Hollis Frampton's Hapax Legomena


Location: Theatre Vanguard
9014 Melrose Avenue , Los Angeles, California 90069

Time: 20:00:00

Day: Wednesday


'Hapax Legomena are literally 'things said once.' The scholarly jargon refers to those words that occur only a single time in the entire oeuvre of an author, or in a whole literature. The title brackets a cycle of six films, of which only five will be shown this evening. These six make up a single work composed of detachable parts, each of which may be seen separately for its own qualities. There is no denying a tincture of oblique autobiography in this work, but it is barely my own. Rather, it is the biography of the sensibility of a persona of my own invention; I feel myself, most often, but a feeble shadow of this simulacrum, some of whose engaging traits I wish I could emulate more successfully. Nonetheless, surprisingly, I find myself largely, in sympathy with these films from the past 13 months. Concerns I had long seen as latent in 'his' work begin to emerge with unexpected resonances. For instance, if the superheated atmosphere of ZORNS LEMMA has apparently cooled somewhat (but this might just be a side-effect of the return to black and white!), nevertheless this new cycle seems to suggest, through overall construction, something the earlier film, with its aggressive packing of information into thousands of shots, could not: I mean that it suggests to me a possibility for separating formal amplitude from the excessive formal candor that has so often accompanied it in recent years. Of course I am not suggesting that such a suggestion could amount to a revelation for anyone but myself. I'm sure that for most persons it must seem... along with these films, which engendered it... thoroughly ordinary. ' -Hollis Frampton [Source: Theatre Vanguard Program Notes, 1974]