, and how do ideas as opposed to physical labor drive the decision making process. The films became a meditation on art and craft, as well as on the dialectic of mind and body, concept and actual work.