Flyer announcing a screening of “Daydream of Darkness”, a film by Helen Adam and William McNeill with music by Pauline Oliveros, at the Peacock Gallery, San Francisco, November 22, 1963.
SF: Oannes, 1963. Single sheet of cream colour thin card stock, printed recto and verso. 30.5x12.5cm. Illustrated with four stills, two on each side.
The experimental film, a sequence of dream images in which Helen Adam plays the part of a seer/witch, was made between 1962-63 and shown just once, at Robin Blaser’s short-lived gallery, on the evening of JFK’s assassination (apparently some members of the audience called for it to be cancelled as a mark of respect). It was then abandoned and believed lost until rediscovered a few years ago.
As the film is silent (Helen Adam read the script live on the night), the accompanying music by Pauline Oliveros must have been live, but no record of this can be found and the film is not referred to by Heidi Von Gunden in her extensive study of the composer’s work (item #125).
The flyer was printed by Ebbe Borregaard’s Oannes Press, which was almost as short-lived as Blaser’s gallery (it existed for no longer than a month) and published just two titles, Helen and Pat Adam’s “San Francisco’s Burning” (songs illustrated with drawings by Jess) and James Alexander’s “Eturnature”. An upcoming film about the life and work of the Scottish/American poet and artist Helen Adam is to be titled “Daydream of Darkness”, named after the poem she embodied in her only film.