a christmas medley from barnsley town centre
A Christmas Medley From Barnsley Town Centre (2011, 87MB, 1:29 min)

Normally we don’t post our own work here but I couldn’t resist this.
Also – it was a gift; no editing, just the take. (OK. I turned down the brightness
& jacked up the contrast a little.)
Barnsley is actually the friendliest of places, with a grumpy, wry, cheerfulness born of
generations of working-class solidarity, especially in the pits, though it’s now
ravaged by the cuts and closures of the past years.
From me & Doron, Happy Holidays and looking forward to a better world next year.
We’re taking a small holiday break & we’ll be back with something rather splendid
from Morrisa Maltz on January 2nd.

Betty Martins – When the Souls Arrive

when the souls arrive

I recently attended a fairly high profile art video festival,
which shall be nameless, and I came away feeling depressed.
There was some good work (indeed, some magnificent, not much, but some) but
on the whole it was just a dispiriting display of meretricious effects, sloppy thinking
and a striving for the quick impression; all pretty souless & forgettable stuff.
(Oh, and plus a lot of cliched tosh about the – yawn – “post-human”. Wasn’t post human,
most of it, so much as post-being-any-good)
Then, on the other hand, you come across something like this:
no in-your-faceness, modest, austere and subtle, makes you do a little bit of work,
but so, so worth spending time with.
is the Brazilian video maker who made this small and perfect gem
– an account of the celebration of the Day of the Dead by expat Mexicans
living in London.
You can see the whole thing here (and I urge you to do so).
Betty Martins cheered me up considerably and I look forward to much more
work of this quality from her.

Cohen, Tarantino, Goffman

Dance Me
Dance Me To The End Of Love (clip, 1994, 0.5MB, 31 sec.)

Dance Me1
Dance Me To The End Of Love (1995, 34.1MB, 6:07 min.)

Leonard Cohen’s work has always walked a fine line
between kitsch & poetry.
Don’t get me wrong – the kitsch is like a dash of chilli,
gives the whole thing added piquancy & depth.
Check out these two videos for ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’.
The first, the short clip, is the official video.
Now look at the second.
OK- first things first -just who is that playing the bridegroom?
Then, consider if this whole unofficial one ( by Aaron Goffman)
prolix & kitschy in some respects as it undoubtedly is,
doesn’t somehow do more justice to Cohen’s world !’

Jennifer Steinkamp – Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley (2007, 7.3 MB, 15 sec.)

‘Mike Kelley’ are high definition video projections of individual trees
with branches moving in a twirling pattern. Projected to fill the height
of the gallery’s walls, the images interact with the architecture of the gallery,
creating tension between the imaginary landscape and the physical space.

by Jennifer Steinkamp.

Sondheim – Prisoners

prisoners (2008, 25.4MB, 2:36 min)

Nearest thing to a Picasso we yet have, in my view.
Whatever history decides, there’s no denying one point
of Sondheim/Picasso commonality – an almost compulsive
I’d push it further -they both constantly transform lead into
gold. Picasso & his seat & handlebars, Sondheim, for example,
these bits of video.
The music, a kind of hallucinogenic, shredded-up
slow funk/blues, is also particularly noteworthy.
Here, for good measure, is Alan’s accompanying rubric:

prisoners of motion capture, prisoners of west virginia

prisoners of caloric, froid, prisoners of gravitation
prisoners of art, mayhem, vandal, prisoners of desecration

o to be a prisoner of life again (above the clouds
o to be a prisoner of love again (within the waters
o to be a prisoner of truth again (beyond the earths
o to be a prisoner of dance again (before the fires

prisoners of fires, froid, prisoners of aerostat and transport
transport of prisoners, clouds, waters, earths, fluids

yes, prisoners of fluids, prisoners of fluids and places
prisoners of west virginia, of fluids, places, life, love,
truth and dance again

Gilbert & George -The Singing Sculpture

Gilbert and George
The Singing Sculpture (1992, 830k, 41 sec.)

“Singing Sculpture documents one of Gilbert & George’s most famous “living sculpture” pieces.
Covered in multicolored bronze paint, the artists sing and interchange parts of the English
music hall standard “Underneath the Arches.” Through their stylized performance,
Gilbert & George deliberately blur the lines between life and art, reality and contrivance.
This ambiguity does not rely on a transformation from living to sculptural form. On the contrary,
they have merged the two in order to obliterate, rather than emphasize, the distinctions between life and art.” – Walker Art Center
from Video Data Bank

Ruth Catlow – overland

overland (2010, 131MB, 2:58 min)

And sadly, the last in our little season of movies by Ruth Catlow. This is another
train movie, no conceptual underpinnings to speak of this time, just a beautiful,
bleached out pastels, lo-fi ( mobile?) account of the Serbian section of a journey by train to Istanbul
last year when she was refusing ‘to fly for art’, something more people should do more often if
the results here are anything to go by.
More from Ruth, of course, as she produces it…