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In the mid-1990s I unearthed photographic contact sheets of different women in a thrift store in the East Village. Only one was named and dated: "Elsa Kirk, Feb 22 ‘63." But all looked like they were from the same photographer and time period. There were twelve images per sheet of these models/actresses and I found myself intriqued by the strong sense of fiction and document in these photos. ELSA KIRK and CATHERINE STREET are two of the films I created from these contact sheets. At first, I was unable to translate these images into collage animation. So I reversed my usual process and began making Xerox enlargements of the sheets which became backgrounds for a series of flat collages. Gradually, these became storyboards for the films and led to the hieroglyphic montage style of the completed trilogy, an approach that I had intuited when first attracted to the potential of cutouts two decades before but had never been able to capture on film. - Lewis Klahr

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