Nightfall by James Benning, 2011
HD video, 98 minutes
Image: courtesy the artist
Exhibition location: theater screening
Nightfall is a study of real-time light changing from day to night. It was filmed in a forest high up in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. – James Benning
Nightfall (2011, digital, color, sound, 98 min.) consists of a single 98-minute shot made at a high elevation in the woods in the west Sierras that begins in late afternoon as the sun is going down and ends in near blackness. Widely acclaimed for his great 16mm durational films about the American landscape, James Benning has been making new work in digital HD since 2009. One of the possibilities of digital filming that Benning has reveled in is the extreme duration possible, an extension of his earlier film work in which shots were one minute or ten minutes long. Now With Nightfall, he invites the audience to slow down and observe the most basic elements of nature in a way that very few of us do.