Robert Kramer Retrospective [1991]

Video Letters: Robert Kramer and Stephen Dwoskin

- 1991 / France, UK / English / Color / 123 min / Video

Photography: Robert Kramer, Stephen Dwoskin
Source: Erika Kramer

Between February and June, 1991, Robert Kramer and Steve Dwoskin exchanged several video letters (four by Kramer, three by Dwoskin) shot in Hi8. Kramer’s first three are entitled “Hi, Steve” and the fourth “Robert to Steve.”They are dated, respectively: February 18 (length: 15 min), February 23 (19 min), April 1 (12 min), and June 5 (21 min). Dwoskin’s three letters are entitled “Dear Robert” and are dated February 28 (13 min 9 sec), March 7–13 (20 min), and April–June (23 min).

-- “The video letters to Steve—that was great. I don’t remember how we started to do it. It was in the shadow of Berlin. I like this idea of shooting in the camera. All my letters are shot on direct. What you see is what was shot. The sound is in that period of time. Both of us like it very much. I used to spend a lot of time thinking about the letter, and where to start and how to do it. I would plan this whole thing out. There’s a lot of that feeling which does merge film and performance. I like the tension that’s in that situation and try and work it all out physically. It’s another way of thinking about mise en scene.”

—Robert Kramer (Festival Cinema Giovani 1997)

• Robert Kramer Retrospective | FALN | In the Country | The Edge | Ice | People’s War | Milestones | Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal | Guns | A Great Day in France / Birth | As Fast as You Can | Fear | Doc’s Kingdom | Route One / USA | Dear Doc | Berlin 10/90 | Video Letters: Robert Kramer and Stephen Dwoskin | Leeward | Point de départ / Starting Place | Walk the Walk | The Coat | Ghosts of Electricity | SayKomSa | Cities of the Plain | Against Forgetting