Can you talk about some of the themes in each tent and imagery that you use?
FC: The theme of my paintings is the search of a stable self beyond the fragmentation of experience. The first tent shows the body as a source of illumination; the second and third tents are about good and evil being two sides of the same coin; the fourth tent is about pepper, spices, and the stars which guided the sailors of old; the fifth tent is about what happens when the wolf and the sheep stop praying together and have to go the way of their nature; the sixth tent is a playful riff on my dubious role as an artist, and on the dubious role of art institutions.
CC: From early on, we discussed that we wanted the film not to feel like a straightforward documentation of the tents. While we had to capture the process of the tents going up and the orchestration behind it, it was even more important to give the viewers the experience of being in the tents. The music [a score by the Kronos Quartet] also became another narrative in the film.
FC: You made the film as if following a soundtrack in your head.
CC: Yes, most of my work is voice and music that drive the stories but here we needed something that could carry the story along and have arcs and a finale. We tried several pieces but not until we heard the Kronos Quartet piece did it feel like we actually had a film.
FC: I was once acquainted with the Kronos Quartet through the great Morton Feldman and admire them tremendously.
CC: What was it like to know that I was filming you? Did you feel that there was a different dynamic between us, as subject/director versus father/daughter?
FC: We were both so focused on our own work that we had no time to quarrel. Even if we are both soft-spoken neither of us can claim to be easy.
CC: While I’d like to defend myself, I have to agree. But I learned it from somewhere!
Once we were in the space, we both could do our work without questioning the other. It was the first time I was operating the camera in many years. This was a challenge at times but I can’t imagine having captured the tents going up in another way because it was so instinctual, like a dance moving from side to side and around.