Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Episodes of Anomie

Recent Films by Gatten & Stead, Marias & Natkin, Price, Robinson and Worden

Artist's Television Access

In response to the ceaselessness of the contemporary media deluge, many are merely subsumed. Some daring artists find ways to surf the transmitted waves and carve out spaces of connection and tranquility within the barrage in order to send out messages of hope. Hold Me Now continues Michael Robinson’s project of exploring the poetics of loss and the dangers of mediated experience: daring to find emotion in the cold world of pop songs and televisual melodrama, he squeezes sentimentality from the mundane, prompting an agonizing response between pain and laughter. Equally maudlin, Eli Marias and Amos Natkin’s Daddy —a bathetic scene of holiday domesticity recalling the familial nightmares of Luther Price—features an answering machine-bound dead beat dad baring his soul on a cold Christmas morning. Drawing on similar sources of pop-cultural pabulum Fred Worden’s When World’s Collude plays like a structural re-edit of Baywatch, complete with jet skiing blondes, hi-speed chases and gratuitous explosions. Finally, David Gatten and Jessie Stead’s sublimely intermittent epic Today! plays as episodes in an open-ended and wide-eyed adventure series, accumulating meaning even as it becomes increasingly mysterious. Just added: a reprise screening of Luther Price’s nature documentary/tv melodrama mash-up The Mongrel Sister! (Steve Polta)

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