The film’s premiere took place at the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), Maine, USA. The film was screened at the Strand Theater in Rockland, Maine, USA.
You can watch excerpts of the film and read full comment on the performance from Mr Alan Magee.
Marek Pasieczny’s Für Alina in the film | Alan Magee: Art Is Not a Solace
A feature documentary about my work as a visual artist has just been completed after four years in production. The film, Alan Magee: art is not a solace, covers some of the influences from my childhood, my work as a book and magazine illustrator in New York through the 1970s, and a cathartic encounter with the stone beach at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Those stones showed me a way to move on from the life of an illustrator and to begin my real work. They became the subjects of my paintings, and they also taught me that sustained time and attention are essential in making a work of art.
In the film I speak about my discovery of the stones—a turning point in my life and work. That section opens with powerful footage of pounding surf at Pemaquid and ends with a series of my paintings. I and the editor David Berez realized that we needed music that would enhance and underscore the images and ideas being presented to viewers at this important moment in the story. David said to me, “the music has to instill a sense of awe”.
While searching for music that might fulfill that goal I remembered some extraordinary solo guitar performances by Marek Pasieczny and went back to listen again. When I revisited Pasieczny’s version of Arvo Part’s Für Alina I knew immediately—this is it!
Pasieczny’s arrangement and performance conveys, for me, a vast understanding that lies behind a radically spare piece of music. It achieves a quality that I strive for in my own work—to communicate an entire philosophy to a viewer using the simplest of means. When I paint a stone, a used envelope, or a rusted spark plug the handling of that subject cannot be casual, my relationship with the object has to be genuine. That is the where I feel a kinship with Pasieczny’s music. He fine-tunes our ears and reminds us to notice and marvel at the nuances of each note.
Marek and I seem to share an understanding that we have to approach our work with reverence and an unspoken but deep respect for our audience.