Chamisso’s Shadow: A Journey to the Bering Sea in Three Chapters. Chapter 3: Kamchatka and Bering Island

Film - Documentary | April 5 | 6:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In 2014, Ottinger journeyed to the distant regions of the Bering Sea—to Alaska, then Chukotka, and on to Kamchatka—following along the paths of historic expeditions and explorers, such as the naturalist Georg Willem Steller and Vitus Bering; later, Captain James Cook; and, still later, the poet and botanist Adelbert von Chamisso, who traveled with Otto von Kotzebue. Over a three-month period, Ottinger films the remarkable landscape, flora, and fauna; documents encounters with local residents, who subsist off the land and sea; and keeps a logbook of her experiences. Her observations enter into a fascinating dialogue with the logbooks and records of past explorers. A work of great beauty—possibly Ottinger’s magnum opus—this multipart film holds appeal for those interested in nature, history, geography, science, ethnography, indigenous cultures, art, and cinema, and should be more widely known.

Unlimited features historical photographs and stunning modernist pictures, and is especially strong in contemporary work, including images by many living masters such as Robert Adams, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, and Robert Frank. The exhibition also includes works by many Bay Area artists, both from an earlier generation—such as John Gutmann, Robert Hartman, and Richard Gordon—as well as younger photographers, such as Sean McFarland, Janet Delaney, McNair Evans, and Catherine Wagner, who are actively working members of our community with growing national and international reputations.

Additionally, the Goodman Belco collection extends to contemporary photography from China, Japan, Russia, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe, and is strong in both documentary photography and more experimental work.

In short, Unlimited: Recent Gifts from the William Goodman and Victoria Belco Photography Collection provides a reminder of the breadth of scope and variety of practice in photography, as it conveys the tangible excitement these pictures generated for their collectors, who now generously share the fruits of their enthusiasm with us.

Space is limited, and reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Jennifer Sime at 510-643-9632 or with any questions.

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