Movements of Media in Yvonne Rainer's Hand Movie (1966) and Richard Serra's Hand Catching Lead (1968)

Kyle Bukhari


This article focuses on two experimental films from the 1960s: Yvonne Rainer’s Hand Movie (1966) and Richard Serra’s Hand Catching Lead (1968). It scrutinizes the way both works exhibit a hybridized and indeterminate approach to artistic media. It offers an empirical reading of the films’ movement and contextualizes them historically to move on to a theory of medium informed by Deleuze, Levinson, and Rajewsky. How does Rainer’s move from the time-based media of dance and choreography, and Serra’s move from the object arts of painting and sculpture, into the medium of film, advance our understanding of what is at stake aesthetically when boundaries of media are dissolved, transited, or displaced? Dance aesthetics requires that we show how movement gets translated into medium. I propose that the movement of media creates a displacement that is parallel to the displacement from the empirical to the theoretical in this article, where displacement becomes a form of reflection and critique.


Yvonne Rainer; Richard Serra; experimental film; medium; hybridity

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Copyright (c) 2017 Kyle Bukhari

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