If the substantive piece (which I gather is about 33 minutes in length) is
anything like as good as this trailer promises it will be stunning.
This has all the hallmarks of the previous piece by Betty Martins – When the Souls Arrive – we posted here : beautifully made, scrupulously attentive to those being observed/interviewed but with its own quite particular gentle and steely authorial stamp.
(I usually hate anthropomorphising art – you know the thing, ‘this piece investigates’ &c. – except here
I am sorely tempted to say that Martin’s work ‘knows how to listen’. Of course what I mean is Martins knows how to listen, carefully and empathetically, and then to re-configure parts of that listening and looking and understanding too as moving image soaked with detail and feeling.)
In addition the subject matter could not be more timely: a broadside of delicate
beauty in the face of bigotry.
Enchanting video by Tom White of a sound/music outreach project he ran in Peckham, South London on behalf, appropriately, of the South London Gallery.
There are so many piss-poor arts outreach projects. So nice to observe that this one was clearly brilliant.
We’ve been following Morrisa Maltz‘s work since just about the beginning and we’re delighted to show here her first longer, narrative (well, if you count fever dream as narrative), piece.
Quite a lot of firepower (lots of collaborators) deployed here, happily to excellent effect ( In fact the piece actually directed by Lauren Lillie although the look of it is pure & vintage MM). It all retains in buckets the goose-bump factor of earlier work but embeds it into a very satisfyingly rounded whole.
This is great work; it deserves to be seen widely.
I’m a huge fan of Curt Cloninger’s work, especially his virtuosic but often profoundly moving ( and how often do you hear that word in connection with new media*?) Playdamage sequence.
Here he simply mashes up a section of a 1971 Acconci video with a Jack White cover of a U2 song.
Actually to say mashes up is making it more complex than it is which is – visuals – Acconci; sound – U2 through White. Genius – Cloninger.
*except of course for the ridiculous Bill Viola, where it’s so clearly used by the very easily pleased.
As with so many of the artists included in that series she’s an amply justified curatorial choice;
her work is subtle, thought provoking and very beautiful.
She makes tiny ( or sometimes none, except to select) interventions into found (sometimes “found from herself”) images or footage which have a transformative effect and an expressive force much greater than one might have any right to predict. Beautiful.
Artists I really care for tend to fall into two distinct categories.
The first is the extensive or Picasso category – refusing to be
bound by stylistic limitations or boxes they constantly
reinvent themselves, often seeming like ten artists in one skin.
The other might be called the Giacometti or Morandi model, where
the best part of a lifetime is devoted to an intensive, deep,
exploration of a limited set of themes and content.
They have in common more than would at first appear to be the case.
They are both led by a kind of shamanistic passion, a surrender to
the unconscious, to whim, to a playfulness which can be either infantile
or deadly serious, and they reject the most common practice which is the
dull conformity of making work which attempts to guess the market,
or follow fashion or whatever.
If Sondheim is the net exemplar of the first way then Donna Kuhn
must typify the second.
Small miracles of freshness & originality mined and chiselled from
a tiny pallette! Wit and sadness both! Wonder! Delight!
Remember the tingle down the spine when the first song kicks in in
the musical episode of Buffy?
Well, here’s the template from 1957.
Cartoons featuring talking and singing animals performing opera simply
do not get better than this.