AboutJuan Fontanive's debut exhibition at Riflemaker consisted of a room of 'paper films'; mechanical flipbooks housed in tin cannisters reminiscent of an ammunitions factory clock or a 16mm cinema projector. These small modules, spools of paper attached to the wall or suspended on thin stalk-like legs delivered a form of animated storytelling using revolving hand-drawn leaves of card and flickering super 8 film.
An example of 'film without using light' as a projection source, the 'film' itself happens and exists inside of its own slightly cranky mechanism.
For 'Tin-Tan' Fontanive (b.1977 Cleveland, Ohio) has exapanded both the physical scale and the illusionary aspect of the machines. The themes remain the same, sequential repetition of motion linked by a supposed and imagined narrative. The machines create natural 'shadows' and also have a uniquely comforting sound as the pages of paper or metal fall much like the turn of the film-sprocket of a hand-turned camera. There is both comfort and an element of nostalgia in the resulting combination of both the rhythmic visual and sonic image.
My influences include clocks, drums, repetition, things that hang from the ceiling. Physical quarrels, relationships (of objects), tigers, and the persistence of vision. Literary influences are Borges, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and the theorists Derrida and Althusser. Also, memory is a good source for ideas - I've been thinking recently a lot about the house I grew up in and dreams I've had about that house."Juan Fontanive.