'satire'

José Carlos Casado – Agnus Dei

8th May 2012 by doron
animation | arts | documentary arts | satire


Agnus Dei
agnus dei.v06 (2006, 11.8MB, 2:53 min.)

José Carlos Casado – Agnus Dei.
OK, a species of satire, clearly,
but such dream-beautiful satire.


More Larissa Sansour – Happy Days

2nd May 2012 by michael
activism | arts | controversy | exhibition | music video | observational | performance | place | politics | satire | video


Larissa Sansour: Happy Days
Larissa Sansour: A Happy Days (2006, 13MB, 2:57 min)

Following on from the work we showed last week from the
excellent Subversions show, here’s another piece by
Larissa Sansour.
This is featured in the other UK show featuring work
from the Arabic speaking world, this time specifically
from artists with roots in Palestine, Navigations at
the Barbican in London.

There’s some tremendous work on show there, not least this
one – all the work Sansour I’ve so far seen has delighted me
by being much better than a verbal description might lead one
to expect. So with this one you might hear:

“To the tune of the theme from Happy Days Larissa Sansour
edits together stills of herself, a Palestinian woman,
in various locations in the occupied territories.”

And you might think:

“Ho-hum, seen it all, virtuous agit-prop, with the usual sledgehammer irony”

and you would be totally wrong.

Of course the irony is there, and anger, of course, but
there’s a lightness of treatment – the Sansour “character”,
the everyday found surrealism of some of the shots, the
little jokes (the titles: “The Palestinian”
– “The Israeli Army as…Itself” &c.)
which, without negating any political content, makes the
whole thing richly human and a pleasure to watch and watch again.

Navigations is definitely worth a visit – there is a great variety
of very engaging work.
Apart from the two Sansour pieces there’s a tremendous semi-documentary
work
shot in a Miami auto paint and body shop by Shadi Habib Allah
Two complaints though – unlike the lovingly assembled and spacious show
in Manchester, Navigations feels like a somewhat cramped and token
footnote to the “proper business” of the Palestine Film Festival -
publicity for it only appears on the Barbicam website in this context.
(Better than a couple of weeks back when a search for “Navigations” on the Barbican
website yielded precisely – nothing.)
This is disrespectful to artist moving image work in general and
also, I think, to the artists concerned.
Secondly the fact that it sits, looking a tad temporary, on the
busy walk-through mezzanine on four small identical screens, with long
compilation times, gives it an anthropological rather than an art
exhibition character, whilst the (yawn!) Bauhaus blockbuster takes place
upstairs in the galleries proper. This is again disrespectful to
the artists and specifically to them as Palestinian artists:
footnotes, curiosities, on the margins.
Work of this strength and diversity would have made a great large scale
show – Cornerhouse show that it can be done and how to do it very well.
What a shame that the Barbican, with all its resources, doesn’t
seem to understand both why and how it should have attempted something
similar.
Nonetheless, if in London, you should go!


The Yes Men – Vivoleum

25th April 2012 by doron
activism | arts | community | politics | satire | trailer | tribute


yesmen tribute
Tribute to Reggie (excerpt) (2007, 52MB, 2:51 min.)

Vintage Yes Men from 2007, posing as representatives of Exxon-Mobil
and the National Petroleum Council in Calgary, Alberta, to deliver a keynote
speech presenting a new product – Vivoleum, a new fuel made from the
deceased bodies of human climate-change casualties.
‘Tribute to Reggie” was a promo video for the event.


Subversion at Cornerhouse

24th April 2012 by michael
arts | exhibition | historical | humor | identity | landscape | music video | narrative | performance | place | poetry | politics | portraiture | satire | trailer | video


Larissa Sansour: A Space Exodus
Larissa Sansour: A Space Exodus ( Clip) (2009, 7MB, 1:15 min)

Tarzan and Arab: Colourful Journey (Trailer)
Tarzan and Arab: Colourful Journey (Trailer) (2010, 11MB, 1:38 min)

Here are two clips from videos featured in the excellent Subversion show,
featuring artists from the Arabic speaking world, currently on (to 5th June) at
Manchester’s Cornerhouse.
It is carefully, elegantly and thoughtfully curated by Omar Kholeif, who writes:

“Like many of the artists I was looking at, I felt that collectively
curators and writers associated with the politically unstable Arab world were
being asked to step up and perform to an identity that the world wanted us to play.
With Subversion my aim was to do just the opposite. I worked with artists who
referenced this very language but who wanted to dissent, poke fun, critique
and re-define themselves as artists of the imagination, and not of any specific
social or political condition.”

It has to be said that this bending of the stick is eminently successful – none
of the works included has any taint of tokenism, they are rich with a poetry,
humour and humanity that cuts entirely across any notional cultural divide.
Where they do focus upon political subject matter (and one should not form the
impression that this is a show with, in any sense whatsoever, its political teeth pulled)
what delights is the richness and the playfulness with which this is done.
Larrisa Sansour’s “A Space Exodus” is both gentle and devastating.
Gentle, the Sansour persona (and we’ll have another piece of hers next week)
presented in the work, with the rather stylish space suit, the wistful smile and wave
towards the far away earth, having planted the Palestinian flag on the moon:
“That’s one small step for Palestinians, one giant leap for mankind”.

Devastating when one sets this gentleness by the side of what we know of the Apartheid
wall, the illegal settlements, punishment demolition of Palestinian homes &c.
(Anyone who doubts the piece’s political impact should take a look at the vile racism
of some of the comments on the YouTube posting of this clip
- “Send all the Palestinians to the moon” &c.)

The other piece featured here is from the Gazan twins Ahmed and Mohamed Abu Nasser,
known professionally as “Tarzan and Arab”.
Although (in a disarming interview in which they come across a bit like a smiley
and un-terminally-corroded-by-snotty-cynicism younger version of the Chapmans)
they assert the piece is in some sense about internecine Palestinian conflict,
to me it reads more like a balletic paean of love to the cinema, to the
moving image (including perhaps the video game too – what do you think?).
Until last year Tarzan and Arab had never been to a cinema and have largely
been unable to attend screenings of their own works abroad.
In fact their first works, also shown at Cornerhouse, were old style film posters
for non-existent movies
, all given titles from the names of Israeli military
operations: Defensive Shield, Cast Lead &c.(as, indeed, their film has too).

There is a great deal more to this show, which covers diverse geographical slices
of the Arabic speaking world and where therefore the interaction between life
and art has a different tempo and character to the works by the Palestinian
artists discussed here.

And it’s all great – I don’t have space here to properly do the whole thing justice.
In particular, though, I do want to mention Akram Zaatari’s two luminously beautiful
films set in the milieu of gay life in Beirut – though again to outline them thus,
in one line, in terms of “topic”, is to oversimplify – we must distinguish between
ostensible topics and the dense, lyric and dazzling poetry which they engender.
Also Khaled Hafez’s wonderful short “On Presidents and Superheroes”
(yet another political context, that of a staggeringly prescient augury of a victorious
but still contested Egyptian revolution) but I simply am going to just mention it as I
hope to write something a little bit more extended about it when I post a clip here (soon!).

If you possibly can, do yourself a big favour and go and see this show; give
yourself plenty of time, there’s a lot to see and some of the moving image work
is quite lengthy (and hats off to Omar Kholeif for achieving installations of
works that are appropriate, thought provoking and, somewhat banally but importantly at my age, comfortable.)
If you’re travelling from out of town (and I urge you so to do, dear reader, I urge you)
you can also catch the tremendous Roger Ballen show at the Manchester Art gallery,
which is a whole other story.

I’ll be returning to Subversion both here and in a somewhat more extended piece
of writing for MIRAJ next year.


Charlie Mars – Videomaker from Outerspace

22nd February 2012 by doron
animation | arts | experimental | movie | satire | strange


deux
deux (2006, 22MB, 3:48 min)

by Charlie Mars.


Paul Slocum – Time Lapse Homepage

17th February 2012 by doron
animation | arts | conceptual | design | ephemera | exhibition | new media art | satire | video


tlh_web
Time Lapse Homepage (2003, 18.4 MB, 55 sec.)

Paul Slocum‘s Time-Lapse Homepage (2003) signifies through accretion.
This high-definition video is composed of 1,000 computer screenshots
of his homepage. Complete with an upbeat score that could easily be
a corporate jingle to promote a new technology, the stills display the
building, erosion, and occasional complete overhaul of an ever-evolving
Web site. This work provides a layered historical record of something
we tend to see only in discrete units-the appearance of a homepage on
any given day-while attempting to think through Web design in the
language of earlier time-based media.’


Ruth Catlow & Marc Garrett -Festival of Money

11th January 2012 by michael
activism | arts | collaboration | conceptual | humor | network | new media art | performance | satire | video


festival of money
Festival of Money (2012, 111MB, 8:06 min)

Amusing & depressing both, because it is so spot on, a lovely bit of
satire from Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow of Furtherfield fame.
Most artists, of course, are from the 99%…this is a timely reminder of
where our interests lie and don’t lie…


Yu-Chen Wang – Struggle for Existence

15th December 2011 by doron
arts | documentary arts | performance | satire | video


struggle_existence
Struggle for Existence (2004, 18MB, 1:58 min.)

“By linking Darwin’s “The truth of universal struggle for existence” with a Taiwanese children’s game, The video represents two individuals’ slaughter in the virtual battle field and reflects on the ideology of boundary dividing, self-defending patriotism and bellicosity.”
by – Yu-Chen Wang.


MGM 1975

18th November 2011 by brittany
arts | conceptual | film | historical | remix/mashup | satire



Jack Goldstein – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1975, 16.2MB, 2:10)

An endlessly cyclical Hollywood, summed up in two minutes,
over thirty years ago. Still relevant and all too real.


Grant Orchard – Basketball

27th October 2011 by doron
animation | arts | ball games | narrative | satire | sports


Basketball
Basketball (2007, 13.5MB, 1:57 min.)

Director Grant Orchard joined Studio aka in 1997, and soon gained attention
for his idiosyncratic design and his ability to approach projects from many
different angles. He has created TV commercials for clients as diverse as Compaq,
Virgin and Orange. Grant has won two prestigious D&AD awards and achieved recognition
for his first independent short film WELCOME TO GLARINGLY.
He subsequently created 10 mini-films for QOOBtv under the banner LOVESPORT.
- from the shining Lumen Eclipse.