Drawing from the Nasher Museum’s permanent collection of contemporary art, The Cinematic Impulse explores the intricate relationships between cinema, visual art, and culture. Cinema, in the sense of a moving image, came about in the late 1800s, and its evolution has had a lasting impact on contemporary society. Its stories and images are sharply etched into our imaginations and act as windows into the shifting ideals, fantasies, and preoccupations of society. The artists represented in this installation use a variety of strategies to visually examine the effects of Hollywood, from photography and video art to film itself. Their approaches reveal and examine the power of cinema, its origins and histories, audio-visual relationships, film narratives whether implied or direct, editing processes, and character studies.
As predicted by legendary French New Wave filmmaker of the 1960s Jean-Luc Godard, cinema is everywhere—it is no longer confined to the dark chambers of a theater. Cinema is streaming through our flatscreen TVs in the comforts of our own homes and readily available on our mobile devices as we travel from place to place. The speed with which moving images are being distributed and received is more accelerated than ever before and has become central to our understanding of the art and culture of today. The artists featured in The Cinematic Impulse are a direct example of this exchange between the moving and still image. Their works break apart and re-arrange the origins of cinema into new experiences, practices, and moments of self-reflection.