St. Moritz Art Film Festival


John Stezaker

2022 Color PG NA 00:10:00

Train was intended to be the successor to the first film loop Horse, as a second reference to the origins of cinema, with the Lumière brothers' first public presentation of the train coming into the station. Like Horse it exploited the standardised form of photographic portraits made of both trains and racehorses. Cinema uses image multiplicity to create movement but these loops aim at achieving an (impossible) stillness in multiplicity. Many other film loops have been made in the intervening years but Train ended up being made recently, during lockdown. It was first made for the Morra Greco Foundation in Naples, to be projected onto the space within a fourth century BC Greek arch in the basement of the gallery, behind which is believed to be the entrance into the ancient Neapolitan underworld and where recent excavations made during the extension of the Naples underground railway unearthed remains of a Roman amphitheatre, which immediately halted the advance of this branch of the subway. The first projection of Train was intended to celebrate the arrest of this urban development. Train was intended as a kind of ghost of a train which will never arrive. The loops consist of hundreds of what are essentially portraits of individual trains projected at 24 frames per second to create a restless stillness in a landscape rendered invisible by movement.


John Stezaker