Twenty Cigarettes, 2011
1 hr 39 min.
Improvising on the canon of Andy Warhol’s screen tests, James Benning invited twenty friends to be recorded individually by his camera. Leaving each subject alone with the camera after fixing the frame and using the cigarette as a device to distract from the inherently self-conscious action of being filmed, Benning investigates in Twenty Cigarettes the profound exchange of watching and being watched that characterizes the cinematic experience—the subjective recording that takes place in the memory of each viewer, and the intimacy that develops between individual and image.
Films featured in James Benning: Quilts, Cigarettes & Dirt (Portraits of America) will be screened at multiple Santa Barbara venues throughout the duration of the exhibition. Visit mcasantabarbara.org/upcoming-events for additional screening dates and times.
This community screening will take place at SBCAST, Studio D, 513 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.