Observations on the history and uses of animation occasioned by the exhibition Eyes Lies and Illusions selected from works in the Werner Nekes collection
Animation: An interdisciplinary journal, 3, (1), . (doi:10.1177/1746847708088735).
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The 500 items selected from Werner Nekes' collection of 20,000 (accompanied by a judicious selection of recent works) in the exhibition Eyes Lies and Illusions (at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Thursday 2 November 2006 - Sunday 11 February 2007; previously shown at the Hayward Gallery, London in the winter of 2004-5) sketch a 400-year history of optical tools, toys and tricks. To consider them as 'pre-cinema' is to do them an injustice, pre-empting their intrinsic fascination by delivering them over to a technology their makers could scarcely have imagined.Their abiding fascination is as much about the possibility of playing with them in the present as with a Benjaminian dislocation of the recent past. It belongs, so, to a shared history of technique, and a common concern with what constitutes us as human, rather than to a catalogue of failed attempts to produce La Sortie des usines Lumières.
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