Statement by Lawrence Jordan

The kind of films that I make everyone has always had difficulty giving a title word to. First it was called underground films, a reversion to Avingar films, then American independent cinema and there are about 6 or 7 titles to try and describe simply people who work with film the same as a painter, who works with paint and canvas period. — Lawrence C Jordan

In my fifty-eight years as a filmmaker I have tried to champion film as a fine-art form- not essentially different from a painter with a brush and canvas. I have tried to be true to the medium as a vehicle for personal expression and originality, rather then a medium of ideas.

To this end I have worked with two parallel tracks- cut-out animation and what I call “personal/ poetic documentary”.

When I go into the studio to work on animation, sometimes I know the next task to be performed. At other times it is an open adventure into the unknown i.e. the unconscious, which I refer to as the “underground”.

On the other hand the documentaries comprise my interface with the real world on poetic footing. In these films I place a movie camera between myself and outside reality and try to show exactly how it was in that time and place.

An extension of my animation has always been collage and box-making. I hope to miniaturize, capture and crystallize the essence of an animated film in the stable mixed-media form. There is always an element of the surreal involved.

Animation, collage and box-making present themselves as mirror-like fragments or dream-like distortions of imaginary ritual. They press upon my outward consciousness in surreal scenes in which birds, animals, objects and characters interact with a  kind of formal spontaneity. My own belief is that the soul yearns for infinity through symbols.

I have read extensively in ancient religion, myth and fairy tale; this background, plus my classical education in science, mathematics and language feeds into all my work. Once I have elaborately prepared the material for collage and animation I can synthesize the work fairly quickly without a lot of trial and error.

Boxes are trickier and do not always work out as first conceived, but must be suffered through to final birth.