“Certaines Observations” : the films of Rose Lowder

Screening - FRAC PDL x Mire

In collaboration with the Regional Fund of Contemporary Art of the Pays de La Loire, this program aims to give an overview of the work of Rose Lowder, recipient of the AWARE 2023 prix d’honneur.

Lowder’s artistic practice began in the 1960’s and has continued to the present day. From the late 1970’s Lowder started exploring film as a medium of artistic expression. Lowder has produced over 60 16mm films over this period whose lengths vary from one minute to an hour. Most of these works are mono-screen pieces but her research into perception and the difference between what is filmed and what is perceived by the viewer has led to several multi-projection pieces such as CERTAINES OBSERVATIONS (1979), which this program has appropriated the title.
The nine works which make up the program present different periods of Lowder’s work, from her early experiments of spatial and temporal perception of a moving image to her later meditative observational works. Lowder’s work has moved from a formal analytical investigation of a motive to a more lyrical practice where the motif in part helps create the structure of the film. While her works has developed various filming strategies there is a relative constant in the motifs which we encounter. The landscapes of Provence, the Rhone valley, Switzerland, L’Ardeche and northern Italy make up the theatre of Rose’s filmmaking. Water is also an important component in the films, from her early ROULEMENT, ROUERIE, AUBAGE (1978) to her recent LA SOURCE DE LA LOIRE (2019-2021) this fluid element gives a rhythmical counterpoint to the mechanic action of the camera, it induces a cadence and pushes our regard beyond the frame of the projected image.
In her descriptive on RUE DE TEINTURIERS (1979) Rose notes « Rue des Teinturiers est composé de douze bobines, … mises bout à bout dans un ordre légèrement non chronologique, afin d’éviter de mettre en avant les aspects anecdotiques de la scène ». What once was seen, daily human activity, as anecdotic, present but rarely the principal focus, starts to appear a partir de IMPROMPTU (1989) it takes on greater importance and becomes increasingly present in her work. Humans sculpt and influence not only the environment at a local level but also determine a global footprint on the ecology and the planets resources. Lowder’s films are quietly militant rather than overtly denouncing the state of the planet, she portrays what can be achieved by changing our lifestyle, our way of production. She gives us a vision of the harmonious relationship which can exist between humans, nature, and its resources.
The moments of chance happenings which gradually sidle into the films are at times as calculated as the more formal structure of early works. The beauty revealed in these works is the result of years of observation, experimentation, technical aptitude and a certain “force de vivre”. Her work is at an intersection of whose concerns are not only formal, but political and personal.
The program is composed in an anachronic order, weaving the films together, as does Lowder with her images, each film is separate, they echo and complement the themes and motifs of its neighbour.

– MM 06/23

Miles McKane was one of the co-founders of the parisian experimental film distributor Light Cone in 1983 and the screening project Scratch Projection in 1984 as well as Mire’s programmer between 2002 and 2018. During the creation of Light Cone, he worked closely with a group of filmmakers which Rose Lowder was a part of, already active as a programmer and filmmaker in Avignon. Lowder and McKane’s paths have run parallel over the last 40 years during which McKane has never ceased to observe and show Lowder’s work. In addition to their implication in the field of experimental film, they share a commitment to environmental issues as well as an interest in the observation and recording of the natural world’s rhythms.




Boucles – Loops by Rose Lowder
1976-1997 / 16mm / 6′





Voiliers et Coquelicots by Rose Lowder
2001 / 16mm / 2′






Turbulence by Rose Lowder
2015 / 16mm / 7′



Champ Provençal by Rose Lowder
1979 / 16mm /  9′



Impromptu by Rose Lowder
1989 / 16mm / 8′



Quiproquo by Rose Lowder, music by Katie O’Looney
1992 / 16mm / 13′








Les Tournesols by Rose Lowder
1982 /16mm / 3′



Sources by Rose Lowder, music by Alexis Degrenier.
2012 / 16mm /  5’22”



Bouquets 21 – 30 by Rose Lowder
2001-2005 / 16mm / 14′