Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Frederico Diaz’s “Adhesion” Exhibit consisted of four large sculptures, a number of paneled pieces, and a series of I-Mac monitors, as well as one very large lcd-screen, playing videos. All of the works explore the relationship between art and science, specifically, science in the context of nature.

Three of the four sculptures caught my eye first, as they are the closest to the gallery doorway, rather large—3 feet or so wide as well as tall, leap off the wall, and are completely chrome. All four sculptures depicted some sort of liquid, dripping form, turned solid. The fourth sculpture, black as opposed to chrome, formed a column of sorts in the middle of the gallery space. The sculptures did enforce the idea of a literal visualization of nature, and were extremely well crafted, however, I felt as if I had seen similar sculptures before.

The panels, the highlight of the show, are placed around the room, save for the wall with the sculptures. Two of the panels take on very large, stretched, octagonal shapes, whereas the rest are more akin to vertical rectangles. All of them, except for one of the “octagons,” are made up of a deep purplish-black material with white linear markings on it. The left octagonal piece is white with blackish markings on it—the inverse of the other octagonal piece to the right of it. The purplish-black (or white) material is actually a thermosensitive paint/paste, and the white (or black) lines formed are from heat sensors built into circuits placed underneath the paint. The white lines change in width, opacity, and intensity as both the programmed temperature as well as the atmospheric temperature change. These slow, but detailed changes in these linear, tree-like structures easily capture the viewer’s attention and interest, as well as force him/her to visually understand the intricacies of a taken-for-granted natural phenomena.

The monitors, placed off in their own secluded corner of the space, all played the same video, entitled Sakura. The film is a vaux-company’s promotional video in which technology runs the company and humans are the subjects. The film failed to grasp my immediate attention, as it moved at a rather slow pace, and I was extremely captivated by the panel pieces. However, the film did provide a nice ambient soundtrack of the future, complete with downtempo lounge music and robotic bleeps and bloops.

I feel like the video is more powerful if you watch it on your computer rather than in the gallery space. Here it is a la YouTube:

-rgm

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Alex Bag in a scene from Fall '95

I was assigned to watch the film, Untitled Fall ’95 by artist, Alex Bag, for my thesis class. Following the viewing, we were to write a brief review/critique of the video and post it. Here is a brief summary of the film and some other biographical information regarding Alex Bag: via Wikipedia.

As many other viewers of this film have stated, Bag’s Fall ’95 is rather difficult to watch. This difficulty is due primarily to two reasons: her painfully stereotyped rendition of a typical college art student, and the—seemingly long—jarring clips interspersed between scenes where Bag addresses the viewer.

As the film progresses, Bag progresses semesterly through art school at The School of Visual Arts, and becomes increasingly more “artsy.” By the end of the film, she has taken up coffee and smoking, wearing thick-black rimmed glasses, sporting a short-cropped, dyed-black, hair cut, and wearing a nose ring and punk-ish studded collar—all at once.

In between the 8 segments where Bag talks to the camera/viewer, are few-minute clips of what seem to be Bag’s art-film projects from the semester she is in at that point in the film. These clips are surreal commentaries on popular culture of the 90’s, such as in the very first clip that takes the form of a late night phone-sex-line television advertisement in order  to talk about the objectification of women by men. Many of the clips attempt to be humorous, however, tend to come across as annoying or rote, as Bag often repeats similar lines and/or does not change the camera-view often. Also, when the scene calls for voice acting for characterizations, Bag’s voices come across as shrill and strained—not the easiest to listen to.

Overall, Alex Bag’s Untitled Fall ’95 provides a somewhat interesting opinion on the over-consumed-by-pop-culture world that a young artist has to find out how to deal with through comedy and tongue-in-cheek sarcasm for those who choose to sit through all 57 minutes of it.

-rgm