The Suppliant

2010, 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes
Filmed in the apartment of Jacques Dehornois, Brooklyn Heights
First public screening:
Views from the Avant-garde/ NY Film Festival, October, 2010

“Robert Beavers’s The Suppliant (2010) is an exquisitely wrought, five-minute portrait, both of the small statue of the title and of the artist/friend in whose apartment it resides. Its arms raised in appeal to an absent being––perhaps a deity, or, as the shot of the figure seen from the back implies, the radiant sun that blazes through the windows––the figure is crosscut with an unmade bed, an anatomical drawing, a painting of a male nude, and views of Lower Manhattan seen from a nearby Brooklyn promenade. Beavers pans briskly up and down the figure’s sleek surface, as if to summon its spiritual, nurturing power, cutting these moves with shots of its head, its torso, and an arm gracefully poised. Sounds are minimal and precise: A gentle scratching suggests the friend at work, perhaps shading in a pencil sketch. Without a single shot of the apartment’s occupant, images and sounds carve a portrait of a solitary life comforted by art.”
Tony Pipolo, Artforum