Western Sunburn is a re-photography in video of material that was originally used in a performance during which Karl Lemieux, painted, scratched and burned film loops from an old western 16mm film. Traces of an impossible past and future collide in a trajectory where the present unravels.
"I did the performance in September 2004. From that, I had this film loop still in the can. I liked some of the images a lot. Some were heavily modified with bleach and paint, so there was something really dirty about it. Some of the images had silhouetted, recognizable figurative imagery behind that modified, handmade film surface. I knew I wanted to use some of that to do a piece. The only way to transfer the material was to re-do the performance, because the documentation of the performance included people watching the show and musicians playing and the crowd itself, and the camera shaking from one element to the other. It wasn’t usable. I had to sit down and re-photograph these film loops on a screen with a video camera. While I was doing this at some point I started to play more with the technique I used in the performance: Painting even more on the film, bleaching some of these loops even more, and then burning them. That’s the important part, which cannot be captured by an optical printer. At first it was more for archival purposes, and then it became this other project." - Karl Lemieux, INCITE!
Kashmere, Brett. "Against the Current: A Two-Part Interview with Karl Lemieux (and Daïchi Saïto)", INCITE! Journal of Experimental Media
Winand, Annaëlle. "Matériau temporel et images tactiles : l’archive dans Western Sunburn de Karl Lemieux", Archives et création ; Cahier 3, 2016, p. 35-50.