In a work meant to serve as a grand summa of his career, Markopoulos enacts an almost violent suppression of his own images – one that is compounded by reports that the original negatives were destroyed upon integration into Eniaios. But alongside this sensation of negation – indeed, through it – one discovers something very different: a total recalibration of one’s own vision and one’s relation to filmic movement.
Markopoulos’s preoccupation with the single frame reached its apotheosis in his final film Eniaios (1947–91): Most of its images are between just one and a few frames long. He created the silent, eighty-hour magnum opus for exclusive viewing at the Temenos, the remote site in the Peloponnese that he selected as the ideal home for his work. Composed of re-edited footage from twenty of his earlier films, as well as unprinted work, it was meant to supersede them all.
Markopoulos spent much of his career focused on various methods for editing and interrelating “short film phrases” and individual compositions (of often inanimate objects, emptied rooms, and unpopulated landscapes) in elaborate patterns, and finally on the effects of individual frames as they puncture and punctuate passages of darkness—like flashes in a night sky, or musical notes suddenly piercing silence. Eniaios is the complex culmination of this life’s work.