Groundbreaking filmmaker and video artist Charles Atlas (American, b.1949) has established himself at the forefront of the avant-garde over the past 40 years by collaborating with luminaries across the disciplines of visual art, dance, music, theater, and television.
He arrived in New York via St. Louis, MI, in 1970 at the age of 20, with dreams of becoming a filmmaker working during a period that gave birth to some of the cinema’s greatest revolutionaries. He got a job working with the legendary Merce Cunningham Dance Company, first as assistant stage manager and then becoming a lighting designer.
By 1974, he was the company’s filmmaker-in-residence, acquiring a Super 8 movie camera and setting out to create unedited filmic works. Soon Atlas and Cunningham began to create “media-dance,” a partnership between the camera and the performer where they move together for a series of dance performances designed specifically for film—absorbing many of the lessons that Marcel Duchamp introduced earlier in the century.
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