Norman McLaren: Synchromie. Musique Optique / WRO Art Center, Wroclaw / Poland

The WRO Art Center in Wroclaw / Poland presents an exhibition that shows films by the Canadian animator and film director Norman McLaren. Norman McLaren is known for his experiments with image and sound. He developed a number of groundbreaking techniques for combining and synchronizing animation with music. In this video by Ania Eysmont, the curator of Norman McLaren: Synchromie. Musique Optique at the WRO Art Center, Piotr Krajewski, is talking about these techniques and the concept of the exhibition.

The exhibition program includes the films Fiddle-de-dee, 1947; Begone Dull Care, 1949; Test A for Synchromy, 1960s; Test B for Synchromy, late 1960s; Synchromy, 1971; Lines: Vertical, 1960; Lines: Horizontal, 1962; Pas de deux, 1968; and the documentary McLaren’s Negatives, 2006, directed by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre. Norman McLaren: Synchromie. Musique Optique at WRO Art Centerin Wroclaw runs until August 15, 2010.

Norman McLaren (1914-1987) was born in Stirling in Scotland. He studied set design at the Glasgow School of Art. As he didn’t have access to a camera, his early experiments included scratching and painting the film stock itself. His two early films won prizes at the Scottish Amateur Film Festival, where fellow Scot and future NFB founder John Grierson was a judge. Grierson, who was at that time head of the GPO Film Unit, hired him for the GPO as soon as McLaren completed his studies. After making a few films for the GPO in London, McLaren moved to New York City in 1939. At the invitation of Grierson, he moved to Canada in 1941 to work for the National Film Board, to open an animation studio and to train Canadian animators. During his work for the NFB, McLaren created his most famous film, Neighbours (1952). He made over 60 films there, winning close to like 200 international awards, including an Oscar, a Golden Palm and a BAFTA award.

Norman McLaren: Synchromie. Musique Optique / WRO Art Center, Wroclaw / Poland. Video by Ania Ejsmont. Opening Reception and interview with curator, July 21, 2010.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

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