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Babette Mangolte: The Sky on Location

Babette Mangolte: The Sky on Location

The Sky on Location, by Babette Mangolte

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA presents

Babette Mangolte: The Sky on Location

Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:00pm

At MOCA Grand Avenue, Ahmanson Theater, 250 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012

Babette Mangolte in person!

Artist Babette Mangolte joins us for a screening of her film The Sky on Location, a meditation on the American landscape. “The idea for the film came while I was traveling in 1975 on buses roaming the West. Spending often a night in the bus I was leaving a sunset in Arizona and waking up by sunrise in Wyoming. I noticed that the color of the sky changed from North to South and that color shift was what I tried to capture.” Mangolte constructs a geography through color while exploring ideas of wilderness unknown to her in her native France.

The film traverses the landscape between New Mexico and Washington, across seasons, by an indirect route. In a narrative composed of three voices, Mangolte and her ostensible travelling companions consider the American west as it is depicted in painting, photography, film, and philosophy, and as it may have been seen in the past, while looking at the specific conditions of the landscape in the film’s frame: location, elevation, season, weather, light, color, time of day. “While shooting I wanted to establish the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting. And as viewers of the film we discover how much what we see is conditioned by what we already know.”

Curated by Kate Brown

Tickets: $15 general; $10 for seniors; $8 for students with ID; free for Filmforum and MOCA members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at BPT LINK TO COME or at the door.

For more information or 323-377-7238,  213/621-1745 or


Babette Mangolte (American, born in France) is an internationally known experimental filmmaker and photographer who has lived in New York City since 1970. Her body of work includes films, photographs, installation, and writing. Mangolte’s photographic archive documents the experimental theater, dance, and performance scene of the 1970s and 1980s. In 2017, the Sternberg Press published a book of her writing on art and photography, Babette Mangolte Selected Writings, 1998-2015.

Among Mangolte’s recent film work, Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramović premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007. Two films on the choreographies of Yvonne Rainer, AG Indexical, 2007, and RoS Indexical, were completed in 2008. Mangolte’s film of Trisha Brown’s choreography Roof Piece, performed on the Highline in 2011, was completed in 2012. In the same year, she finished Patricia Patterson Paintings using material shot in 1988 and 1991. Edward Krasiński’s Studio premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013. In 2014, Mangolte made the short films Steve Paxton at Dia:Beacon and Je, Nous, I or Eye, Us. She is currently editing a new feature shot in Brussels in April 2015.

Working with photographs, films, and text in installation, Mangolte creates architectural spaces that propose various modes of interactivity for the spectator. Recent installations include: Presence (Berlin Biennale, 2008), Rushes (Cologne, 2009) and How to look… 2010 (Whitney Biennial, 2010). In 2013 she exhibited: Éloge du Vert, an installation about the color green at VOX, in Montreal; TOUCHING III, an installation on photography and the viewer, at Inhotim in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and finally, an installation at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York for Rituals of Rented Island: Object Theater, Loft Performance, and the New Psychodrama–Manhattan, 1970-1980, a performance show curated by Jay Sanders.

In addition to her own extensive body of work, Mangolte is lauded for her contribution as cinematographer on films by Chantal Akerman (The Room, 1972; Hotel Monterey, 1972; Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080, Bruxelles, 1975; News From Home, 1977; Un Jour Pina a demandé, 1984), Yvonne Rainer (Lives of Performers, 1971; Film About a Woman Who, 1973), Jean-Pierre Gorin (Routine Pleasures, 1986; My Crazy Life, 1991), Michael Snow (Rameau’s Nephew, 1973), and others.


Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA furthers MOCA’s mission to question and adapt to the changing definitions of art and to care for the urgency of contemporary expression with bimonthly screenings of film and video organized and co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum—the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, video, documentary, and animation.

Education Programs at MOCA, including Contemporary Art Start and Sunday Studio, and the MOCA Teen Program, are generously supported by The Hearst Foundations, Banc of California, MOCA Projects Council, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Edison International, Joseph Drown Foundation, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, Satterberg Foundation, Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, Michael Asher Foundation, The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, The Rhonda S. Zinner Foundation, The Winnick Family Foundation, and​ Pazia Bermudez-Silverman.

Los Angeles Filmforum is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

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The Sky on Location

The Sky on Location

By Babette Mangolte

1982, 16mm, color, sound, 78 minutes

Script, Direction, Cinematography, and Editing by Babette Mangolte, Camera assistance by Ralph Cheney, Mark Daniels, Neil Harvey, Location sound by Ralph Cheney, Assistant editing by Maureen Judge, Music by Ann Hankinson, Johannes Brahms (Requiem) and Richard Strauss (Last Song).