A sense of geographic, spatial and historical freefall attends this programme of works by Basma Alsharif, Philipp Fleischmann, Tomonari Nishikawa, Nina Könnemann, Wojckech Bakowski, Sarah J. Christman, and Carlos Motta.
Wavelengths 3: Farther Than the Eye Can See
A sense of geographic, spatial and historical freefall attends this programme of works that takes its title from Basma Alsharif's video. Visually gripping and intelligently constructed, Farther Than the Eye Can See continues Alsharif's essayistic explorations of statelessness through a tale of a mass exodus of Palestinians from Jerusalem recounted over a dense, stroboscopic cityscape. A different stroboscopic effect is achieved in Philipp Fleischmann's Main Hall, which uses nineteen specially designed cameras to record the space inside the main exhibition hall of the Vienna Secession. While this bastion of modernity has been crucial to the development of Minimalism and Conceptual Art, film has eluded its mandate; Main Hall adds a purely cinematographic gesture (à la Gordon Matta-Clark) to the space's history by having it look at its own architecture.
Overlapping light and space continue in Tomonari Nishikawa's 45 7 Broadway, which captures the paralyzing pace and conflicting rhythms of Times Square. Shot on black-and-white 16mm through red, green and blue filters, then optically printed onto colour film through these same filters, 45 7 Broadway is less jazzy than Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie but equally eyepopping in its colour and illusionistic effect. With a focus on a decidedly less populated though uncanny urbanscape, in Bann Nina Könnemann clandestinelyobserves the increasingly ostracized smokers in London's financial district, her keen eye and mischievous editing creating a portrait of alienation, self-consciousness, and perhaps even shame.
A raw, personal, confessional narration
undercuts the abstract images in
Polish artist, musician and poet Wojciech
Bakowski's interlaced video collage Suchy
Pion. Condensing home videos into blocks
of abstraction, Bakowski creates a startling
account of depression, numbness and
paradoxical lucidity. Sarah J. Christman
continues her 16mm ecological studies
with Gowanus Canal, in which contamination
and compression of refuse intimate a
stultifying state for one of the most polluted
bodies of water in the United States. In
Carlos Motta's award-winning Nefandus,
a pristine flowing river in the Colombian
Caribbean suppresses a tainted history of
"wild" beauty and colonialist religious and
sexual subjugation. An evocative essay on
pre-conquest homoeroticism, Nefandus
searches for traces of untold stories and
stigmatized historical accounts.