Short circuits and footnote traces: the Quay Brothers

Buchan, Suzanne (2013) Short circuits and footnote traces: the Quay Brothers. In: The Quay Brothers' Universum. Guldemond, Jaap and Bloemheuvel, Marente, eds. nai010, Amsterdam, pp. 8-15. ISBN 9789462081277. [Book Section]


Catalogue essay in The Quay Brothers' Universum,published concurrently with the eponymous exhibition at the EYE Filmmuseum Amsterdam, 15 Dec 2013-9 March 2014.

Abstract: The Quay Brothers have created one of the most compelling bodies of work in cinema. Watching any of their films means entering a complicity of furtive glances, choreographed shadows and a mélange of aural and visual motifs and tropes. Their films and non-cinematic collaborative moving image works for performances are reaching wider audiences, and there is a growing interest in art world contexts in them as artists working across creative disciplines. Museum and gallery exhibitions give audiences the opportunity to see and understand how the Quay Brothers weave a fascinating tapestry of inspirational sources into their films. Its warp – the unvarying underlying structure throughout the fabric of their work – is the puppet animation technique. The multicoloured weft threads that determine the patterns and distinctness of each of their films are drawn from the written (and unwritten) histories of art, music, architecture, cinema, performance and literature, leading us into a labyrinth of artists, authors and thinkers. Some of these are well-documented influences on the Quay Brothers, and in this essay, I will focus also on lesser-known elements in the exhibition to explore some leitmotifs, tropes and themes that are found in their films.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): Quay Brothers; puppet animation, creative process, exhibition
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 14035
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Suzanne Buchan
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 13:34
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 12:14

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