the mirror eye // 47 min. // 16mm // 2004 // view excerpt

Clement Greenberg: art critic, king maker. To those who did not agree with his controversial and strident beliefs in Taste and Quality, his influence died with Jackson Pollock. But to those who agreed that Modernism was the last defense against the encroachment of decadence, who believed that the artist is compelled to innovate by a responsibility to seek out the greatest demands of a medium, and that it was a critic's essence to step into that new territory with the artist and accept it, Greenberg held sway. In his own words, and considered by five painters not made famous by him, the reality of Greenberg - and not simply the idea - emerges. These five painters, Stephen Achimore, Scott Bennett, Darryl Hughto, Mark Raush, and Susan Roth, consider Greenberg's legacy, his direct influence on their work, and the state of contemporary culture in relation to modern art. Greenberg's own voice and the voices of the five artists join footage of each painter working in his studio with abstract hand-painted film to construct a story about belief, ambition, and the search for greatness.