Innocence and Despair (2001): A Decade Later

 

Phil Solomon

 

Still

(4:40, Color, Sound)

 

One week after 9/11, independent filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi put out a call to over 150 experimental and documentary filmmakers asking for contributions to a collective film project (Underground Zero) addressing those tragic events and their aftermath. My five-minute contribution, Innocence and Despair, provided me with an opportunity to make my first digital video (with material culled from 16mm footage, both archival and my own) and to make something of a public work, something I had never done before.

 

The title is copped from a favorite album of mine (The Langley Schools Music Project) that was originally recorded by Hans Fenger in 1976-77 with his grade school students singing popular songs of the day. I was meditating on ideas of before and after, of how the summering people in my little film could never have imagined looking up at the sky at a world such as existed on the day…

 

Note: this video was intentionally rendered to be on the darkest edge of visibility. It helps to shut off lights and close curtains when viewing.

 

—Phil Solomon

Boulder, 2011