Thursday, February 19, 2004

Gregg Biermann’s Material Excess

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Gregg Biermann’s feature-length digital video Material Excess uses supermarket coupons, catalogs, flyers and advertising inserts to pierce through the glossy surface of all manner of printed matter and find a frenetic and visceral currency of cultural excess. Borrowing its three-part structure from Dante’s The Divine Comedy (Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise), the mesmerizing pastiche of Material Excess presents a troubling and fascinating odyssey through the bubbling cauldron of modern commercialism. Steve Bartoo writes, “Material Excess isn’t exactly a rejection of materialism… It’s a difficult, frequently funny, and ultimately humane discourse on humanity’s primary intellectual activity.” (Scott Stark)