Alan Sondheim – Last Wine

Last Wine (2013, 96MB, 2:50 min)

Anyone who has followed DVblog for any time at all will know how much we
admire & value the work of Alan Sondheim.
He commands a huge range of technique and tone in both his writing and moving
image work. At one point of his compass there is the fiercely cerebral; at
another a rich humour & at yet another a sense of fellow feeling with, a
striving to understand some of our most puzzling and yet everyday feelings
and states of mind.
Things we’ve all encountered in relationships with family, friends and strangers.
This is a particularly moving piece, the more so because of its uncertainty of tone
– its enactment of the sad awkwardnesses of human interaction.

Irina Birger Thinks Drawing is Important

Irina Birger Thinks Drawing is Important (2010, 93 MB, 3:20 min. excerpt)

“What is the essence of a photograph, or more precisely, of an ID photo, portrait or self- portrait ?
You could almost ask, what is the essence of art. Or, what is the essence of life? That time always passes.
As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus put it in the 5th century BC, Panta Rhei, ‘Everything changes,
nothing remains still’. In the short video film ‘Irina Birger Thinks Drawing is Important’, Irina Birger
provides her answer to such questions.
A waterfall of self-portraits taken from photo albums belonging to her, her family and circle of
acquaintances, creates an ingenious, dizzying autobiography of the artist through the years.

We see the stereotypical development of the artist influenced by the history of art, from classic to
contemporary, and by the places where she has lived in her nomadic existence, from communist
Russia, the former Yugoslavia at the beginning of the civil war there, Israel during the Second Intifada and Germany after its reunification, to her present but certainly not final destination: the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

There’s a pinch to these moving images, where the essences of film and photography converge and clash. In a similar manner Birger’s life collides with the wrenching history of conflict zones and the sometimes difficult existence as an artist. ‘Drawing is Important,’ she posits at the end, her answer in this photo-turns-film project to the question of how she holds her own in life” (Text by Vera Stiphout)

by Irina Birger.

Emily Murdoch – Before Honeymoon

Before Honeymoon
Before Honeymoon (2011, 29MB, 1:39 min)

Another piece from a Writtle student, this from Emily Murdoch.
I think this is tremendous not only technically (I especially love the use of light)
but aesthetically too. It clearly owes a debt to Lewis Klahr but one can
see a very distinctive individual voice emerging too.
I do hope Emily continues to make art (and in particular moving image).
I find her work rich and moving.

Vito Acconci #2

Advice (clip, 2006, 2MB, 58 secs)

Acconci Studio Presentation (2006, 36MB, 29:02 min)

More from the splendid Vito Acconci, this time from
his later architecture and design period.
One vid is a little lollipop -advice to the young-
extracted from a longer interview and profile on
The second is a much more substantial
and utterly fascinating presentation given at the launch of
LAB magazine in 2006.
What an astonishing human being!

Brian Gibson – to the young, youth

to the young, youth (195?/2008, 13 MB, 2:04 min)

Poignant & beautiful work from DVblog contributor Brian Gibson
gently & quirkily re-configuring footage shot by his late grandfather
on a European visit in the 50s.

Brian’s work is always striking, always affecting, but the secret extra
ingredient is the luminous intelligence underlying everything he does.

Dave Milner – Redmires to Hillsborough and Back

Redmires to Hillsborough and Back (2008, 274MB 21:09 min)

I love this piece, partly for sentimental reasons in that it
features the town (and in fact at two points the street)
of my birth and upbringing, but it’s not simply that.
I like the formal device upon which Dave Milner hangs this austere
& accurate portrait of a greyish October Sheffield.

Austere, but not without warmth or humour: Milner’s tussle with his SatNav,
his under the breath impatience at the traffic & the various other small
en-route mishaps lend a three dimensionality and a narrative forward
motion to what could be easily have been either a dry exercise or simply
a bit of ,for want of a better word, internet folk art…

Milner’s site, with both contemporary and (slightly) historical photos
of Sheffield and other places is compelling too.
Again, I plead guilty to a personal interest in the places times and
themes but it’s the thoroughness devoted to an evocation of place
and time that is both effective and moving.

Ash Sechler – 2 movies

Transformation (2009, 15.5MB, 1:18 min)

Representation of Memory (2006, 75.4MB, 2:22 min)

Clearly there is something in the water in Athens, Georgia giving us,
as it has, John Michael Boling & Javier Morales, John Crowe,
Dan Osborne, Brantley Jones and now Ash Sechler.
Hmm – The School of Athens, Georgia.
There’s no common style but there is a certain sensibility which,
curiously, pervades the quiet meditative stuff as well as the more
out-there and bizarre – it’s a species of wryness combined with an
eye for the casually arresting, odd and beautiful.
It’s exemplified here in both these rather good pieces, though I particularly
like Representation of Memory.